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Benjamin Tree Ficus benjamina

Phonetic Spelling
FY-kus ben-jah-MEE-nah
This plant has low severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

An evergreen shrub or tree with drooping branches, the leaves are alternate, simple, long-tipped, and glossy.  The flowers and fruits are enclosed in a fleshy sac that turns from green to orange-red to red and then purplish black.

Ficus benjaminia is a very popular houseplant because of its tolerance of poor growing conditions.  It performs best in bright sunny locations but will also survive in shade.  It is very sensitive to light so if the plant is moved, expect it to drop leaves and produce new ones that are accustomed to the new light conditions.  Water regularly to keep soil from completely drying out.  The plant does not require misting.  It is intolerant to cold and should be kept away from drafts.  It has been shown to effectively remove indoor air pollutants.  

Miniature cultivars like "Too Little' are popular for bonsai.

Quick ID Hints:

  • Leaf is elliptic with long, acuminate tip
  • Interior tree has drooping branches
  • Stems are flexuous and are often braided/trained

Evergreen to semi-evergreen tree to 98.5', graceful and upright. 

Used as small tree in interior settings; potential to overgrow ideal locations, thus dwarf forms may be better suited; environmentally sensitive and may drop leaves as a response to change in light, heat, humidity, wind gusts, etc; variegated leaf forms are also available; sap drips when pruned (messy); stems are flexuous and can be braided or trained to arch; older specimens may have numerous aerial roots. 

Common tree in commercial interior landscapes or in large pots; common house pot tree. 

Prefers medium to high light, a brightspot; prefers dry soil and medium relative humidity with a temperature of greater than 55 degrees F; withstands heavy pruning; water with care, allowing soil to dry out between waterings, applying very little during winter months; pest/disease problems.

Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Danielle'
  • 'Exotica'
  • 'Golden King'
  • 'Naomi'
  • 'Too Little'
Tags:
#small tree#houseplant#bonsai#low light#tough plant#bright light#interiorscape#fantz
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Danielle'
  • 'Exotica'
  • 'Golden King'
  • 'Naomi'
  • 'Too Little'
Tags:
#small tree#houseplant#bonsai#low light#tough plant#bright light#interiorscape#fantz
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Ficus
    Species:
    benjamina
    Family:
    Moraceae
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Tropical & Subtropical Asia and Northern Australia
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Houseplant
    Poisonous
    Shrub
    Tree
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Habit/Form:
    Weeping
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Dappled Sunlight (Shade through upper canopy all day)
    Deep shade (Less than 2 hours to no direct sunlight)
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Drainage:
    Very Dry
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Black
    Green
    Orange
    Purple/Lavender
    Red/Burgundy
    Fruit Description:
    Flowers and fruits are enclosed in a fleshy sac that turns from green to orange-red to red and then purplish black. A globose to slightly oblong fig, in pairs, green maturing to reddish then purple-black.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Black
    Green
    Orange
    Purple/Lavender
    Red/Burgundy
    Flower Description:
    Flowers and fruits are enclosed in a fleshy sac that turns from green to orange-red to red and then purplish black. Minute, unisexual, enclosed in fleshy receptacle (fig), entered by apical orifice and pollinated by fig wasps.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Glossy
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Elliptical
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Description:
    Alternate, simple, long-tipped, and glossy. Ovate-elliptic, acuminate, rotund, entire, glabrous, coriaceous, 8-12 pairs of lateral veins.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Light Brown
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Description:
    Drooping branches slender; older specimens with pendulous aerial roots.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Houseplants
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Heavy Shade
  • Poisonous to Humans:
    Poison Severity:
    Low
    Poison Symptoms:
    SKIN IRRITATION MINOR OR LASTING ONLY FOR A FEW MINUTES. Itching of eyes, cough, and wheezing following frequent contact; skin irritation with itching, redness and stinging following contact and exposure to sunlight.
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    Furocoumarins, psoralens, ficin
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    Yes
    Poison Part:
    Bark
    Flowers
    Fruits
    Leaves
    Roots
    Sap/Juice
    Seeds
    Stems