Family • Araliaceae - Schefflera elliptifoliola Merr. - Ch'i-yeh Lien

Scientific names

Schefflera elliptifoliola Merr
Schefflera auranticarpa Elmer ex Merr.

Common names

Galamai (Tag.)
Ch’i-yeh lien (Chin.)


Gen info
Schefflera are shrubs or trees, sometimes climbers or epiphytes, usually with palmately compound leaves. Several recent phylogenetic studies have shown Schefflera is clearly polyphyletic, and that the Asian species belong to sa single, well supported, morphologically coherent clade, which might have to be transferred to some other genera.

There are nearly 1100 species widely distributed in the tropics and subtropics of both hemispheres; about 5 or 6 species endemic in the Philippines.

Galamai is an epiphytic shrub or woody vine, smooth except for more or less hairy inflorescences. Leaves are compound, each with 9 to 11 leaflets. Petioles are 13 to 18 centimeters long, inflated and clasping at the base. Leaflets are elliptic to obovate-elliptic, usually 7 to 13 centimeters in length, occasionally as long as 25 centimeters, 4.5 to 7 centimeters wide, pointed at the apex, rounded at the base, and borne on stalks 3 to 5.5 centimeters long. Panicles are terminal, up to 20 centimeters, with stalks 4 to 10 centimeters long, and with few to many bracts resembling inflated petiolar bases. Flowers are small, 5-parted, 8 to 12 millimeters in length, and borne in rounded clusters (umbels). Fruit is subellipsoid, and 3 to 4 millimeters long, with five cells.


– Found only in the Philippines.
– In primary forests at low and medium altitudes, in Rizal, Laguna, Quezon, and Camarines Provinces in Luzon; and in Catanduanes, Mindoro, and Mindanao.

Parts utilized

· Decoction of leaves used by mothers for drinking and bathing after childbirth.
· Schefflera elliptifoliola or S. insularum is one of the ten indigenous herbal ingredients used in the post-partum ritual of suob. (See: Suob)

Study Findings
• No studies found.