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.

4 comments:

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...

@Bea
It should have typical ficus fruits. berry like.

@macky
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.