Strangler Fig

Nature Preserve Tour

Strangler Fig

Miami, Florida 33135, United States

Created By: Florida International University


Strangler Fig (Ficus aurea) is part of the ficus family, named for their parasitic growth pattern on host trees resulting in the host tree's death. Seed germination usually takes place on the canopy of a host tree via bird-dispersion. The seedling lives as an epiphyte until its roots establish contact with the ground. After that, the Strangler Fig intricately weaves its roots around its host, strangling the host tree and killing it in the process. It eventually becomes a free-standing tree in its own right. These trees, once large enough, provide habitat, food, and shelter for a range of tropical species including birds, mammals, reptiles, and invertebrates. Strangler figs have paired figs that are green when unripe, turning yellow as they ripen. Different portions of the fruit are often used in traditional medicine, while the trees themselves are sometimes trained for ornamental use as live fencing or as a bonsai.

This point of interest is part of the tour: Nature Preserve Tour


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