Schefflera digitata


Schefflera: Named in honuor of Jacob Christian Scheffler, an 18th-century German botanist who wrote about Asarum (wild ginger).
digitata: divided into fingers

Common Name(s)

Patete, pate, seven-finger

Current Conservation Status

2012 - Not Threatened

Conservation status of New Zealand indigenous vascular plants, 2012
The conservation status of all known New Zealand vascular plant taxa at the rank of species and below were reassessed in 2012 using the New Zealand Threat Classification System (NZTCS). This report includes a statistical summary and brief notes on changes since 2009 and replaces all previous NZTCS lists for vascular plants. Authors: Peter J. de Lange, Jeremy R. Rolfe, Paul D. Champion, Shannel P. Courtney, Peter B. Heenan, John W. Barkla, Ewen K. Cameron, David A. Norton and Rodney A. Hitchmough. File size: 792KB

Previous Conservation Status

2009 - Not Threatened
2004 - Not Threatened


Schefflera digitata J.R.Forst. et G.Forst.



Brief Description

Small bushy tree with (usually) 7 thin finely-toothed leaflets in a fan on a long stalk. Flowers in a diffuse cream spray

Flora Category

Vascular - Native

NVS Species Code


The National Vegetation Survey (NVS) Databank is a physical archive and electronic databank containing records of over 94,000 vegetation survey plots - including data from over 19,000 permanent plots. NVS maintains a standard set of species code abbreviations that correspond to standard scientific plant names from the Ngä Tipu o Aotearoa - New Zealand Plants database.

Structural Class

Dicotyledonous Trees & Shrubs


Endemic. Widespread. North, South and Stewart Islands.


Lowland to montane forest (sealevel to 1000 m a.s.l.).


Dioecious(?) small tree to 8 m. Trunk irregularly branched; bark greenish, finely ridged and with scattered prominent lenticels. Petioles terete, to 25 cm long, sheathing branchlet, reddish. Petiolules to 2 cm, reddish. Leaves alternate, palmate, with (3)-10 leaflets (us. 7), upper surface evenly green in adult, underside pale, shiny, purplish in juvenile. Terminal leaflet to 20 cm long; lateral leaflets decreasing in size; obovate-cuneate, tip acuminate to obtuse; margins sharply serrate in adult, irregularly lobed to pinnatifid in juvenile. Inflorescence a panicle, axillary (occ. cauline), branches many, spreading, to 35 cm; bracts and bactlets small. Umbels many, up to 10 flowers in each; peduncles subsessile to 10 mm long, pedicels shorter. Flowers greenish cream, c. 7 mm diam. Petals 5(-6), acute. Stamens 5, filaments c. = petals. Style branches 5 (or more), connate below forming an irregular disc. Fruit subglobose,c. 3.5 mm diam., fleshy, dark purple when ripe, containing (5-)7-10(-11) seeds. Seed 2-2.5 mm.

Similar Taxa

Vegetatively often confused with Pseudopanax species, particularly five-finger (Pseudopanax arboreus). The leaflets of Pseudopanax species are thicker, smaller, and with larger teeth on the margin.



Flower Colours





Not Threatened

Chromosome No.

2n = 24

Endemic Taxon


Endemic Genus


Endemic Family


This page last updated on 17 Jan 2014