Ficus Tree Identification

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There are over 800 species of ficus trees.
There are over 800 species of ficus trees. (Image: baby plant. ficus image by joanna wnuk from Fotolia.com)

There are over 800 species of trees in the Ficus genus. While most of these are trees, others are vines or shrubs. Popular as houseplants, these trees can withstand a lot of pruning and can be shaped to much smaller sizes.

Common Ficus Tree

The common fig tree (Ficus carica) has very large, bright green leaves that are lobed. With smooth, gray bark, this is one of the only deciduous ficus trees. Look for the edible fig fruit on this tree.

Weeping Fig Tree

The weeping fig tree (Ficus Benjamina) has large, oval, leathery leaves. While these leaves are typically bright green, they can also be grayish green or even a shade of yellow. The weeping fig tree is the most common indoor ficus tree.

Ficus Retusa

Ficus retusa has similar leaves to that of the weeping fig—however, they are growing on stiffer branches, as opposed to the weeping ones of the weeping fig tree.

Rubber Tree

The rubber tree (Ficus elastica) has aerial roots forming multiple trunks. This tree has large, coarse leaves, which are deep green and burgundy. This tree can reach heights of 40 to 50 feet and when cut, oozes a sticky white sap.

Narrow Leaf Fig Tree

The narrow leaf fig tree, otherwise known as the willow leaf fig (Ficus salicifolia), has small, narrow leaves and aerial root formations. Most often found in humid environments, this tree has large, closely spaced leaves.

Moretone Bay Fig Tree

The Moretone Bay fig tree (Ficus macrophylla) has small, reddish-orange flowers and dark green, glossy leaves. The leaves of this tree have a leathery texture.

Alii Fig Tree

The Alii fig tree (Ficus maclellandi) has long, narrow leaves that are similar to willow leaves in their size and shape.

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