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Malayan Banyan Ficus microcarpa

Previously known as:

  • Thuja standishii x plicata 'Green Giant'
Description

Chinese Banyan is a species of fig tree native to tropical and subtropical Asia. When young, the plant appears to be a shrub, but when grown outdoors in Mediterranean climates, it can reach 40 feet high with a 40 foot crown.  It also grows well as a shade tree and, for this reason, is frequently used as an indoor tree and in bonsai.  While it historically has been used as a street tree, the areal roots can damage pavement if not properly managed and it is considered invasive in many parts of the world. Tiny seeds within small sized fruit are ingested by many fruit eating animals. The seeds can germinate and grow almost anywhere they land, even in cracks in concrete. The small seedling begins to grow on its host, sending down aerial roots, and eventually strangling and replacing the host tree or structure.

The Chinese Banyan has a rounded dense crown with a smooth gray bark, milky sap, and long, thin, dangling aerial roots. It is pollinated by wasps. A tropical and subtropical species, the tree requires a warm climate and a humid atmosphere to thrive. The tree was widely distributed as an ornamental plant and is one of the most common street trees in warm climates. It is suitable for temperatures above 68 degrees F all year long, thus it is generally sold as a houseplant. High humidity (70% - 100%) is preferable and seems to favor the development of aerial roots. The species can be propagated easily by cuttings, either in water or directly in a substrate of sand or potting soil.

Diseases, Insect Pests, and Other Plant Problems:

Susceptible to attack by dry-wood termites.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
'Ginseng', 'Golden Gate'
Tags:
#shade tree#houseplant#weedy#figs#tropical tree#ornamental tree
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
'Ginseng', 'Golden Gate'
Tags:
#shade tree#houseplant#weedy#figs#tropical tree#ornamental tree
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Ficus
    Species:
    microcarpa
    Family:
    Moraceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    Has been used medicinally in parts of Asia. Also used as shade tree and, for this reason, is frequently used as an indoor tree and in bonsai.
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Woody
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Stem Cutting
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    tropical and subtropical Asia
    Distribution:
    Introduced to Ascension, Bermuda, Caroline Islands, East Aegean Island, El Salvador, Florida, California, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Haiti, Italy, Leeward Islands, Mauritius, Nicaragua, Ogasawara-shoto, Palestine, Peru, Reunion, Sicilia, Spain, Trinidad-Tobago, Tunisia, Venezuela, Venezuelan Antilles.
    Wildlife Value:
    Birds feed on the fruit of the tree.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Tree
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Habit/Form:
    Dense
    Multi-stemmed
    Multi-trunked
    Rounded
    Spreading
    Maintenance:
    Medium
  • 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:
    High Organic Matter
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Available Space To Plant:
    12 inches-3 feet
    3 feet-6 feet
    6-feet-12 feet
    12-24 feet
    24-60 feet
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    9b, 9a, 10b, 10a, 11b, 11a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Green
    Red/Burgundy
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    The fruit develops from the same structure the flowers are held in. They start out green and ripen to a reddish shade.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Like other Ficus species, the flower is inverted. The reproductive structures are located within the teardrop shape.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Glossy
    Leathery
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Lanceolate
    Oblanceolate
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Leathery, 2 to 2 1/2 inch deep glossy green leaves with short, pointed, ridged tips.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Light Brown
    Light Gray
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Description:
    Khaki colored stems that turn mustard colored when cut.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Houseplants
    Design Feature:
    Shade Tree
    Understory Tree
    Problems:
    Weedy