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FNA | Family List | FNA Vol. 3 | Moraceae | Ficus

5. Ficus benjamina Linnaeus, Mant. Pl. 129. 1767.

Weeping fig

Urostigma benjamina (Linnaeus) Miquel

Trees , evergreen, to 10 m. Roots adventitious, occasionally hanging. Bark gray, smooth. Branchlets brown, glabrous. Leaves: stipules 0.8-1.2 cm; petiole 0.5-2(-3) cm. Leaf blade oblong, elliptic, lanceolate, or ovate, 4-6(-11) × 1.5-6 cm, nearly leathery, base rounded or cuneate, margins entire, apex acuminate or cuspidate; surfaces abaxially and adaxially glabrous; basal veins 1(-2) pairs, short; lateral veins (6-)12(-14) pairs, regularly spaced, uniform; secondary veins prominent. Syconia solitary or paired, sessile or subsessile, orange, yellow, or dark red, nearly globose, 8-12 × 7-10 mm, glabrous; subtending bracts 2-3, crescent-shaped, 0.5-1.5 mm, glabrous; ostiole closed by 3 small, flat, apical bracts 1.5-2 mm wide, umbonate.

Flowering all year. Disturbed thickets and hammocks; 0-10 m; introduced; Fla.; West Indies (Lesser Antilles); native to Asia.

Ficus benjamina is commonly cultivated as a houseplant. The name probably refers to the supposed relation of the plant to the source of a resin or benzoin procured from the Orient in antiquity.


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