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Plant Families / Ficus


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Ficus

Ficus is a large genus including about 900 species of trees, shrubs, and vines. Evergreen or deciduous, they are distributed throughout the world’s tropics. The common fig (Ficus carica) is cultivated for its sweet, pear-shaped, edible fruits. The weeping fig (F. benjamina), and some climbing species such as the climbing fig (F. pumila) are popular ornamentals.

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Ficus benjamina (Weeping Fig)

Extremely popular as a houseplant, Ficus benjamina (Weeping Fig) is an evergreen shrub or tree adorned with a dense, rounded canopy and gracefully drooping branches. Glossy, slender-pointed ovate leaves, 5 in. long (12 cm) generously clothe the long branches. Tiny, deep red figs, turning purplish black, appear on outdoor plants but they rarely appear on indoor plants.

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Ficus carica 'Brown Turkey' (Fig)

Noted for its cold-hardiness, Ficus carica 'Brown Turkey' (Fig) is a large deciduous shrub or small tree with a spreading crown clothed in bold, deeply lobed leaves. Insignificant flowers form inside a hollow receptacle in spring that, when mature, enlarges and becomes fleshy. It becomes an edible fruit, 4 in. long (10 cm), at first green, but purplish when ripe.

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Ficus carica 'Celeste' (Fig)

Noted for its cold-hardiness, Ficus carica 'Celeste' (Fig) is a deciduous multi-branched shrub adorned with large, thick, deeply lobed leaves, up to 1 ft. long (30 cm). Insignificant flowers form inside a hollow receptacle in spring that, when mature, enlarges and becomes fleshy. It becomes an edible, small to medium sized fruit, at first green, but purplish-bronze when ripe.

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Ficus carica 'Chicago Hardy' (Fig)

Noted for its cold-hardiness, Ficus carica 'Chicago Hardy' (Fig) is a large deciduous shrub or small tree with a spreading crown clothed in large, leathery, deeply lobed leaves. Insignificant flowers form inside a hollow receptacle in spring that, when mature, enlarges and becomes fleshy. It becomes an edible, medium-sized fruit, at first green, but deep purple when ripe.

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Ficus pumila (Creeping Fig)

Vigorous and fast-growing, Ficus pumila (Creeping Fig) is an evergreen self-clinging climber or trailer that grows relentlessly, covering everything it encounters (walls, trellises and other structures) by adhesive aerial rootlets. Creeping Fig is clothed in rich green, ovate, heart-shaped leaves, 2 in. long (5 cm), on its climbing stems. The foliage is elliptic, thicker, shinier and larger, 4 in. long (10 cm), on fruit-bearing stems.

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