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Fiddle-leaf Fig Ficus lyrata

Phonetic Spelling
FY-kus ly-RAY-tuh

The fiddle-leaf fig is a small tropical tree, commonly grown as a houseplant.  When mature it can make a great focal point in a living room or office space. Texturally heavy, this plant is best suited for large spaces. They prefer bright light and average humidity. They are sensitive to overwatering and will lose their leaves.  They are not quite as easy to grow as a rubber plant.

Quick ID Hints:

  • Leaves are LARGE, leathery and FIDDLE-SHAPED
  • Leaves are bullate and not glossy

This evergreen shrub or tree can grow to 39', erect with spreading crown, sometimes initially epiphytic in the wild and strangling the host.

They are prized for large, leathery, fiddle-shaped (and -sized) leaves.  Fruit is seldom seen in interior sites;; cut surfaces will exude and drip sap.

It prefers medium to high light, dry soil and medium relative humidity with a temperature of greater than 55 degrees F.

VIDEO created by Andy Pulte for “Landscape Plant Identification, Taxonomy and Morphology” a plant identification course offered by the Department of Plant Sciences, University of Tennessee.


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Cultivars / Varieties:
#evergreen#houseplant#fantz#problem for cats#problem for dogs#problem for horses#tropical feel#landscape plant sleuths course
Cultivars / Varieties:
#evergreen#houseplant#fantz#problem for cats#problem for dogs#problem for horses#tropical feel#landscape plant sleuths course
  • Attributes:
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    W. Central Tropical Africa
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Growth Rate:
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Description:
    A globose fig, finely pubescent, solitary or in pairs, green with white flecks, 1 x 1 ".
  • Flowers:
    Flower Description:
    Minute, axillary, unisexual, enclosed in fleshy receptacle (fig), entered by apical orifice and pollinated by fig wasps.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Leaf Feel:
    Leaf Type:
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Leaf Shape:
    Hairs Present:
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    It has attractive oval and semi-lobed thick leathery green leaves. Some of the leaves resemble fiddles, hence the common name. Leaves have prominent veins and can grow 12 inches long and 5 inches wide. Alternate, simple, large, obovate to lyrate, apex truncate to obtuse, base cordate, bullate, initially finely pubescent and later glabrous, coriaceous, medium green, to 1.5 x 1'.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    Stem Description:
    Scarcely branched in younger specimens, stiff and sturdy; without aerial roots.
  • Landscape:
    Problem for Cats
    Problem for Dogs
    Problem for Horses