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Scientific Name Ficus elastica


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50 Common Trees in Hong Kong 1



Scientific Name

Ficus elastica

Name in Chinese

印度橡樹

Common Name

India-rubber tree

Introduction

Ficus elastica, originated from Northern India, Malaysia and Indonesia. It is now cultivated throughout the world. In Hong Kong, it grows up to 20 metres in height. However, in tropical forests, some even reach a height of 30 metres. It prefers protected site with good damp soil. It is therefore an excellent plant for filling up large empty spaces in parks and gardens.

Special Features

The terminal leaf bud is covered by a pointed pink stipule, which will fall off as the leaf expands. All parts of the tree contain white sticky latex. Both the latex and the stipule are the distinctive features of the whole genus Ficus. It can also be easily recognized with its long-spreading branches and the aerial roots that drop from the trunk and the large branches.

To Learn More

In cold regions, it is often planted as indoor potted plant. All parts of the tree contain white sticky latex, which can be gathered to make hard rubber.






Characteristics

Whole

Plant

Family

Moraceae

Height

Up to 20 metres

Nature

of Leaf

Evergreen

Others

Trunk smooth, with aerial roots dropping from the trunk and the large branches

Photo

Tai Po Fire Station

Branch

  • Long and spreading branches.

Bark

  • Surface smooth.

Leaf

  • Simple leaves, alternate, up to 25 cm in length.

  • Leaves elliptical, apex rounded with a small pointed tip, base tapering, margin entire.

  • Texture smooth, leathery. Veins indistinct.

  • Leaf bud is covered by a pointed pink stipule, which will fall off as the leaf expands.

Flower

  • Flowers unisexual, minute, produced inside a fig.

  • Flowering throughout the year except winter; Flowers will not appear in its first 20 years.

  • Male flowers: consist of 2 to 5 narrow purplish petals; Female flowers: consist of 2 to 5 petals.

  • A special kind of fig wasp helps in pollination.

Fruit

  • In Hong Kong, the figs cannot develop fully as the pollinating insect is absent.




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