Schefflera actinophylla, commonly known as the “Umbrella Tree” features bright green elliptic leaves that radiate outward similar to the shape of an umbrella. When it becomes tall, it loses its lower leaves, leaving a straight trunk and a large "top" giving the effect of an umbrella. This evergreen tree can grow up to 15m and usually has several trunks. When mature it blooms in late summer with huge funky red flower spikes on long stalks radiating out like the tentacles of an octopus that give it another common name – the "Octopus Tree."
This tree can be mostly found in the Gönpa gardens and the Moon garden (there are two examples on the lawns). It is extremely resistant to strong winds due to its wide spreading roots, which is why it was chosen for these gardens that are exposed to very powerful eastern and south-eastern winds. Similarly the leaves are not affected by the wind being very thick and leathery.
Altogether with its lustrous big leaves and unusual red flowers shooting out on top of the branches like fireworks, it is a beautiful tree, very exotic looking and fast growing, producing a dense shade after only a few years.