|Ficus benjamina subsp. var.||Weeping fig, Weeping Chinese Banyan|
Ficus benjamina, commonly known as the Weeping Fig or Benjamin's Fig 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 30 m ft 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.
It is a very popular house plant in temperate areas, due to its elegant growth and tolerance of poor growing conditions; it does best under bright, sunny conditions but will also tolerate considerable shade. It requires a moderate amount of watering in summer, and only enough to keep it from drying out in the winter. It does not need to be misted. The plant is sensitive to cold and should be protected from strong drafts. When grown indoors, it can grow too large for its situation, and may need drastic pruning or replacing.
The leaves are very sensitive to small changes in light. When it is re-located it reacts by dropping many of its leaves and replacing them with new leaves adapted to the new light intensity.
The miniature cultivars, especially 'Too Little', are among the most popular plant for indoor bonsai.
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.
|Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture|
Ficus benjamina, Linn. A tree with small lvs., and smooth throughout: lvs. thin, not much coriaceous, shining, ovate-elliptic, entire, the apex sharply acuminate, 2-4½ in- long; lateral primary nerves very numerous, freely intermingling near the margins of the lvs.: frs. in pairs, axillary and sessile, smooth and blood-red when ripe. Malayan Penins. K. 52. 83h. Ficus benjamina Var. comosa, Kurz. Sepals lanceolate-acuminate rather than spatulate: fr. ¾ in. diam., narrowed at base rather than globose or ovoid. CH
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tree in Hyderabad, India.
fig in Hyderabad, India.
leaves in Hyderabad, India.
trunk in Hyderabad, India.
- Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture, by L. H. Bailey, MacMillan Co., 1963
- w:Ficus benjamina. Some of the material on this page may be from Wikipedia, under the Creative Commons license.
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