Skip to content

Plant Finder


Bird Catcher Tree

Pisonia umbellifera 'Variegata'

Add To My Wish List

print page
Bird Catcher Tree (Pisonia umbellifera 'Variegata') at Roger's Gardens

Bird Catcher Tree

Bird Catcher Tree

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Bird Catcher Tree (Pisonia umbellifera 'Variegata') at Roger's Gardens

Bird Catcher Tree foliage

Bird Catcher Tree foliage

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  12 feet

Spread:  12 feet

Sunlight:  full sun  partial shade 

Hardiness Zone:  9b

Other Names:  Map Plant, syn. Heimerliriodendron


This large shrub or small tree has beautifully variegated, large evergreen leaves in shades of green and white; sticky seed pods may trap insects or small birds, and may be removed; best with afternoon shade; an excellent house plant in bright light

Ornamental Features

Bird Catcher Tree features dainty clusters of creamy white cup-shaped flowers with pink overtones at the ends of the branches in early summer, which emerge from distinctive buttery yellow flower buds. It has attractive white-variegated dark green foliage with hints of grayish green. The large oval leaves are highly ornamental and remain dark green throughout the winter. The fruit is not ornamentally significant.

Landscape Attributes

Bird Catcher Tree is a dense multi-stemmed evergreen shrub with an upright spreading habit of growth. Its relatively coarse texture can be used to stand it apart from other landscape plants with finer foliage.

This shrub will require occasional maintenance and upkeep, and should only be pruned after flowering to avoid removing any of the current season's flowers. It is a good choice for attracting birds, bees and butterflies to your yard. It has no significant negative characteristics.

Bird Catcher Tree is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Accent
  • Hedges/Screening
  • General Garden Use
  • Container Planting

Planting & Growing

Bird Catcher Tree will grow to be about 12 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 12 feet. It has a low canopy, and is suitable for planting under power lines. It grows at a medium rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for 40 years or more.

This shrub does best in full sun to partial shade. It prefers to grow in average to moist conditions, and shouldn't be allowed to dry out. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution. This is a selected variety of a species not originally from North America. It can be propagated by cuttings; however, as a cultivated variety, be aware that it may be subject to certain restrictions or prohibitions on propagation.

Bird Catcher Tree makes a fine choice for the outdoor landscape, but it is also well-suited for use in outdoor pots and containers. Its large size and upright habit of growth lend it for use as a solitary accent, or in a composition surrounded by smaller plants around the base and those that spill over the edges. It is even sizeable enough that it can be grown alone in a suitable container. Note that when grown in a container, it may not perform exactly as indicated on the tag - this is to be expected. Also note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden.

Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight
Accent  Screening  Garden  Container 
Flowers  Foliage Color  Attracts Wildlife 
Ornamental Features