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Umbrella Tree (Dwarf Schefflera, Miniature Schefflera, Umbrella Plant, Dwarf Umbrella Tree)

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  • Common Name: Umbrella Tree (Dwarf Schefflera, Miniature Schefflera, Umbrella Plant, Dwarf Umbrella Tree)
  • Latin Name: Schefflera arboricola; syn. Heptapleurum arboricolum
  • Family Name: Araliaceae
The Umbrella Tree is often grown as a house plant in the UK because of its tolerance of poor growing conditions and neglect.  Unfortunately, it contains high levels of calcium oxalate crystals which, if ingested, can trigger serious mouth and digestive tract irritation, so it is not one to feed to your tortoises (although there is probably no cause for alarm if a leaf is accidentally nibbled).  It is also said to contain an allergen that can cause skin rashes and blisters in humans, but it is doubtful that this would affect tortoises.  In warmer climates the Umbrella Tree is grown as an evergreen shrub.

Flowers are generally a pale yellow in colour, although they can range in colour from green, through cream to white.

Do not confuse with Umbrella Plant (Cyperus alternifolius), which has a similar name but is a different plant.

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