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Family Araliaceae
Schefflera insularum (Seem.) Harms

Scientific names  Common names 
Aralia octophylla Blanco   [illegitimate] Galamai-amo (Tag.) 
Heptapleurum insularum Seem.  Kalangkang (P. Bis.) 
Polyscias digitata Blanco  Kulolo (Sub.) 
Schefflera decidua Elmer   [Invalid] Pararan (Bag.) 
Schefflera digitata (Blanco) Merr   [illegitimate]  
Schefflera insularum (Seem) Harms  
Galamai is a local name for three different species of genus Schefflera, distinguished from each other by the leaf numbers and features: (1) Schefflera elliptifoliola Merr. (Galamai) (2) Schefflera insularum Seem. (Galamai-amo, kalangkang, kulolo, pararan) (3)Schefflera odorata Merr. (Galamai-amo, kalakang, lima-lima).
Galama-amo i is a local name for shared by (1) Schefflera insularum Seem. (Galamai-amo, kalangkang, kulolo, pararan) (2)Schefflera odorata Merr. (Galamai-amo, kalakang, lima-lima).
Schefflera insularum (Seem.) Harms is an accepted name The Plant List

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 a single, well supported, morphologically coherent clade, which might have to be transferred to some other genera. (1)

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-amo is a woody vine growing 2 to 6 meters or more. Leaves are palmately compound, smooth, crowded at the ends of the branches, with 7 to 9 leaflets. Leaflets are of different sizes in the same leaf, oblong or oblong elliptic, 10 to 24 centimeters in length, 3 to 8.5 centimeters wide, and upon 5- to 7-centimeter-long stalks, narrowly pointed at the apex and pointed at the base. Flowers are pale white, umbellately clustered upon short stalks, 1 centimeter long, and borne on terminal or subterminal compound inflorescences 15 to 30 centimeters long. Fruit is orange, ovoid, prominently ridged when dry, 7 to 9 millimeters in diameter.

- Found only in the Philippines.
- Common in primary forests along streams at low altitudes in Laguna, Quezon, Camarines, Albay, and Sorsogon Provinces in Luzon; and in Mindoro, Masbate, Polillo, Catanduanes, Samar, Leyte, Negros, and Mindanao.

- Phytochemical screening of ethanol extracts of leaves yielded alkaloids, phenols, flavonoids, tannins, and terpenoids. (see study below) (4)

Parts utilized

Folkloric uses
• In Mindoro, fresh leaves are pounded and the juice used as purgative.
• Schefflera elliptifoliola or S. insularum is one of the ten indigenous herbal ingredients used in the post-partum ritual of suob. (See:
• Leaf infusion used as bath for spasmodic pains. (3)

Cytotoxic, Antibaterial / Leaves:
Study evaluated a leaf extract of Schefflera insularum for cytotoxc, antifungal and antibacterial activity. The extract only exhibited activity against gram-positive bacterium Staphylococcus aureus. Study showed high cytotoxicity on Brine Shrimp Lethality assay. (5)


Updated October 2018 / April 2016

IMAGE SOURCE: / Photo / Araliaceae : Schefflera / Leaf /Copyright © 2004 by Kevin C. Nixon (contact: kcn2@cornell.edu) [ref. DOL8102] / Non-Commercial Use / Click on photo to see source image / Phytoimages.siu.edu

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Schefflera (Genus) / Overview / ZipcodeZoo
Schefflera insularum / Synonyms / The Plant List
Ethnopharmacological Study of the Ati Tribe in Nagpana, Barotac Viejo, Iloilo / D A Madulid, F J M Gaerlan, E M Romero and E M G Agoo / Acta Manilana 38 (1989) pp 25-40.
Phytochemical Screening, Cytotoxicity, Anti-Fungal, Anti-bacterial Activity of Galamai-Amo (Schefflera insularum) Leaves Extract on Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosan, and 3 Fungi Aspergillus niger, Fusarium oxyssporum and Rhizopus oryzae / Ernest John C. Racaza, Renz Wynn Corbin, Eusssevea Anne R. Abacajan, Patricia Marie Dabon (contact person: tciadabz@gmail.com), K. A. Manayon, A. M. Racaza, Kirstein C Zamora / September 2018, Talisay City Science High School

It is not uncommon for links on studies/sources to change. Copying and pasting the information on the search window or using the DOI (if available) will often redirect to the new link page.

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