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Overview

Comprehensive Description

Miscellaneous Details

"Notes: Plains, Cultivated, Native of Malaysian Region"
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Distribution

Worldwide distribution

Indonesia, the Malayan Peninsula, Burma, India and the E Himalayas
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© Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten and Petra Ballings

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National Distribution

United States

Origin: Exotic

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Unknown/Undetermined

Confidence: Confident

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"Maharashtra: Pune, Raigad, Sindhudurg Kerala: All districts Tamil Nadu: All districts"
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W Yunnan [Bhutan, N India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Sikkim].
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introduced; Fla.; West Indies (Lesser Antilles); Asia (native to India).
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Distribution: India, Nepal, Burma, Malayan Archipelago, Java; introduced and widely cultivated as an ornamental in many countries.
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Himalaya (Nepal to NEFA), Burma, Malaysia; widely cultivated.
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Physical Description

Morphology

Description

A large evergreen, glabrous, upto 30 m tall tree, with a dense crown and spreading branches without prop roots. Trunk massive, 1,5-1.5 m in circumference with copious much butteresed and fluted aerial roots spreading on the ground, bark grayish or reddish brown, young twigs finely puberulous. Leaves with 2.5-6 (-8) cm long petiole; lamina thick, glossy above, oblong or elliptic, (10-) 15-25 (-30) cm long, (4-) 5-15 (-22) cm wide, base cuneate, margins entire, apex obtuse with c. 8-10 mm long acumen; lateral nerves almost parallel, 20-30 (-40) pairs, hardly raised beneath, intercostals absent; cystoliths abundant above, few below; stipules very large, 8-25 cm long often rosy to pinkish-brown. Hypanthodia sessile, in extra axillary pairs below the leaves, pale-greenish, subtended by 3 caducous basal bracts, without internal bristles, apical orifice closed by 3-4 apical bracts. Male flowers: pedicellate, dispersed in the interior of receptacle; sepals (3-) 4, ovate, patent. Female flowers: sessile; sepals 4, free, ovary smooth with subterminal style. Figs ovoid-oblong, 10-12 mm long, 6-8 mm across, pale to yellowish brown.
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Description

Trees, 20-30 m tall, d.b.h. 25-40 cm, epiphytic when young. Bark pale gray, smooth. Branchlets strong. Stipules dark red, ca. 10 cm, membranous; scar conspicuous. Petiole robust, 2-5 cm; leaf blade oblong to elliptic, 8-30 × 7-10 cm, thickly leathery, abaxially pale green, adaxially dark green and shiny, base broadly cuneate, margin entire, apex acute; secondary veins many, closely parallel, inconspicuous. Figs axillary on leafless branchlets, paired, yellowish green, ovoid-ellipsoid, ca. 10 × 5-8 mm, subsessile; involucral bracts hoodlike, caducous, scar conspicuous. Male, gall, and female flowers within same fig. Male flowers: scattered among other flowers, pedicellate; calyx lobes 4, ovate; stamen 1; filament absent; anther ovoid-ellipsoid. Gall flowers: sepals 4; ovary ovoid, smooth; style subapical, curved. Female flowers: sessile; style persistent, long; stigma enlarged, ± capitate. Achenes ovoid, tuberculate. Fl. winter.
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Description

Trees , evergreen, to 12 m, epiphytic when young. Roots aerial, abundant. Bark gray, smooth or slightly roughened. Branchlets greenish brown, glabrous. Leaves: stipules 3-10 cm; petiole 2.5-10 cm. Leaf blade oblong-elliptic to obovate, 9-30 × 5-12 cm, leathery, base rounded, margins entire, apex abruptly short-acuminate or apiculate; surfaces abaxially and adaxially glabrous; basal veins 1(-2) pairs; lateral veins 10 or more, parallel; secondary veins inconspicuous. Syconia paired, sessile, greenish yellow, oblong-ovoid, ca. 2 × ca. 1.5 cm, glabrous; subtending bracts caducous, leaving annual scar, entirely enclosing young syconia, glabrous; ostiole closed by 3 apical bracts, umbonate.
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Diagnostic Description

Diagnostic

Habit: Tree
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Synonym

Ficus cordata Kunth & Boucharlet; F. skytinodermis Summerhayes; F. taeda Kunth & Boucharlet; Urostigma circumscissum Miquel; U. elasticum (Roxburgh) Miquel; U. karet Miquel; U. odoratum Miquel.
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Synonym

Macrophthalma elastica (Roxburgh ex Hornemann) Gasparrini; Urostigma elasticum (Roxburgh ex Hornemann) Miquel; Visiania elastica (Roxburgh ex Hornemann) Gasparrini
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Ecology

Habitat

Disturbed sites; 0-10m.
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800-1500 m.
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Associations

Foodplant / pathogen
gregarious, immersed pycnidium of Phomopsis coelomycetous anamorph of Diaporthe cinerascens infects and damages Ficus elastica
Remarks: season: spring, summer

In Great Britain and/or Ireland:
Foodplant / gall
Gynaikothrips ficorum causes gall of live, rolled leaf of Ficus elastica

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Life History and Behavior

Cyclicity

Flowering/Fruiting

Flowering all year.
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Flower/Fruit

Fl. & Fr. Per.: March-April.
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Ficus elastica

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Ficus elastica

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 1
Specimens with Barcodes: 14
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

National NatureServe Conservation Status

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: NNA - Not Applicable

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: GNR - Not Yet Ranked

Reasons: Native of Tropical Asia from India to Malaya. Widely cultivated in tropical regions, sometimes escaping, and as a potted ornamental in temperate regions. Planted in southern Florida, Cuba, Hispaniola, Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands, Guadeloupe, and Dutch West Indies. Also from Mexico and South America. Planted for ornament and shade along streets and in parks in Puerto Rico.

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Wikipedia

Ficus elastica

"Rubber bush" redirects here. For the auto part, see rubber bushing.

Ficus elastica, also called the rubber fig, rubber bush, rubber tree, rubber plant, or Indian rubber bush is a species of plant in the fig genus, native to northeast India, Nepal, Bhutan, Burma, China (Yunnan), Malaysia, and Indonesia.[1]

Description[edit]

Leaves of Ficus elastica

It is a large tree in the banyan group of figs, growing to 30–40 metres (98–131 ft) (rarely up to 60 metres or 200 feet) tall, with a stout trunk up to 2 metres (6.6 ft) in diameter. The trunk develops aerial and buttressing roots to anchor it in the soil and help support heavy branches. It has broad shiny oval leaves 10–35 centimetres (3.9–13.8 in) long and 5–15 centimetres (2.0–5.9 in) broad; leaf size is largest on young plants (occasionally to 45 centimetres or 18 inches long), much smaller on old trees (typically 10 centimetres or 3.9 inches long). The leaves develop inside a sheath at the apical meristem, which grows larger as the new leaf develops. When it is mature, it unfurls and the sheath drops off the plant. Inside the new leaf, another immature leaf is waiting to develop.

Pollination and fruiting[edit]

As with other members of the genus Ficus, the flowers require a particular species of fig wasp to pollinate it in a co-evolved relationship. Because of this relationship, the rubber plant does not produce highly colourful or fragrant flowers to attract other pollinators. The fruit is a small yellow-green oval fig 1 centimetre (0.39 in) long, barely edible[citation needed]; it will only contain viable seed where the relevant fig wasp species is present.

Cultivation and uses[edit]

In parts of India, people guide the roots of the tree over chasms to eventually form living bridges.[2]

Ornamental[edit]

Ficus elastica is grown around the world as an ornamental plant, outside in frost-free climates from the tropical to the Mediterranean and inside in colder climates as a houseplant. Although it is grown in Hawaii, the species of fig wasp required to allow it to spread naturally is not present there.

In cultivation, it prefers bright sunlight but not hot temperatures. It has a high tolerance for drought, but prefers humidity and thrives in wet, tropical conditions. Ornamental hybrids (such as Robusta) have been derived from Ficus elastica with broader, stiffer and more upright leaves than the wild form. Many such hybrids exist, often with variegated leaves.

The figs of F. elastica

Most cultivated plants are produced by asexual propagation. This can be done by planting cuttings or air layering. The latter method requires the propagator to cut a slit in the plant's stem. The wound, which oozes with the plant's latex, is packed with rooting hormone and wrapped tightly with moist sphagnum moss. The whole structure is wrapped in plastic and left for a few months. When it is unwrapped, new roots have developed from the plant's auxiliary buds. The stem is severed and the new plant is potted on its own.

Latex[edit]

Ficus elastica yields a milky white latex, a chemical compound separate from its sap and carried and stored in different cells. This latex was formerly used to make rubber,[1] but it should not be confused with the Pará rubber tree, the main commercial source of latex for rubber making. This latex is also an irritant to the eyes and skin and can be fatal if taken internally.[citation needed]

Gallery[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Zhengyi Wu, Zhe-Kun Zhou & Michael G. Gilbert. "Ficus elastica". Flora of China. Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA. Retrieved 29 August 2013. 
  2. ^ Living Root Bridges
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Notes

Comments

Ficus elastica is commonly cultivated. It has not been collected recently in the area of the flora.
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Comments

Much grown indoors in its juvenile state as decorative house plant. The most common indoor varieties known in our area are: a) var. decora which has glossy dark green leaves red beneath and ivory midrib. b) var. variegate has light green leaves with white or yellow margins. C) var. doescheri has leaves with creamy-yellow midrib, pink petioles and green margins. Formerly important and cultivated in India as a source of natural rubber.
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Comments

This species is cultivated as a house plant around the world. In China it was also formerly a source of rubber.
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