Monday, January 16, 2012

Ficus aurea – Native Strangler Fig

Ficus aurea
Ficus aurea was named for its pale green leaves with yellowish veins, resulting in a "golden" appearance.

The scientific name of the native strangler fig, Ficus aurea, literally means the golden fig, and here it is, looking very golden indeed, at the Juno Dunes Natural Area in Palm Beach County. Although typically found growing in tropical hammocks and the edges of mangroves and swamps, it sometimes occurs, quite unexpectedly, in sand scrub.

It is a remarkably easy native tree to grow from seeds or cuttings and it is tolerant of a wide variety of cultural conditions. However, it has an invasive root system that will quickly find, and clog, septic systems as well as leaky pipes or sewers. Thus, it should never be cultivated anywhere in the vicinity of septic systems, plumbing, and sewers.

Image and text © 2012 Rufino Osorio

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