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Japanese Fern Tree


Pavilion, Walkways & Garden Areas

Japanese Fern Tree

Filicium decipiens

  • ​​Common Name: Japanese Fern Tree
  • Scientific Name: Filicium decipiens
  • Family Name: Sapindaceae
  • Origin: India and Tropical East Africa
  • Height: 20’ – 30’
  • Width: 8’ – 10’
  • Growth: slow - moderate
  • Zone: 10A - 11
  • Light Needs: Full sun – Partial shade
  • Salt Tolerance:  unknown
  • Soil/PH/Texture: strongly alkaline (pH 8.6 – 9.0) When planting, prepare the whole with topsoil and composted cow manure.
  • Soil Moisture: Average water, regularly - but do not over water, allow time for the tree to dry out between watering and that the area drains well.
  • Drought Tolerance: moderate
  • Pests/Diseases: no major pest or disease problems
  • Growing Conditions: easy to grow and low maintenance, does not tolerate cold/freezing temperatures, tolerate heat, wind, and exhaust.
  • Characteristics: This small to medium sized tree has unusual leaves that are long and thin and protrude from the stems, making them look fern-like, with a naturally rounded crown. The blooms are white/near white and appear in mid spring to early summer.
  • Propagation: by seed – make sure to deadhead blooms if you do not want it self-seeding
  • Wildlife: unknown
  • Facts: The scientific/botanical name literally means “deceiving fern.” It is not a fern or from japan.
  • Designer Considerations: use as a specimen tree, shade tree, accent, in pairs on the sides of a driveway, or as a backdrop in a garden bed.