Here's one I never thought I'd see.
Technically, I don't know that this is a flower, but the few photos I was able to find on-line make me think that this is the very beginning of a developing flower spike on Schefflera arboricola. Not sure what cultivar; some yellow-variegated thing.
The weirdest part, though, is where I found it: a dark corner of the plant display in an Iowa City hardware store. (The Ace Hardware on Dodge St. in Iowa City, if you're in the area and want to gawk.) It looked like it had probably been there for a while, too, like this might have been the plant's way of keeping itself entertained while it waited to be purchased. Or maybe it's flowering 'cause it thinks it's going to die.
I don't know what it was thinking. I do know that this is the only time I've ever seen this, despite having met an awful lot of S. arboricolas, and I was impressed. Or confused. Or something.
I considered buying the plant, so I could watch and document the whole blooming progress, and if it had been anything other than a S. arboricola, I probably would have, but I'm just not a fan. I have one, because I wanted to give the species a chance, and it's done fine for me, but I don't need another. (I like S. actinophylla fine, though, and would buy another if it were doing something cool like this: I can't explain why actinophylla works for me and arboricola doesn't.) I feel mean for saying so, but that's why it didn't come home with me.
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Random plant event: Schefflera arboricola blooming
Here's one I never thought I'd see.
That is pretty amazing. I've never seen this plant flowering. I'm not a big fan of it, though. Flowers or no flowers, I wouldn't be tempted to take it home. Not sure why it doesn't really appeal to me.
WOW! Makes me wonder what the bloom on my much desired Schefflera taiwaniana might look like.
That's a first for me, too, so thanks for sharing. I have Scheffs all over town and none of them have ever bloomed. Maybe I should start ignoring them and see what happens!
That's crazy ... I live in zone 10B, where these things are used as hedge material and ubiquitous landscape plants, and I can't recall EVER seeing one flower. (Then again, most of them are trimmed into boxy little shapes, so you know, snip, snip flowers.)
I'm with you, though, about S. actinophylla, except they're an invasive species here.
Poor little thing! Sitting in a corner, dolling itself up, hoping someone will notice it and take it home and love it.
Brings back memories of high school dances.
Hi Mr. Subjunctive. I had some good laugh reading your post. We have lots of Schefflera here in the humid tropics too, but i haven't seen the flower yet. From a non-variegated type, I've seen the ripe-yellow fruits once in a rather-far-away island, but missed the flowers. Yours look like another plant underneath the bush produced it, as if it is not a part of the plant. BTW, i love your writing the scientific names and cultivars correctly.
You know that if you bought it and moved it the flowers would wither.
Sometimes it's ok to let things be, where they are.
Like when you're hiking in an exotic locale (the hardware store?) and the local flora are just soooooo awesome, but you know that if you poached one it would just rob the ecosystem; you could never recreate cultural conditions- or if you did, you'd create a monster. So you let them be: take only photos, leave only memories.
But I suppose you could read up on how they pollinate, and approach the store about facilitating such, in hopes of taking a few seeds in return. If they can even self-pollinate.
I'm with Andrea. From the picture, it looks like the flower stalk is coming from somewhere under the Schefflera. I think you need to go back to the Ace Hardware and investigate the possibility!
Andrea / Nancy in Sun Lakes AZ:
The pictures don't show it well, because I was trying to crop so as much detail of the flower itself was visible, but it really was coming from a plant. There were multiple plants in the same pot; only one was flowering. On the one that was flowering, there were no leaves for the first maybe 8 inches (20 cm), and leaves from the other plants in the pot partly covered that up, so it looks weird. But I did check to make sure that the flower was actually attached to a plant, and that the plant was bearing Schefflera leaves.
I have one potted on my front porch in Oakland, CA. It stays outdoors year round. It has bloomed several times over the years. It seems to have bloomed when it became rootbound. The flower spikes are pretty insignificant and they attract aphids and ants. for this reason I will remove the buds in the future.
I have had the same Schefflera for 30 years, lives outside in the summer, indoors in the winter and for the first time....ever....it has a bloom. So, you are not crazy...or I am living your crazy:)
I have the same 'bloom' on my plant. I got the plant from my mother ... so no idea how old. It is about 6' tall - and the 'blooms' are on the top. There are about 6 of them ... noticed them about a week ago. I live in Northern Minnesota - and my plant is always inside. I'm waiting and watching ... The plant is a one stalk plant - so these are coming out of the top. Also wondering if it will grow anymore??
My schefflera is starting bloom too (first time I had seen one bloom). I rescued this standard 4 years ago from the "dead-dying plant" area of a nursery. I prune it to max of 5' tall with 3' of trunk and a 2' diameter leaf ball. Except that I repotted it 2 years ago I mostly ignore it, water once a week when I remember; it lives near a window but no direct sun; wintertime temps inside my house between 58 and 62.
I was so glad to find your blog. I have several green arbicola in the garden and quite a few of them have decided to flower. I was trying to research this and can find very little. Mine have yellowy tendrils and tiny white, sweet scented flowers.
Some plants have been unpruned for about 5 months. The tendrils have died, turned black and form a loose black mass which incorporates a few dried leaves that must have been ensnared by the tendrils when they were growing. These stalks look unhealthy ... like the plant has given everything to reproduce and has nothing left!
I have one blooming now! Never seen one before myself.
I just noticed this on one of mine that I planted in a box outside... it's been there since 2005, the base of it now is about 4 inches across... I trim it every year and I wish now I would have waited to trim the other side of it... it spans about 5 feet now - I live in Southeast Tx... I can't wait to see if it continues to bloom out - Im amazed it is actually a bloom!!! It definitely is from this plant... so no question about that!
Hello! Long-time reader, first-time commenter. I know you posted this a while back but I know in my heart that everyone is as fascinated by the things that happen to me as I am: my partner and I have had a Schefflera for years, maybe 10, and we liked it and then we were bored with it and wanted the pot for something else, and I mostly stopped watering it, kind of in the hopes that it would die, and instead it bloomed. So I think that's one vote for your imminent-death hypothesis. Anyway it's fruiting now! Or maybe those are the real blossoms that haven't flowered yet! Anyway it's even weirder than the little cone-flower thing. Maybe do you want a picture of it? I can email you.
I have this one for 10 years and it's blooming, flowering and fruiting. The bees love it! I had no idea what it was before finding this blog.
We have had this plant for a long long time and now it looks like it is about to bloom. Never seen one before til now. Thanks for this site
I but mine in the ground 13 years ago and this is the 3rd year for it to "bloom". It creates red berries. I can send a picture of the berries to anyone interested.
I have had my topiary schefflera arboricola sitting in my sunroom over a year now and all of a sudden it has buds like it wants to bloom. It's really cool.
Oh how fun.. I received my Schefflera 21 years ago in a little 4" pot. It is about 5' wide and 4' tall... indoors during NW cold, outdoors in the summer. It bloomed and seeded last year for the first time, and now has weird nobby things I just noticed.. I thought they were black dotted.. but uh-oh.. looks like some type of sap-sucking aphid... I will take it outside tomorrow and give it a good washing. Anyway, these nobby things look different than the bloom and seeds looked last year. We think of "her" as our daughter as she was a gift following a miscarriage. I hope she isn't getting ready to die!
I also have a schefflera plant that suddenly has these blooming flower stalks all over it- about a month or so now- I was like 'WHAT?!" I really don't know all that much about plants, but inherited this one from my mother in law when she passed away about 8 years ago- it appears to be pretty old- the stalks are very woody and thick at the base and about 6-8 inches up- and it droops over the pot- really quite pretty and large. I assumed that when they got old, they flowered, but maybe it needs repotted?
Could be both. I've yet to see a good explanation for what triggers them to bloom. Either way, though, if it hasn't been repotted in a few years, it's probably time to do so, if you want it to continue getting larger. If you're happy with the size it is, it's maybe not so critical.
I have had my Shefflera for over thirty years,it has just produced on one branch about five spikes,with small green bobbles on the end,fascinated to see what evolves,this plant means a lot to me as it reminds me of my late husband,as he purchased it for me.I do hope it is not getting ready to die,as I would be devastated,wish me luck.
I have one that's starting to flower.I got it quite a few yrs ago at a yard sale.I brought it back to life.maybe this is how it relays me for saving it
I have had my sheffaleria for 20yrs. This is the first time I have seen it bloom. I was shocked and had to find out of they do bloom. It is inside in the winter and summers on my patio. I have really neglected it this winter and did water it. I think it flowered in a response to the lack of water. I think also it thought it was going to die. Plants are amazing
I saw small ones blooming all over Cheatman Hill near Kennesaw Mountain today.
Is there a way to add a picture I took with my phone?
No, but if you have a photo hosted elsewhere on-line (Twitter, Instagram, Flickr, etc.) you can post a link in a comment here.
Mine is just starting to bud! Never knew it would until it started so I Googled and found this site. I live in San Diego and the plant is outside and in terms of care... Mostly neglectneglect. Small pot, big plant.
My plant lives in the corner of my kitchen by the patio door, so it gets plenty of light and warmth. I usually water it a little every day. It started blooming about 4 years ago and does every year now. It starts at the end of summer/early fall.
From Pearl in Eau Claire
We've had a Schefflera plant for 12 years, and this is the first time it has bloomed. Quite a surprise. The bloom area is about as big as a hand, and it has several "branches" with the flowers that are are tiny--most have still not opened their petals, but it's definitely flowering. For what it's worth, it doesn't look like the bloom in the photo at all. I wish I knew how to post a photo of it.
Hi I've had my plant for 40 years & just last year it got those flowering buds for the first time. I do think it may be related to lack of water also but the funny thing is that I noticed a smell like a dirty sock locker room (no offense to anyone I know it's intense sport's) WELLLL it's those buds. Smelled it last year but the buds weren't as big & never put 2 & 2 together. They're getting snipped. I'm also pretty sure it's not doing any favors to allergies. But had the tree as long as my kids so keeping it :)
Glad I found this, mine has just started flowering. It's January in Scotland and the windows have been open a lot because of covid as I'm in a school. Amazed! Think it's 18 years old according to the price sticker.
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