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Japanese Fern tree - 300 Gal - Filicium DecipiensJapanese Fern tree - 300 Gal - Filicium Decipiens

Filicium Decipiens

Japanese Fern


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Japanese fern tree description

Filicium Decipiens (Japanese fern) is an elegant small tree, reaching 20–25 feet in height. The common name is misleading, since the tree does not occur naturally in Japan. One of its more attractive traits, it’s the dense, rounded crown and straight trunk. With a brownish bark, regularly flaky, peeling to reveal pinkish inner bark.

Furthermore, leaves are dark green, compound, pinnate, with 6–8 pairs of leaflets, opposite or sub-opposite, having a prominent midrib with a leafy wing, 6–8 inches long overall; leaflets are linear oblong, 1 1/2–5 x 1/2–1 inches. The leaf arrangement resembles that of a fern, hence its common name: Japanese fern tree.

Also, flowers are borne at leaf axils in short-stemmed clusters; blooms are white, small, and numerous with a short stem, clusters are 6–8 inches long; besides male and female flowers on separate plants. Fruits are ovoid, shiny, 1/2 inch in diameter with a single seed, used for propagation.

Filicium Decipiens landscape applications

Japanese fern tree is popular in Florida, as it is tolerant of most well-drained soils. The tree is popular thanks to its wide applications in landscaping, as a garden specimen tree, perfect as a small shade tree for a deck or patio, backdrop for a flowerbed, or accent tree. Although, fruit litter is a problem if planted near a sidewalk or driveway.

🌳More popular and beautiful plants: Ligustrum Japonicum tree

Additional information

Common Name

Japanese Fern Tree

Florida Native

No, Not FL Native


East Africa, India, Sri Lanka

Flowering Season


Salt Tolerance

Moderate Salt Tolerance

Drought Tolerance

Moderate Drought Tolerance

Growth Rate

Slow Growth Rate

Light Requirements

Full Sun to Partial Shade

Flower Color


Plant Type



25 gal., 45 gal., 65 gal., 100 gal., 200 gal., 300 gal.