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Products > Pisonia umbellifera 'Variegata'
Pisonia umbellifera 'Variegata' - Map Plant
Image of Pisonia umbellifera 'Variegata'
[2nd Image]
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Shrub
Family: Nyctaginaceae (Four O¹Clock)
Origin: Polynesia (Pacific Ocean)
Evergreen: Yes
Variegated Foliage: Yes
Flower Color: Yellow
Bloomtime: Summer
Synonyms: [Ceodes umbellifera]
Height: 8-12 feet
Width: 8-12 feet
Exposure: Cool Sun/Light Shade
Irrigation (H2O Info): Medium Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 30-32° F
Pisonia umbellifera 'Variegata' (Map Plant) - A 12-foot-tall shrub or small tree with beautiful variegation on the 9 to 16 inch long by up to 6-inch-wide leaves. There is a mottling of light and dark green colors on the leaf with the creamy edges that when first emerging can be suffused with pink. Blooms, which appear in early summer through fall (and often later here in Santa Barbara), are open clusters of fragrant sticky small green flowers tinged with pink. The sticky fruits that follow are responsible for several other common names, Bird Catcher Tree, Birdlime Tree and Umbrella Catchbirdtree as insects and small birds can get stuck to the flowers and fruit. As foliage is the most attractive feature of this plant it is advisable to trim off flowers to prevent birds from getting caught.

Plant in part sun or shade with regular watering. Only hardy to around 30 F but can freeze down to hard wood and resprout as it did in our gardens after 26 ° F. A very attractive plant as a foundation shrub along a path on in a shaded patio where up-close inspection of its interesting leaves can be made. It is native to many Polynesian islands, Southeast Asia, China, Japan and northern Australia. The genus name honors the Dutch physician and naturalist Willem Piso and the specific epithet is from the combination of the Latin words 'umbella' meaning "umbrella" and 'fero' meaning "to carry" in reference to the shape of the inflorescences.

This plant is noted as being a 30 foot plus tree in habitat, however this plant rarely exceeds 6-12 feet in cultivation in southern California, though one of small tree proportions has been noted in a Santa Barbara garden. The current name for this species is Ceodes umbellifera, the name the plant was first described as in 1776 by Johann Reinhold Forster and his son Georg who were the Royal Society scientists aboard the Resolution for James Cook's second Pacific voyage. The genus was merged with Pisonia and resurrected several times before molecular data resurrected Ceodes as the valid name for this plant as accepted by Kew in May 2021. We however retain the name most are familiar with so not to confuse our staff or our customers until most become more aware of this name. 

This information about Pisonia umbellifera 'Variegata' displayed is based on research conducted in our horticultural library and from reliable online resources. We also will relate observations made about it as it grows in our nursery gardens and other gardens we have visited, as well how the crops have performed in containers in our nursery field. We will also incorporate comments that we receive from others and we welcome hearing from anyone with additional information, particularly if they can share any cultural information that would aid others in growing it.