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Ficus range of growth in US Southwest

19 posts in this topic

I know numerous varieties of Ficus grow throughout California. I have also recently read of Ficus being actively planted and grown sucessfully throughout Arizona. Can anyone give me examples of brave plantings that have successfully quashed sterotypes? This should include South Texas and any other places  in the world that are surprising.

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yeah people plant the @$%^& things here!!!! then every so often the power that be reachs down and freezes them to the ground!! or at leat evry two years tip prunes the snot out of them.

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The best i have heard around the North of Cali are a group of large Bo trees, Ficus religiosa, planted around a swimming pool in Berkeley. My F. petiolaris in a big pot is a distant 432 or so...

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there is an old struggeling ficus macrophylla in the Strybing in Coastal San Francisco, and then a large one inland in Fremont.  I have F. altissima in my yard in Corte Madera (just north of SF) as well as Ficus elastica, and rubiginosa. I haven't seen them in over a year though.

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The Macrophylla at GGP isnt struggling..it's just ignored and not pruned into any kind of defined shape .I just saw it and if it was in a suburban yard would be a beauty. The SF botanical park tree is just squeezed by close by trees and with too many low suckers and if all that wasnt enough-its placed by the toilets in the park. It in a way is the story of many tropicals in the local botanical gardens-they are looked down as noveltys by staff and yet the public is awed by them.

Dracanea draco is hardy in the bay area..not one of the local botanical gardens has one. The same for Schefflera puckleri..and  many Ficus like auriculata.

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Ficus.....how fast they grow compared to those sluggy palms!

Have been collecting Ficus for some time now in my "ficarium" with climate conditions similar as San Diego it's real fun to be able to SEE a plant grow from a pinpoint seed to a meter high in just a year.

This is my list:

abutifolia,alli,altissima,australis,aurea

benghalensis,benjamina

cyathistipula

elastica

lingua,lutea,lyrata

macrophylla,microcarpa

neriifolia,nitida

obliqua,obtusifolia

palmerii,petiolaris

religiosa

sur,sycomorus

Most of them are no more than two years old: the dry weather species have problems in the winter but always come back.

Looking for F.dammarops and F.religiosa var"krishna" now can anybody help?

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I have neriifolia.It,like the religiosa and my other ficus are grown as Bonsai-space constraints. The neriifolia bore figs at barely 6-8". I would say it will grow here as a tree if given a chance. Another great ficus is F.microcarpa "emerald island" or gem as it sometimes is called. I have a hard time believing botanist who say it is just a microcaprus.The leaves are much more glossy and succulent than microcarpus/nitida.

All are outdoor all year.

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Chainsaws and ficus are like cornflakes and milk they go together.

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I have tried F. elastica and nitidia here in Austin.  Elastica died to the ground during the winter.  Grew a little during following summer but kicked the bucket during the next winter.

F. nitida had little damage each winter and has continued to get bigger during the summers.  It is till small though. 3 feet across and 3 feet tall.  Even survived 1/4 inch ice on the leaves.  Seems to be a tough ficus.

I have seen 1 or 2 large ficus in Corpus Christi and Galveston with aerial roots formingn or already formed.

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Ficus nitida in Tucson

fnbefore.jpg

Ficus elastica in Phoenix

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Ficus nitida and Delonix regia in Phoenix

PHXareaDelonix5.jpg

Ficus benghalensis in Scottsdale

100_9436.jpg

Ficus nitida

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Ficus nitida

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Ficus nitida

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Ficus nitida

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Ficus nitida

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Ficus nitdia in Tucson

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Ficus elastica in Phoenix

PVFicuselastica.jpg

Ficus nitdia in Yuma

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Two more in Yuma.

FicusnitidaYuma.jpg

An elastica in Tucson.

FicuselasticainTucson.jpg

Some more F. nitdia in Scottsdale.

Ficusnitidagraytrunk.jpg

Ficus are great trees in zone 9b and 10a AZ.

Lee

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Hmm. I knew you loved Ficus nitida, but dang Lee, you have tons of pics of it, doncha?

Zac

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Zac, I'm working my up to a ton of Ficus nitdia pics, still a few pounds short, but I'm getting close. It's the perfect non native tree in AZ to me. Evergreen, smooth dark green leaves, clean gray trunk, dense canopy, heat tolerant, drought tolerant, fast growing and able to withstand zone 9 winters.

However all that being said I would like to see more native Ficus of the Sonoran Desert used in cultivation in the Sonoran Desert. Call me crazy but it would seem like a decent idea. All the Ficus we saw in habitat can be found in Arizona, but just token plantings. And some of those Ficus we saw in Sonora are hardier than Ficus nitida. I plan to get back down to Sonora and collect some seeds.

Lee

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Cool. I was looking back at some of the pics and I was spotting Ficus and things in the background. BTW I have 4 Washingtonia seedlings form the Nacapule site now, so I'll see how they do.

Zac

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I've got F. nitida, as the Hedge from Hell, across the back 40 of my place, about 40 feet (13 m) tall.

And, I've just planted an F.  petiolaris from Mexico, with nice pink leaf veins, dang that thing's tough, like all else from Sonora . . . .

dave

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Lee, Thank you for the extraordinary Ficus shots in Arizona. These trees look extremely healthy and I am surprised they are not more widely planted in your area.

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Bubba, Ficus are the number one selling shade tree in zone 10 AZ. And their popular is catching on here in 9b Tucson.

Here are some ad's from the largest nursery in the state:

55.jpg

56.jpg

Lee

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In San Francisco and Oakland I've seen happy Ficus nitida, elastica, rubiginosa, macrophylla, aff. watkinsiana, carica, benjamina, repens, afghanistanica, religiosa, sp. unk. collected in highland Indonesia...and auriculata.

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Try using street view in Brownsville, Texas and you will see tons of dead (frozen to the ground?) F. benjamania from last February lol. Most other Ficus look like they froze to the main trunk, although there are some nearer the coast that look better. According to Richard Travis, F. nitida and macrophylla had the least dieback. Surprisingly, there were a few coconuts that survived...

:) Jonathan

Edited by Xenon
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a couple of Ficus growing at the University of AZ campus in Tucson, AZ

Ficus insipida

102_0441.jpg

Ficus petiolaris

102_0445.jpg

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