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Ficus microcarpa

Tropical plants

When we talk about tropical plants, or at least just listening to this name, our mind too often wanders to imagine who knows what extraordinary plant, with particular characteristics and that we have never seen in our (typically temperate) areas. Well, reasoning in this way underestimates the extraordinary size of plants, which is mainly that of adapting in an exceptional way even to strong changes in habitat and therefore in climate. In fact, there are crops, industrial crops and even spontaneous growths of various types of tropical plants on our lands, which arrived long ago (thanks above all to commercial communications) and gradually adapted to live at similar temperatures (d ‘ summer), much lower in winter (in tropical areas there is no winter), but above all at much lower humidity regimes, although this is a fundamental prerequisite for their development. In support of this, we can assure you that many of the plants around us are of tropical origin, such as the ficus: beloved both as a houseplant and garden plant, we eat its fruits (and precisely the species Ficus carica or ficus domestica ) both fresh and dried. It is a plant of clear tropical origin, but which today is widespread in large areas of the Mediterranean basin. we eat its fruits (and precisely the species Ficus carica or ficus domestica) both fresh and dried. It is a plant of clear tropical origin, but which today is widespread in large areas of the Mediterranean basin. we eat its fruits (and precisely the species Ficus carica or ficus domestica) both fresh and dried. It is a plant of clear tropical origin, but which today is widespread in large areas of the Mediterranean basin.

The ficus


The genus Ficus includes a number of just over eight hundred species of different plants, all native to tropical and sub-tropical areas. Its distinctive morphological characteristics are the leaves, which are linear and often lobed, of an intense and glossy green, combined with inflorescences with the particular denomination of “syconia” which are distinguished by being a group. Not only that, the Ficus plant can present itself in various forms: as a tree (classic form, which can reach even six meters in height with crowns that are nothing short of majestic), as a shrub and also as a climber, of which these last two forms are clearly more found in tropical environments, that is the natural one of the genus Ficus. Unlike various plant genera of our knowledge, the genus Ficus is also very famous with its single species, especially in our country; we have already mentioned the Ficus carica, widespread in Italy and producer of the “figs” that we often eat both as dried and fresh fruit. There is also the Ficus macrophylla, a species capable of reaching considerable size, native to the oceanic continent (New Zealand and Australia) but very widespread in the world due to the highly appreciated aerial roots that start as low branches and then wedge into the ground forming secondary trunks of considerable scenic effect.

Ficus microcarpa and others

Another widespread species of Ficus is the Ficus retusa: it has aesthetic characteristics similar to Ficus macrophylla, especially as regards the much declaimed aerial roots that generate secondary trunks. The Ficus retusa, however, is placed a step above as an appreciation due to the extraordinary main trunk for two reasons: sinuous shapes and light color. The shape of the trunk of the “retusa” is wavy and elegant, perfectly matched (but nature rarely gets these things wrong) with a gray trunk with some sporadic but evident lighter horizontal patches that give great elegance to the whole. This species is very popular and widely used by lovers of Bonsai art, precisely because of its forms which are synonymous with beauty and elegance.

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