Schefflera volkensii

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Local names:
English (schefflera)

Schefflera volkensii is a scandent or tall tree up to 24-30 m tall. Sometimes an epiphyte upon other trees. 

Leaf petiole up to 13(-17) cm x 3.8 mm diameter, sometimes somewhat expanded at base, glabrous or sparsely hairy at tip. Leaflets 4-7 generally coriaceous, narrowly obovate or elliptic, oblanceolate or obovate, up to 15 cm long by 7 cm wide, acute to rounded, slightly retuse at apex, with a broadly to narrowly cuneate base, entire to very slightly repand, sometimes slightly crisped margins, glabrous; petiolules up to 2.8 cm long x 1.9 mm diameter. Stipules sheath-like, up to about 1.4 cm long. 

Flowers sessile, up to 12-20; together. Inflorescence an extended or compressed raceme of bracteate racemes of small pedunculate with or without globular capitula up to 7 mm diameter when flowers in bud; primary branches up to 23 cm long x 4(-5.5) mm diameter, generally sparsely lenticillate; secondary branches 5-17 mm long, sometimes lenticellate, borne in the axils of ovate to oblate bracts up to 4 mm long.

Fruits minutely puberulous or glabrous, up to 5.5 mm long and 4-5 cm in diameter. The generic name commemorates G. Scheffler, a German botanical collector in Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi around 1900.


S. volkensii is found in wet or dry upland forest, in Hagenia abyssinica woodland associated with Hypericum revolutum, Afrocrania volkensii and Erica arborea, or in the bamboo (Arundinaria alpina) zone.

Native range
Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda

Tree management

The tree needs support to grow straight.

Store seeds in sealed containers in cool places.

S. volkensii is found in wet or dry upland forest, in Hagenia abyssinica woodland associated with Hypericum revolutum, Afrocrania volkensii and Erica arborea, or in the bamboo (Arundinaria alpina) zone.

Can be propagated by cuttings, wildings and seedlings.

Erosion control:  S. volkensii offers protection to surrounding soil from water erosion.

S. volkensii provides fuelwood of good quality.

Timber:  The wood can be used for a number of general purposes.

Shade or shelter:  Provides light shade.

Medicine:  The resin is mixed with honey and used as remedy for coughs, lung complications and colds in Kenya.

Gum or resin:  S. volkensii yields a gum used medicinally.

Ornamental:  S. volkensii has a majestic form and can beautifully grace gardens and avenues.

Soil improver:  The leaf litter is good mulching material.

Intercropping:  Can be grown with crops since its high crown lets in sunlight.