From The Plant Encyclopedia
Weeping Fig, Benjamin's Fig, or the Ficus Tree and often sold in stores as just a "Ficus"
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- Cultivation: Easy-To-Grow, For-Gardeners
- Light: Sun
- Soil: Rich
- pH: 7
- Moisture: Medium
- Form: Tree
- Habit: Evergreen
- Flower: Small
- Fruit/Seed: Small
- Foliage: Leaves, Variegated, Green, White
- Uses: Ornamental, Houseplant
Ficus benjamina, commonly known as the Weeping Fig, Benjamin's Fig, or the Ficus Tree and often sold in stores as just a "Ficus", is a species of fig tree, native to south and southeast Asia and Australia. It is the official tree of Bangkok, Thailand. It is a Topiary Tree reaching tall in natural conditions, with gracefully drooping branchlets and glossy leaves 6–13 cm (2–5 in) long, oval with an acuminate tip. In its native range, its small fruit are a favorite food of some birds, such as the Superb Fruit-dove, Wompoo Fruit-dove, Pink-spotted Fruit-dove, Ornate Fruit-dove, Orange-bellied Fruit-dove, Torresian Imperial-pigeon, Purple-tailed Imperial-pigeon (Frith et al. 1976).
In tropical latitudes, the Weeping Fig makes a very large and stately tree for parks and other urban situations, such as wide roads. It is often cultivated for this purpose.
Ficus benjamina (Weeping Fig) in Hyderabad W IMG 8314.jpg
tree in Hyderabad, India.
Ficus benjamina (Weeping Fig) in Hyderabad W IMG 8313.jpg
fig in Hyderabad, India.
Ficus benjamina (Weeping Fig) in Hyderabad W IMG 8308.jpg
leaves in Hyderabad, India.
Ficus benjamina (Weeping Fig) trunk in Hyderabad W IMG 8310.jpg
trunk in Hyderabad, India.
The leaves are very sensitive to small changes in light. When it is turned around or re-located it reacts by dropping many of its leaves and replacing them with new leaves adapted to the new light intensity. There are numerous Cultivars available (e.g. 'Danielle', 'Naomi', 'Exotica', and 'Golden King'). Some cultivars include different patterns of colouration on the leaves, ranging from light green to dark green, and various forms of white Variegation.
The miniature cultivars, especially 'Too Little', are among the most popular plant for Indoor bonsai.
Weeping Fig has been shown by NASA to effectively filter indoor air Toxins.
The United States Forest Service in Fact Sheet ST-251 states "Roots grow rapidly invading gardens, growing under and lifting sidewalks, patios, and driveways." They conclude its use in tree form is much too large for residential planting, therefore in these settings, this species should only be used as a hedge or clipped screen.
- Frith, H.J.; Rome, F.H.J.C. & Wolfe, T.O. (1976): Food of fruit-pigeons in New Guinea. 76(2): 49-58.