SelecTree: Tree Detail

FERN TREE
Filicium decipiens

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Photo Locations: Fairchild Tropical Botanical Garden - Miami, FL and Oahu, Hilo, Maui, HI

General Notes

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.

Family: Sapindaceae

Additional Common Names

FERN TREE, JAPANESE FERN TREE

Tree Characteristics

Erect with a High Canopy.

Rounded Shape.

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.

Drought tolerant.

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 >

This tree is not part of the SelecTree Nursery Connection. If you would like to see this tree listed, or know of a nursery that sells it, please contact us at ufei@calpoly.edu.