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Ficus benjamina L.

Family Name: Moraceae
Synonyms: Ficus waringiana, Ficus schlechteri
Common Name: Weeping Fig, Java Willow, Java Tree, Beringin, Benjamin Tree, Small-Leaved Fig, Small-Leaved Rubber Plant, Benjamin's Fig, Malayan Banyan, Java Fig, Tropical Laurel, Weeping Laurel, Waringin, Ara Waringin, Jejawi, 垂叶榕, 小叶榕
Full Sun Semi Shade Moderate Water Bird-Attracting Plant Suitable for Bonsai Indoor Plant Suitable for Roadsides Shrub Tree

Name

Family Name
Genus Epithet
Species Epithet
Name Authority
Name Status (botanical)
Synonyms
Common Names
Comments

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants) (Dicotyledon)
Plant Growth Form Shrub, Tree (Medium (16m-30m))
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic
Plant Shape Rounded
Maximum Height 20 m
Maximum Plant Spread / Crown Width 18 m to 21 m

Biogeography

Native Distribution Indian subcontinent, Southern China, Taiwan, Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Australia (Northern Territory, Queensland), Southwestern Pacific (Solomon Islands)
Native Habitat Terrestrial (Primary Rainforest, Secondary Rainforest, Monsoon Forest)
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical, Sub-Tropical / Monsoonal

Description and Ethnobotany

Trunk The trunk is somewhat pale and smooth and can grow to 3m in girth on mature, outdoor trees.
Foliage Leaves are ovate, with an aristate apex, and with slightly undulate margins. The abaxial surface is glossy and lighter green, while the adaxial surface is duller. They are about 4.5 to 6cm long, and about 3.5cm wide. They droop from the branches, hence the common name Weeping Fig. As will other Ficus species, the foliage and branches exude a white, latex-like sap when wounded.
Fruits The figs of this species are small (about 3cm in diameter), globular, red or reddish orange in colour and are typically borne in pairs on the leaf axils.
Others - Plant Morphology A common indoor tree, as well as along some roads and in older gardens and private compounds. Indoors, it is a slender-trunked treelet with weeping branches.Outdoors, it can become a large strangling fig tree with weeping branches and foliage and multiple trunks when mature. Propagation:Propagation by marcotting or by stem cuttings.
Cultivation Prefers full sun to partial shade, and moderate watering. For outdoor plants, little special care is needed. For indoor plants, care should be taken not to ovewater or leaf drop and possibly root rot will occur. Situate in as bright a position as possible but away from direct sunlight. Light levels, watering and humidity should be kept as constant as possible to avoid leaf drop.
Ethnobotanical Uses [Others]: The figs are not considered edible but are non-toxic, and attractive to birds. They can be grown in reptile vivariums for landscaping and shelter as well as for food.

Landscaping Features

Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Fruits
Plant & Rootzone Preference - Tolerance Fertile Loamy Soils, Well-Drained Soils
Landscape Uses Container Planting, Bonsai, Interiorscape/ Indoor Plant, General, Roadside Tree / Palm, Shade Providing Tree / Palm, Hedge / Screening, Topiary
Thematic Landscaping Naturalistic Garden
SGMP Treatment
Species record last updated on: 18 February 2022.
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