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Polyscias cumingiana


Polyscias cumingiana (C. Presl) Fernandez-Villar

Family Name: Araliaceae
Synonyms: Arthrophyllum pinnatum, Polyscias rumphiana, Nothopanax pinnatus, Aralia naumannii, Panax cumingianus, Polyscias crispata, Nothopanax cumingianus, Polyscias cumingii (ortho. variant), Nothopanax crispatus, Panax crispatus, Panax pinnatus
Common Name: Fern-leaf Aralia, False-leaf Aralia, 线叶南洋参


Family Name
Genus Epithet
Species Epithet
Name Authority
Name Status (botanical)
Common Names

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants) (Dicotyledon)
Plant Growth Form Shrub, Tree (Shrubby (1m-5m))
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic
Plant Shape Compact
Maximum Height 1.5 m to 4 m


Native Distribution Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Southwest Pacific Islands
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical
Local Conservation Status Non-native (Horticultural / Cultivated Only)

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form Erect shrub with vertical branches, up to 4 m tall.
Foliage Alternate, compound, green (sometimes variegated); leaflets 9-15, ovate to elliptic to lanceolate, strongly lobed; petiole clasping at base, papery texture, apex acuminate or acute to obtuse, base obtuse to attenuate, margin entire to crenate.
Flowers Andromonoecious; inflorescence terminal, panicle of umbels.
Fruits Fruits are subglobose to broadly ovoid.
Etymology The genus Polyscias means many-shades, in referring to the foliage. The specific epithet cumingiana is named after Hugh Cuming, a collector in Malaya and Philippines, 1791-1865.

Landscaping Features

Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Foliage
Plant & Rootzone Preference - Tolerance Fertile Loamy Soils, Well-Drained Soils
Landscape Uses General, Hedge / Screening
Thematic Landscaping Golden Garden, Naturalistic Garden
Usage Hazard - Cons Spines/Thorns - Stem/Branch

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Semi-Shade, Full Sun
Water Preference Moderate Water
Plant Growth Rate Moderate
Maintenance Requirements Moderate
Propagation Method Stem Cutting


Foliage Retention Evergreen
Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green
Mature Foliage Texture(s) Smooth, Glossy / Shiny, Thin
Foliar Type Compound (Even-Pinnate, Bipinnate)
Foliar Attachment to Stem Petiolate
Foliar Shape(s) Non-Palm Foliage (Ovate, Lanceolate, Elliptical)
Foliar Venation Pinnate / Net
Foliar Margin Entire, Crenate
Foliar Apex - Tip Acute, Acuminate, Obtuse
Foliar Base Rounded / Obtuse, Attenuate
Leaf Area Index (LAI) for Green Plot Ratio 4.5 (Shrub & Groundcover - Dicot)

Non - Foliar and Storage

Stem Type & Modification Woody
Root Type Underground (Fibrous Root)

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower & Plant Sexuality 1 Unisexual Flowers
Flower & Plant Sexuality 2 Monoecious
Flower Grouping Cluster / Inflorescence
Flower Location Terminal
Inflorescence Type Umbel
Flowering Habit Polycarpic

Image Repository



Master ID 1058
Species ID 2351
Flora Disclaimer The information in this website has been compiled from reliable sources, such as reference works on medicinal plants. It is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment and NParks does not purport to provide any medical advice. Readers should always consult his/her physician before using or consuming a plant for medicinal purposes.
Species record last updated on: 15 February 2022.