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Ficus auriculata

Previously known as:

  • Ficus macrophylla
  • Ficus roxborghii
Phonetic Spelling
Fy-kus aw-rik-yoo-LAY-tuh
Description

Roxburgh Fig is a wide spreading evergreen tree found in moist, lowland tropics.  This tree that is often found growing along stream banks may have more than one trunk.  Although it is classified as an evergreen, it can be deciduous during extended periods of cold temperatures.  The optimum growing temperatures range from 60 to 75 degrees, however it will tolerate a range from 55 to 90 degrees.  Temperatures below 30 degrees may severely damage or kill the plant.

Its name comes from the founder of Indian botany, Sir William Roxburgh.  Auricle is Latin for ear, referring to the two ears at the base of heart shaped leaf.  

Its fruit is edible and often harvested from the wild.   The fruits form as large clusters on the trunk, on branches and on the roots.  It is not uncommon to discover a tree where the base is covered with hundreds of fruits.  They can be eaten raw or cooked, used in jams, juice and curries.  

New growth is a deep coppery-red color that will mature to green.

The large leaves, often up to 21" long and 12" wide are used as plates.

Like most figs, it relies on a single specialized species of wasp for fertilization.  That wasp is also dependent on that fig species for breeding.  Three types of flowers are produced, male, long-style female and short-style female (gall flower).  A female wasp enters a fig and lays its eggs on the short-style flowers, while at the same time pollinating the long-style flowers.  The male wasp (wingless) emerge and inseminates the female while boring exit tunnels for the females.  The females collect pollen as they emerge, in search of figs that have receptive flowers.  

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:  The fruit can be messy.  Its branches are weak, keeping the plant small will help with this trait.  Susceptible to scale.  Minor issues with gall, mealy bugs, thrips, whitefly, and spider mite.

 

 

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#evergreen#deciduous#salt tolerant#salt spray tolerant#deer resistant#dioecious#evergreen tree#tropical shrub#problem for cats#problem for dogs#problem for horses#tropical tree#tropical#dry soils intolerant
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#evergreen#deciduous#salt tolerant#salt spray tolerant#deer resistant#dioecious#evergreen tree#tropical shrub#problem for cats#problem for dogs#problem for horses#tropical tree#tropical#dry soils intolerant
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Ficus
    Species:
    auriculata
    Family:
    Moraceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Woody
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Layering
    Seed
    Stem Cutting
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    India, Vietnam, Myanmar and SW China
    Wildlife Value:
    Birds and deer may eat the fruit.
    Play Value:
    Edible fruit
    Wildlife Food Source
    Edibility:
    The fruits are edible.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 6 ft. 0 in. - 10 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 7 ft. 0 in. - 15 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Edible
    Shrub
    Tree
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
    Rounded
    Spreading
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Low
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Alkaline (>8.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Moist
    Occasionally Wet
    Available Space To Plant:
    12-24 feet
    24-60 feet
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    9b, 9a, 10b, 10a, 11b, 11a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Green
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Edible
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Summer
    Fruit Type:
    Drupe
    Fruit Length:
    1-3 inches
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    Large edible, rounded figs (drupelets) form in clusters on the trunk and larger branches. It may take 3-5 years before a plant may bear fruit.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Pink
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Description:
    Has insignificant flowers. Has separate male and female reproductive parts on the same tree.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Leaf Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Leaf Shape:
    Ovate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    The leaves can reach up to 21" wide and 12" long.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Patio
    Vertical Spaces
    Landscape Theme:
    Edible Garden
    Design Feature:
    Accent
    Screen/Privacy
    Specimen
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Problems:
    Problem for Cats
    Problem for Dogs
    Problem for Horses