It is a banyan fig (Ficus subgenus Urostigma) that commonly starts life as an epiphyte high in the crown of another tree; it then sends roots down to the ground which envelop the trunk of the host tree and slowly strangle it. It can also grow as a free-standing tree on its own, growing up to 12–15 m (39–49 ft) tall. The leaves are variable in shape, but often with a broad apex and narrow middle, resembling a lyre or fiddle; they are up to 45 cm (18 in) long and 30 cm (12 in) broad, though usually smaller, with a leathery texture, prominent veins and a wavy margin. The fruit is a green fig 2.5-3 cm (1-¼ in) diameter.
Cultivation and garden uses
It is a popular ornamental tree in subtropical and tropical gardens, and is also grown as a houseplant in temperate areas, where it usually stays shorter and fails to flower or fruit. Like most figs, it is frost tender.
- "Ficus lyrata AGM". Royal Horticultural Society. Retrieved 27 July 2013.
- Figweb: Ficus lyrata
- Description at Plants of Hawaii.
- Huxley, A., ed. (1992). New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. Macmillan.
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