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Useful Tropical Plants

Ficus aurea

Nutt.

Moraceae

+ Synonyms

Ficus cabusana Standl. & Steyerm.

Ficus ciliolosa Link

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

Ficus warczewiczii (Miq.) Miq.

Urostigma tecolutense Liebm.

Urostigma venustum (Kunth & C.D.Bouché) Miq.

Urostigma warszewiczii Miq.

Common Name:

Ficus aurea
Tree with large, spreading crown
Photograph by: O. M. Montiel
Creative Commons License
Ficus aurea Ficus aurea Ficus aurea Ficus aurea Ficus aurea

General Information

Ficus aurea is a tree with a wide, spreading crown; it can grow up to 20 metres tall[
331
Title
Flora of Guatemala
Publication
 
Author
Standley P.C. & J. A. Steyermark
Website
http://www.archive.org/
Publisher
 
Year
1946 - 1976
ISBN
 
Description
A superb reference, though somewhat dated. Gives lots of plant uses as well as information on plant habit and habitat. The entire flora (13 volumes) can now be downloaded from http://www.archive.org/
,
672
Title
Florida Trees - A Handbook of the Native and Naturalized Trees of Florida
Publication
 
Author
Small J.K.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Small J.K.; New York
Year
1913
ISBN
 
Description
A terse description of each species with details of habitat and a description of the wood. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
]. The bole can be 90 - 120cm in diameter[
638
Title
The Woods of the United States
Publication
 
Author
Sargent C.S.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
D. Appleton & Co.; New York
Year
1885
ISBN
 
Description
Contains information on the woods of a large number of N. American species of trees and shrubs. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
]. It often starts life as an epiphyte in the branch of a tree and can eventually send down aerial roots that, once they reach the ground, provide extra nutrients that help the plant grow more vigorously. These aerial roots can completely encircle the trunk of the host tree, constricting its growth - this, coupled with the more vigorous top growth, can lead to the fig outcompeting and killing the tree in which it is growing[
82
Title
Manual of the Trees of N. America.
Publication
 
Author
Sargent. C. S.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/
Publisher
Dover Publications Inc. New York.
Year
1965
ISBN
0-486-20278-X
Description
Two volumes, a comprehensive listing of N. American trees though a bit out of date now. Good details on habitats, some details on plant uses. Not really for the casual reader. It can be downloaded from the internet.
,
331
Title
Flora of Guatemala
Publication
 
Author
Standley P.C. & J. A. Steyermark
Website
http://www.archive.org/
Publisher
 
Year
1946 - 1976
ISBN
 
Description
A superb reference, though somewhat dated. Gives lots of plant uses as well as information on plant habit and habitat. The entire flora (13 volumes) can now be downloaded from http://www.archive.org/
,
638
Title
The Woods of the United States
Publication
 
Author
Sargent C.S.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
D. Appleton & Co.; New York
Year
1885
ISBN
 
Description
Contains information on the woods of a large number of N. American species of trees and shrubs. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
]. The broad, spreading, lower limbs are festooned with secondary roots which create many slim but rigid trunks once they reach the ground and take hold[
309
Title
Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://hort.ifas.ufl.edu/shrubs/
Publisher
University of Florida
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
PDF fact sheets on over 500 shrubs.
].
The tree is sometimes harvested from the wild for local use as a food and medicine. It is often grown as an ornamental[
309
Title
Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://hort.ifas.ufl.edu/shrubs/
Publisher
University of Florida
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
PDF fact sheets on over 500 shrubs.
].

Known Hazards

None known

Botanical References


Range

C. America - Panama to Guatemala and Mexico; Western Caribbean; Southeastern N. America - Florida.

Habitat

Hummocks on the shores and islands[
82
Title
Manual of the Trees of N. America.
Publication
 
Author
Sargent. C. S.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/
Publisher
Dover Publications Inc. New York.
Year
1965
ISBN
0-486-20278-X
Description
Two volumes, a comprehensive listing of N. American trees though a bit out of date now. Good details on habitats, some details on plant uses. Not really for the casual reader. It can be downloaded from the internet.
]. Forest or open hillsides, about 300 metres[
331
Title
Flora of Guatemala
Publication
 
Author
Standley P.C. & J. A. Steyermark
Website
http://www.archive.org/
Publisher
 
Year
1946 - 1976
ISBN
 
Description
A superb reference, though somewhat dated. Gives lots of plant uses as well as information on plant habit and habitat. The entire flora (13 volumes) can now be downloaded from http://www.archive.org/
].

Properties

Weed PotentialYes
Edibility Rating *  *
Medicinal Rating *  *
Other Uses Rating *
HabitTree
Height20.00 m
Growth RateFast
PollinatorsWasps
Cultivation StatusOrnamental, Wild

Cultivation Details


An easily grown and very tolerant plant, it succeeds in full sun to partial shade[
309
Title
Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://hort.ifas.ufl.edu/shrubs/
Publisher
University of Florida
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
PDF fact sheets on over 500 shrubs.
]. Succeeds in a range of well-drained soils from sandy to clay, including fairly acid or alkaline conditions[
309
Title
Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://hort.ifas.ufl.edu/shrubs/
Publisher
University of Florida
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
PDF fact sheets on over 500 shrubs.
]. Plants are tolerant of occasional inundation of the soil[
309
Title
Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://hort.ifas.ufl.edu/shrubs/
Publisher
University of Florida
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
PDF fact sheets on over 500 shrubs.
]. Moderately tolerant of salt-laden winds[
309
Title
Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://hort.ifas.ufl.edu/shrubs/
Publisher
University of Florida
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
PDF fact sheets on over 500 shrubs.
]. Plants are very drought tolerant[
309
Title
Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://hort.ifas.ufl.edu/shrubs/
Publisher
University of Florida
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
PDF fact sheets on over 500 shrubs.
].
Seeds germinate easily in the landscape allowing the tree to invade nearby land[
309
Title
Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://hort.ifas.ufl.edu/shrubs/
Publisher
University of Florida
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
PDF fact sheets on over 500 shrubs.
]. Some care, therefore, needs to be taken that the species of wasp that fertilizes this plant is not introduced into areas where the plant is grown as an ornamental[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
].
A fast-growing tree[
309
Title
Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://hort.ifas.ufl.edu/shrubs/
Publisher
University of Florida
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
PDF fact sheets on over 500 shrubs.
].
The plant produces surface roots that can lift sidewalks or interfere with mowing[
309
Title
Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://hort.ifas.ufl.edu/shrubs/
Publisher
University of Florida
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
PDF fact sheets on over 500 shrubs.
].
When grown as an ornamental, the many slim but rigid trunks that are produced from the crown can become a maintenance headache as they roots need to be removed to keep a neat-looking landscape. The shiny, thick, dark green leaves create dense shade and the surface roots add to the problem of maintaining a lawn beneath this massive tree. The fruit drops and makes a mess beneath the tree[
309
Title
Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://hort.ifas.ufl.edu/shrubs/
Publisher
University of Florida
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
PDF fact sheets on over 500 shrubs.
].
Fig trees have a unique form of fertilization, each species relying on a single, highly specialized species of wasp that is itself totaly dependant upon that fig species in order to breed. The trees produce three types of flower; male, a long-styled female and a short-styled female flower, often called the gall flower. All three types of flower are contained within the structure we usually think of as the fruit.
The female fig wasp enters a fig and lays its eggs on the short styled female flowers while pollinating the long styled female flowers. Wingless male fig wasps emerge first, inseminate the emerging females and then bore exit tunnels out of the fig for the winged females. Females emerge, collect pollen from the male flowers and fly off in search of figs whose female flowers are receptive. In order to support a population of its pollinator, individuals of a Ficus spp. Must flower asynchronously. A population must exceed a critical minimum size to ensure that at any time of the year at least some plants have overlap of emmission and reception of fig wasps. Without this temporal overlap the short-lived pollinator wasps will go locally extinct[
413
Title
Global Invasive Species Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.issg.org/database/welcome/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Very detailed information on almost 400 species (with more being added) of plants that have become weeds in areas outside their native range.
].

Edible Uses

Fruit[
483
Title
Journal of the Arnold Arboretum Vol. 59.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Harvard University; Boston, Mass.
Year
1978
ISBN
 
Description
A botanical magazine, it contains an Ethnoflora of Chokoloskee Island, Florida. It can be downloaded from the internet.
].

The latex is used to prepare a masticatory rubber[
483
Title
Journal of the Arnold Arboretum Vol. 59.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Harvard University; Boston, Mass.
Year
1978
ISBN
 
Description
A botanical magazine, it contains an Ethnoflora of Chokoloskee Island, Florida. It can be downloaded from the internet.
].

Medicinal

The latex is used as a medicament for expelling intestinal parasites[
331
Title
Flora of Guatemala
Publication
 
Author
Standley P.C. & J. A. Steyermark
Website
http://www.archive.org/
Publisher
 
Year
1946 - 1976
ISBN
 
Description
A superb reference, though somewhat dated. Gives lots of plant uses as well as information on plant habit and habitat. The entire flora (13 volumes) can now be downloaded from http://www.archive.org/
].

Other Uses

A latex is obtained from the plant. It can be used as a masticatory[
483
Title
Journal of the Arnold Arboretum Vol. 59.
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Harvard University; Boston, Mass.
Year
1978
ISBN
 
Description
A botanical magazine, it contains an Ethnoflora of Chokoloskee Island, Florida. It can be downloaded from the internet.
].

The heartwood is light brown, the sap-wood lighter. The wood is coarse-grained, compact, exceedingly light, soft, very weak, not durable[
638
Title
The Woods of the United States
Publication
 
Author
Sargent C.S.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
D. Appleton & Co.; New York
Year
1885
ISBN
 
Description
Contains information on the woods of a large number of N. American species of trees and shrubs. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
]. It is little, if at all, used - not even for fuel[
331
Title
Flora of Guatemala
Publication
 
Author
Standley P.C. & J. A. Steyermark
Website
http://www.archive.org/
Publisher
 
Year
1946 - 1976
ISBN
 
Description
A superb reference, though somewhat dated. Gives lots of plant uses as well as information on plant habit and habitat. The entire flora (13 volumes) can now be downloaded from http://www.archive.org/
].

Propagation

Seed -

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