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Florida strangler fig

Botanical Name: Ficus aurea
Family: Moraceae
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Rosales
Genus: Ficus
Species: F. aurea

Synonyms:
*Ficus cabusana Standl. & Steyerm.
*Ficus ciliolosa Link 1822, rejected name
*Ficus cookii Standl.
*Ficus dimidiata Griseb.
*Ficus isophlebia Standl.
*Ficus jimenezii Standl.
*Ficus laterisyce W.C. Burger
*Ficus lundellii Standl.
*Ficus mayana Lundell
*Ficus rigidula Lundell
*Ficus sapotifolia Kunth & C.D.Bouché
*Ficus tecolutensis (Liebm.) Miq.
*Ficus tuerckheimii Standl.
*Ficus venusta Kunth & C.D. Bouché

Common Names: Florida strangler fig (or simply strangler fig), Golden fig, or Higuerón

Habitat: Florida strangler fig is native to the U.S. state of Florida, the northern and western Caribbean, southern Mexico and Central America south to Panama.

Description:
Florida strangler fig is a tree which may reach heights of 30 m (98 ft). It is monoecious: each tree bears functional male and female flowers. The size and shape of the leaves is variable. Some plants have leaves that are usually less than 10 cm (4 in) long while others have leaves that are larger. The shape of the leaves and of the leaf base also varies—some plants have leaves that are oblong or elliptic with a wedge-shaped to rounded base, while others have heart-shaped or ovate leaves with cordate to rounded bases. F. aurea has paired figs which are green when unripe, turning yellow as they ripen. They differ in size (0.6–0.8 cm [0.2–0.3 in], about 1 cm [0.4 in], or 1.0–1.2 cm [0.4–0.5 in] in diameter); figs are generally sessile, but in parts of northern Mesoamerica figs are borne on short stalks known as peduncles.

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Cultivation & propagation:
Regardless of the fact that ficusaurea is an opportunistic tree, it has fruits that are largely attractive in nature. That make them a highly cultivated tree through yards. They can spread as wide as 150 feet tall in their native land, trees that are cultivated for commercial purpose grow to be as tall as 30 feet in height. This differs on various species of the tree.

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They form an interesting structure of a tree garden because of its dense canopies and mutli stemmed trunks that are broad in nature. The leaves hanging on these canopies are bright green in colour and are a delight to watch.
These plants grow the best given that conditions are favourable. They need full to partial sun shade, also an abundant fill of water given once in every week or two. They are very flexible when it comes to soil type and thrives the best in moist, well-drained soil which is like highly alkaline to slightly acidic pH levels. This helps them retain moisture level and is very useful during hot summer season. They do not restrain heavy pruning and behave completely fine when their growth is controlled by the same. Figs grown out of the container are the only ones that need fertilizing when compared to other sorts.

Edible Uses:
The fruit of Ficus aurea is edible and was used for food by the indigenous people and early settlers in Florida; it is still eaten occasionally as a backyard source of native fruit.

Medicinal Uses:. Florida strangler fig was also used in traditional medicine in The Bahamas and Florida. Allison Adonizio and colleagues screened F. aurea for anti-quorum sensing activity (as a possible means of anti-bacterial action), but found no such activity.

Other Uses:
The latex was used to make a chewing gum, and aerial roots may have been used to make lashings, arrows, bowstrings and fishing lines. The fruit was used to make a rose-coloured dye. F. aurea was also used in traditional medicine in The Bahamas and Florida. Allison Adonizio and colleagues screened F. aurea for anti-quorum sensing activity (as a possible means of anti-bacterial action), but found no such activity.

Individual Florida strangler fig trees are common on dairy farms in La Cruz, Cañitas and Santa Elena in Costa Rica, since they are often spared when forest is converted to pasture. In interviews, farmers identified the species as useful for fence posts, live fencing and firewood, and as a food species for wild birds and mammals.

The fruit was used to make a rose-coloured dye.

Florida strangler fig is used as an ornamental tree, an indoor tree and as a bonsai. Like other figs, it tends to invade built structures and foundations, and need to be removed to prevent structural damage. Although young trees are described as “rather ornamental”, older trees are considered to be difficult to maintain (because of the adventitious roots that develop off branches) and are not recommended for small areas. However, it was considered a useful tree for “enviroscaping” to conserve energy in south Florida, since it is “not as aggressive as many exotic fig species,” although it must be given enough space.

it makes a good source of fire woods and also acts as food source or fodder for many gazing animals and mammals.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ficus_aurea
https://www.fruitsinfo.com/florida-strangler-fig.php

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