An evergreen, medium or large tree of the moist tropical forests, it is hardy and fast growing, up to 30m in height. It develops numerous descending aerial roots to form a banyan. The Indian Rubber is a type of fig tree. It can be distinguished from other fig trees by its young leaves which are enclosed in a red sheath. It is able to endure low light conditions and can be kept indoors as a houseplant. It requires little attention and will grow in almost any soil, as long as it has good drainage and is kept moist.
The Indian Rubber was once an economic plant in this region. Its latex was tapped and processed into Gutta Rambong, a type of rubber of inferior quality. After the introduction of the Para Rubber (Hevea brasiliensis), the planting of Indian Rubber and tapping of its latex was slowly phased out. This was because the Para Rubber produced rubber of better quality and could be tapped about six years after being planted, while the Indian Rubber could only be tapped about 15 years after it was planted.