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Ficus benjamina


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


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

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


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.
Fruit 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
Landscape Uses Container Planting, Suitable for Bonsai, Interiorscape/ Indoor Plant, General, Suitable for Roadsides, Shade Providing Tree / Palm, Hedge / Screening, Topiary
Thematic Landscaping Naturalistic Garden
SGMP Treatment

Fauna, Pollination and Dispersal

Fauna Pollination Dispersal Associated Fauna Bird-Attracting
Pollination Method(s) Biotic (Fauna) (Insects (Ant, Beetle, Fly, Thrip, Wasp))
Seed or Spore Dispersal Biotic (Fauna)

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Semi-Shade, Full Sun
Water Preference Moderate Water
Plant Growth Rate Fast, Moderate
Rootzone Tolerance Fertile Loamy Soils, Well-Drained Soils
Maintenance Requirements Moderate
Diseases May be infected by scales, but is resistant to leaf thrips which deform new leaves on some other fig species.
Pest(s) Associated with
Propagation Method Seed, Stem Cutting, Air-Layering


Foliage Retention Drought / Semi-Deciduous
Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green
Mature Foliage Texture(s) Smooth, Glossy / Shiny, Leathery
Foliar Modification Stipule
Foliar Type Simple / Unifoliate
Foliar Arrangement Along Stem Alternate
Foliar Shape(s) Non-Palm Foliage (Ovate, Elliptical)
Foliar Venation Pinnate / Net
Foliar Margin Entire, Entire - Wavy / Undulate
Foliar Apex - Tip Caudate
Foliar Base Acute
Typical Foliar Area Notophyll ( 20.25cm2 - 45 cm2 )
Leaf Area Index (LAI) for Green Plot Ratio 3.0 (Tree - Intermediate Canopy)

Non - Foliar and Storage

Trunk Type (Non Palm) Woody
Bark Colour(s) Grey to Greyish-white
Mature Bark Texture Smooth
Stem Type & Modification Woody
Root Type Underground (Tap Root, Fibrous Root), Aboveground (Aerial Root)

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower & Plant Sexuality Unisexual Flowers , Monoecious
Flower Colour(s) Cream / Off-White
Inflorescence Type Syconium
Flowering Habit Polycarpic

Fruit, Seed and Spore

Mature Fruit Colour(s) Orange, Red
Fruit Classification Simple Fruit
Fruit Type Fleshy Fruit , Multiple Syconium (receptacle)

Image Repository



Master ID 1609
Species ID 2902
Flora Disclaimer The information in this website has been compiled from reliable sources, such as reference works on medicinal plants. It is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment and NParks does not purport to provide any medical advice. Readers should always consult his/her physician before using or consuming a plant for medicinal purposes.
Species record last updated on: 06 March 2023.