SelecTree: Tree Detail
Photo Locations: Fairchild Tropical Botanical Garden - Miami, FL and Oahu, Hilo, Maui, HI
Fern tree is widely planted around Honolulu as a street tree, a purpose for which its nonaggressive root system and compact growth form suit it. It has a dense crown which make it an attractive shade tree. While it is easy to grow,some people appear to be allergic to fern trees in flower. The purple fruit also stains sidewalks and driveways, creating a maintenance problem. Birds also disperse the seeds into vacant lots. Its continued use as a landscape ornamental should be discouraged.
It is a good candidate for a large privacy screen or windbreak. The tree is commonly cultivated in tropical and subtropical gardens and landscapes for its lush green, eye-catching foliage, compact size, uniform shape and the shade it gives. Filicium decipiens has a HPWRA (Hawai'i Pacific Weed Risk Assessment) score of 5 (Evaluate).
Native to Tropical Africa and southern India.
Additional Common Names
FERN TREE, JAPANESE FERN TREE
Erect with a High Canopy.
Has Evergreen foliage.
Height: 15 - 35 feet.
Width: 15 - 25 feet.
Growth Rate: 12 Inches per Year.
Leaves Pinnately Compound with a Winged Rachis, Dark Green, No Change, Evergreen.
Flowers Inconspicuous. White. Flowers in Spring. Has perfect flowers (male and female parts in each flower).
Prolific, Red, Dark Purple Drupe, Very Small (Under 0.25 inches), fruiting in Spring or Summer Wildlife use it.
Bark Light Brown, Blocky, Furrowed or Scaly.
Shading Capacity Rated as Dense in Leaf.
Litter Issue is Wet Fruit and Leaves.
Tree Site Conditions & Constraints
Sunset Zones H1, H2.
USDA Hardiness Zones 10 - 12.
Exposure Full Sun to Partial Shade.
Wet to Moist Soil.
Clay or Loam Texture.
Salinity Tolerance is Good to Moderate on Coast.
Seaside Tolerance is Medium.
Health, Safety & Environmental Concerns
Allergy Health Hazard.
Desirable Wildlife Plant.
Attracts Birds and Bees.
Wildlife use Fruit.
Special Uses & Values
Shade Tree, Screen, Street Tree.
Cite this tree:
SelecTree. "Filicium decipiens Tree Record." 1995-2020. Aug 14, 2020.
< https://selectree.calpoly.edu/tree-detail/filicium-decipiens >