I obtained this small tree from a friend. It has spiky, shiny leaves, soft to the touch, and delicate stems. New leaves are lime green, gradually darkening as they grow larger. Older leaves are broad at the base and narrow as they get closer to the tip. The original trunk was cut, revealing a hollow center, almost like bamboo.


I've owned the plant for about 1 year, and in that time it hasn't produced fruit or shown any signs of flowering. Broken branches placed in water haven't grown roots. I live in Southern Canada, and I'm reasonably certain the plant is tropical or semi-tropical (not native).

Close up of leaves


  • Welcome to the site! These are great pictures and description of your pretty tree! Someone here may know exactly what it is from looking at it, but with identification questions, the more information, the better the answer, and one of the most important is knowing where you live. Would you please add that to your question? Also, has it ever had flowers, fruit or berries? Thanks! Commented Aug 20, 2015 at 3:44

1 Answer 1


This is a tropical plant from India that is more commonly used as a houseplant in North America. The Ming aralia or Polyscias fruticosa is a slow growing plant that has a cylindrical shape. The finely divided foliage and the exposed trunk are points of interest.

  • Indoors it is likely to get two meters tall(~6 feet)
  • requires high light that is filtered. Not a hot southern exposure, unobstructed morning sun or a few feet back from a south facing window that has some blinds or translucent drapes
  • I never saw these plants flower indoors in fifteen years of interior landscaping
  • can be subject to mealy bug but usually trouble free, check for white cottony tufts in the axils of the leaves and apply soap and water as required
  • in hot dry conditions you might see spider mites
  • cuttings from newer growth that has a bit of woody trunk will root in damp perlite or water
  • benefits from tip pruning to keep the growth dense
  • Excellent answer by kevinsky...please make sure you did not bury the stem where the bark is below the soil! Got to keep this stem dry. No soil above the root line! This pot is a headache!! After watering make sure you dump excess water out of this saucer!! I'd get a grow light to assist this plant to continue and look so healthy!! Allow to dry out a bit before watering. Every now and then take this plant to the shower to be washed off and soaked. Allow to drain before replacing. Otherwise, buy distilled water as the tap water is full of salt and other chemicals!!
    – stormy
    Commented Aug 22, 2015 at 23:02

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