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Products > Heptapleurum calyptratum
Heptapleurum calyptratum - Mallet Flower

Note: This plant is not currently for sale. This is an archive page preserved for informational use.  
Image of Heptapleurum calyptratum
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Tree
Family: Araliaceae (Ginsengs)
Origin: Asia, Southeastern (Asia)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Green
Bloomtime: Winter
Synonyms: [Schefflera pueckleri, Tupidanthus calyptratus]
Height: 15-20 feet
Width: 15-25 feet
Exposure: Sun or Shade
Irrigation (H2O Info): Medium Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 25-30 F
Heptapleurum calyptratum (Mallet Flower) - A tropical looking evergreen tree native that grows to 15-40 feet tall with red-stalked palmately-lobed leaves composed of 7 to 12 large glossy ovate leaves that radiate out and then droop over. The green flower buds, in groups of 6 to 10 begin developing in spring and summer. In late fall to winter leathery caps drop off of the 1 inch wide 4-sided base of the flowers to expose the many green stamens. This base turns brown and persists on the plant, looking like little mallets, giving rise to the common name "mallet flower".

Plant in full sun to light shade and give moderate water, less so when growing in shade. Hardy to about 28 F. A great small to medium sized tree for near frost-free locations in full or part sun. Although interesting in bloom, this plant is best known for its attractive foliage and is not nearly as showy in flower as the red flowering octopus tree, Schefflera actinophylla, which it resembles otherwise.

Heptapleurum calyptratum grows naturally in wet tropical forests from Assam in northeastern India, to South Yunnan, China and Indo-China. It was long grown in California as Tupidanthus calyptratus, which was a monotypic genus with the name from the Greek words 'typis' meaning "mallet" and 'anthos' meaning a flower, in reference to the shape of the flower buds and the specific epithet from Latin meaning meaning "bearing a calyptra", the caplike structure covering the flowers. In 1989 botanists moved the plant in into the large genus Schefflera as Schefflera pueckleri with the genus name honoring Jakob Scheffler, a physician in Poland. Most recently this plant, with many other plants previously called Schefflera, was renamed as a species of Heptapleurum, with the specific epithet returning to a variation of that when it was a Tupidanthus as Heptapleurum calyptratum. The name for this genus comes from the Greek words 'hepta' meaning "seven" and 'pleuron' meaning "side" or "rib" in reference to the number of leaflets of the type plant. We grew this plant from 1989 until 2013 and will forever still think of this plant as Tupidanthus calyptratus. 

This information about Heptapleurum calyptratum 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.