Saturday, April 17, 2010

Rediscovering my Favorite Ficus

My friend Cissy Canlas is waiting for this post.

Ficus trees are garden favorites. My favorite Ficus tree is a lesser known species called F. sumatrana, which I first saw in the gardens of Tabang, Bulacan. I was searching for kamuning (Murraya paniculata) specimens and accidentally stumbled upon a new Ficus with growth and form similar to a kalamansi. That is why I christened it myself as baleteng-kalamansi. I kept a specimen in my own garden till lately when I thinned out exotic species in favor of native shrubs. Though I was hesitant to let it go, it was eating space much needed for my native plant propagations (as experiment for my thesis). My lone tree went to a friend who was more than happy to take it.

A few months back, I was conversing with botanist Leonard Co about native Ficus and he casually ran down a list of native species. He was uttering Ficus one by one...F. benjamina, caulocarpa, septica, microcarpa ... sumatrana. As soon as I heard sumatrana, my heart skipped a beat. My favorite Ficus is Philippine native... and I already gave away my specimen. I was ready to forego of the plant as my favorite but now that I have learned that it is indigenous, I more than ever would want a specimen. The leaves of F. sumatrana are fine and compact, a very attractive addition to any landscape. I sure could not wait to have one again in my garden.


Bea said...

Does it have berries? I have an unidentified specimen that resembles calamansi but has a different growth of fruit

Macky said...

Hi. Great blog :-) I've just started to collect plants for my 1 hectare garden in Antipolo. I want to create a garden that attracts wildlife and is ornamental at the same time. Would you have any suggestions as to what indigenous trees and other plants I can use and where I can get them?

metscaper said...

It should have typical ficus fruits. berry like.

Thnaks. You should tryt planting Rizal Province native plants like antipolo and bagawak morado. they are available in garden shops.

chennie solania said...

Hi, I had several Ficus species, I just wanted to ask if you know person/s that could help me identify them. I am currently conducting an SP in Systematics.