patatē, patē, seven-finger
Vascular – Native
Trees & Shrubs - Dicotyledons
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.
2n = 24
Current conservation status
The threat classification status of all known New Zealand vascular plant taxa at the rank of species and below were reassessed in 2017 using the New Zealand Threat Classification System (NZTCS) – more information about this can be found on the NZTCS website This report includes a statistical summary and brief notes on changes since 2012 and replaces all previous NZTCS lists for vascular plants. Authors: By Peter J. de Lange, Jeremy R. Rolfe, John W. Barkla, Shannel P. Courtney, Paul D. Champion, Leon R. Perrie, Sarah M. Beadel, Kerry A. Ford, Ilse Breitwieser, Ines Schönberger, Rowan Hindmarsh-Walls, Peter B. Heenan and Kate Ladley. Please note, threat classifications are often suggested by authors when publications fall between NZTCS assessment periods – a suggested threat classification status has not been assessed by the NZTCS panel.
2017 | Not Threatened
Previous conservation statuses
2012 | Not Threatened
2009 | Not Threatened
2004 | Not Threatened
Small bushy tree with (usually) 7 thin finely-toothed leaflets in a fan on a long stalk. Flowers in a diffuse cream spray
Endemic. Widespread. North, South and Stewart Islands.
Lowland to montane forest (sealevel to 1000 m a.s.l.).
Wetland plant indicator status rating
FACU: Facultative Upland
Occasionally is a hydrophyte but usually occurs in uplands (non-wetlands).
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.
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.
schefflera: Named in honuor of Jacob Christian Scheffler, an 18th-century German botanist who wrote about Asarum (wild ginger).
digitata: Divided into fingers
Fact sheet prepared by P.J. de Lange for NZPCN (1 June 2013)
NZPCN Fact Sheet citation
Please cite as: de Lange, P.J. (Year at time of access): Schefflera digitata Fact Sheet (content continuously updated). New Zealand Plant Conservation Network. https://www.nzpcn.org.nz/flora/species/schefflera-digitata/ (Date website was queried)