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Strangler Fig
Ficus aurea

Family: Moraceae (mor-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Ficus (FY-kus) (Info)
Species: aurea (AW-re-uh) (Info)
Synonym:Ficus aurea var. latifolia
Synonym:Ficus ciliolosa

Category:

Trees

Tropicals and Tender Perennials

Height:

over 40 ft. (12 m)

Spacing:

over 40 ft. (12 m)

Hardiness:

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade

Danger:

Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction

Bloom Color:

Inconspicuous/none

Bloom Time:

Mid Spring

Late Spring/Early Summer

Foliage:

Grown for foliage

Evergreen

Leathery-Textured

Other details:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Soil pH requirements:

5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Non-patented

Propagation Methods:

From seed; direct sow after last frost

By simple layering

Seed Collecting:

Unknown - Tell us

Regional

This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

San Diego, California

Big Pine Key, Florida

Boca Raton, Florida

Cocoa Beach, Florida

Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Fort Pierce, Florida

Holmes Beach, Florida

Miami, Florida (2 reports)

Naples, Florida

North Palm Beach, Florida

Palm Bay, Florida

Sarasota, Florida (2 reports)

Austin, Texas

show all

Gardeners' Notes:

2
positives
2
neutrals
0
negatives
RatingContent
Neutral

On Nov 10, 2010, miamiswamper from Miami, FL (Zone 10b) wrote:

I'd just like to say that this tree doesn't actually strangle and/or choke the tree it's growing on. Yes it does cause it's death but by overshadowing it and not allowing photosynthesis to take place.

Positive

On Mar 3, 2007, ForrestGump from Melbourne, FL wrote:

I love this tree. I found about 5 of them growing directly on a big *rock*, apparently where birds had landed and relieved themselves. I have heard that the seeds will only germinate if they pass through an animal's digestive tract. It's amazing. They just grew in the cracks of the rock.

I ripped them off, and stuck them in pots and watered everyday. They grew like weeds, and reached over 6 feet in about 3 years. The wood is very soft, but I imagine it can be pruned so that a few strong limbs will grow.

I agree with the previous comments. These trees get HUGE, so plant them in an open area. Oh, and NOT near your drainfields because fig trees seek water.

Now go get 'em.

Positive

On Jul 28, 2004, NativePlantFan9 from Boca Raton, FL (Zone 10a) wrote:

The Strangler Fig is an attractive, sprawling banyan tree, native to the coastal hammocks, barrier islands and inland hammocks of central and southern Florida and the Keys. It is widespread in South America and the Caribbean as well. It provides food for wildlife (reddish-brown to purple berries) as well as shelter in its sprawling branches and leaves. Some specimens can be bought in pots from nurseries and be grown outdoors in your yard from zones 9 and below. However, a large amount of space (an acre or more) will be needed as this attractive banyan can get up to 50 feet tall and over 15 feet wide! Its trunk reaches a diameter of about three feet. I recommend this plant if you have lots of space!

FACTS - This plant starts its life growing on a host tree, notably the Florid... read more

Neutral

On Jun 7, 2004, TamiMcNally from Lake Placid, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

Usually starts off as an epiphyte with lots aerial roots.

Roots can be invasive around septic tanks and drainfields.

Fast growth rate

Produces red or yellow figs