Umbrella tree

The Indian Umbrella Tree, scientifically known as Heptapleurum arboricola, is a tropical evergreen tree that belongs to the Araliaceae family. It is native to Southeast Asia, specifically China, Taiwan, and Malaysia, but has become a popular ornamental plant in many parts of the world. The tree is commonly known as the umbrella tree because of its distinctive umbrella-shaped canopy.

Tree CharacteristicsDescription
Common NameUmbrella tree
Scientific NameHeptapleurum arboricola
Native PlaceSoutheast Asia, Polynesia
Maximum Height8 to 15 feet
Diameter of Crown when Mature3 to 6 feet
Diameter of Tree Trunk3 to 6 inches
Years to Reach Maturity3 to 5 years

Physical characteristics

The Indian Umbrella Tree can grow up to 8-10 feet tall in the wild, but when grown in cultivation, it tends to be smaller. The tree has a compact, bushy growth habit and is often used as a houseplant or in office spaces. Its leaves are glossy green and grow in clusters of seven, hence the genus name Heptapleurum. The leaves are 3-5 inches long and 2-3 inches wide, and have a leathery texture. The tree has a woody stem, and its branches are thick and sturdy, making it a sturdy plant.

Ecological role

The Indian Umbrella Tree plays an important role in the ecosystem as it provides shelter and food for various animals, birds, and insects. The tree’s foliage provides shade and habitat for small animals and insects, while its flowers and fruits provide food for birds and insects. The Indian Umbrella Tree is also known for its air-purifying qualities, as it can remove pollutants from the air and improve indoor air quality.

Importance to birds, animals, and insects 

The Indian Umbrella Tree is an important source of food and shelter for many birds, animals, and insects. Its flowers are attractive to bees and other pollinators, and its fruits are enjoyed by birds like the Oriental Magpie Robin and the White-throated Kingfisher. The tree’s foliage provides shelter for small animals like squirrels and lizards, while its sturdy branches offer perches for birds to rest on.

Flower description 

The Indian Umbrella Tree produces small, white or greenish-yellow flowers that grow in clusters at the end of its branches. The flowers are small and inconspicuous, but they have a sweet fragrance that attracts pollinators like bees and butterflies.

Can it be grown in homes? 

Yes, the Indian Umbrella Tree can be grown indoors as a houseplant. It prefers bright, indirect sunlight and well-draining soil. The plant can be pruned to maintain its compact shape and size, making it a popular choice for small spaces.

Bloom time months 

The Indian Umbrella Tree typically blooms in the summer months, from May to July.


The Indian Umbrella Tree is a beautiful and versatile plant that provides a variety of benefits to the ecosystem. It is an important source of food and shelter for many animals, birds, and insects, and its air-purifying qualities make it a popular choice for indoor spaces. With its glossy green leaves and umbrella-shaped canopy, the Indian Umbrella Tree is a great addition to any garden or indoor space.

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