Family: Moraceae (Mulberry Family)
Duration and Habit: Perennial Tree
Trees , evergreen, to 30 m. Bark of trunks and older branches brown, smooth. Branchlets glabrous. Leaves: stipules ovate, to 5 cm; petiole slender, 3.5-13 cm. Leaf blade broadly ovate to ovate-orbiculate, 7-25 x 4-16 cm, thinly leathery, base rounded to truncate, margins entire, occasionally wavy, apex abruptly long-caudate or long-acuminate, tip to 2.5-9 cm; surfaces occasionally glaucous, glabrous; basal veins 2(-3) pairs; lateral veins 6-9 pairs, the main veins finely reticulate. Syconia paired, sessile, dark purple, nearly globose, 1-1.5 x 1-1.5 cm, glabrous; subtending bracts ovate, 3-5 mm, silky-puberulous; ostiole closed by 3 bracts 2-3 mm wide, umbonate. Flowering all year.
Biology & Spread: This species reported to be able to set viable seeds in two places, Israel and Florida. In Israel, the pollinator wasp successfully invaded and established allowing the tree to begin to spread. In Florida, sporadic seeding events have been documented, though have not persisted, perhaps due to an unsuccessful colonization of the associated pollinator wasp or an intrusion from a pollinator wasp of the native Ficus aurea.
History: It is said to be the tree that Buddha was born under and also where he sat for six years of meditation and enlightenment. Elsewhere in the world and in Hawai'i, trees are occasionally cultivated and are most often seen planted near temples. This large tree with attractive heart shaped glossy leaves is also occasionally planted as a specimen tree in landscaping for it's aesthetic shape and form.
U.S. Habitat: Disturbed thickets
U.S. Nativity: Introduced to U.S.
Native Origin: India and Southeast Asia
U.S. Present: FL
Distribution: Southern California, Florida, and Hawai'i
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ALL RECOMMENDED PERSONAL PROTECTIVE GEAR AND CLOTHING. CONTACT YOUR STATE
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ON THIS WEB SITE DOES NOT CONSTITUTE ENDORSEMENT OF ANY MATERIAL.
Physical- F. religiosa can most likely be cut down but will probably re-growwithout chemical treatment.
Chemical- A cut stump treatment with a chemical such as Garlon (triclopyr)would probably be effective in control.
Biological- Currently there are no known biological controls for F. religiosa.
Nadel, H., J.H. Frank, and R.J. Knight. 1992. Escapees and accomplices: The naturalization of exotic Ficus and their associated faunas in Florida. Florida Entomologist 75(1):29-38.
Richard, P.W. 2008. Fora of North America: Ficus religiosa Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 2: 1059. 1753. Accessed 21 Novemeber 2008: http://www.efloras.org/florataxon.aspx?flora_id=1&taxon_id=200006369.
Starr F., K. Starr, and L. Loope. 2003. Ficus religiosa. United States Geological Survey--Biological Resources Division Haleakala Field Station, Maui, Hawai'i.
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