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ParkerK

Ficus ID Please

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ParkerK

Hoping to get an ID on this Ficus. Never seen it before and very curious. See photos.

 

Thanks for the help!

20181019_133422.jpg

20181019_133447.jpg

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epiphyte

Where is it?  Last month I got some cuttings from my friend Gene's Ficus which looks somewhat similar... Ficus craterostoma.  

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ParkerK

Hey there! It's in the City of Newport Beach at a City park. A retired palm/cycad/cactus/tropical tree nut planted this and a Ficus banghalensis in this park. Wish I knew the species name but I don't think it's a craterostoma, close though! Its has about 3 lobes at tip of the leaves.

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ParkerK
1 hour ago, epiphyte said:

Where is it?  Last month I got some cuttings from my friend Gene's Ficus which looks somewhat similar... Ficus craterostoma.  

Actually, you are absolutely right! Thank you so much for the reply @epiphyte

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epiphyte
3 hours ago, ParkerK said:

Hey there! It's in the City of Newport Beach at a City park. A retired palm/cycad/cactus/tropical tree nut planted this and a Ficus banghalensis in this park. Wish I knew the species name but I don't think it's a craterostoma, close though! Its has about 3 lobes at tip of the leaves.

Did he get permission or did he just guerrilla garden them?  Do you grow Ficus?  

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ParkerK
9 hours ago, epiphyte said:

Did he get permission or did he just guerrilla garden them?  Do you grow Ficus?  

lol, I'm not sure if he got permission or not. He's planted a lot of really cool trees throughout the city. From my understanding the City appreciated it and sees them as treasured donations now.

I have a couple ficus bonsai but that's about it. I'm starting to get interested, hopefully I don't get bitten by the Ficus Bug!

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epiphyte

Being bitten by the Ficus bug isn't so bad.  Lots of them can grow easily from cuttings.  

Here's a really interesting paper about Ficus microcarpa naturalizing in Southern California (PDF).  It's fascinating how a tropical Ficus can manage to grow epiphytically here without any supplemental water.  According to this article, it's actually a parasite!???  I'm... skeptical.  

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Silas_Sancona
1 hour ago, epiphyte said:

Being bitten by the Ficus bug isn't so bad.  Lots of them can grow easily from cuttings.  

Here's a really interesting paper about Ficus microcarpa naturalizing in Southern California (PDF).  It's fascinating how a tropical Ficus can manage to grow epiphytically here without any supplemental water.  According to this article, it's actually a parasite!???  I'm... skeptical.  

Interesting link Carlos.. Thinking there were acouple other species that have been discussed in other articles as possible candidates which could escape / attempt establishment outside of cultivation in SoCal.. where the specific wasp needed to produce viable seed were also present / introduced into the environment as well. 

While current climate conditions might curtail any serious development / establishment of aerial roots on strangler -type species, outside of ideal conditions under cultivation, i could see the recent episodes of warmer / more humid summer conditions, and maybe a continuance of that pattern across Southern CA during future summers changing that, perhaps? 

Me myself, i wouldn't mind seeing some of the Mexican species, ie: palmeri, petiolaris, trigonata, cotinifolia, inspida, and pertusa growing in some of the canyons around San Diego, or other spots across that part of the state.. 

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epiphyte

If Ficus microcarpa can survive without any supplemental water, then why don't we ever see it in the local hills and canyons?  I'm pretty sure that I've seen Ficus carica gone wild in a few places.  

I only recognize the first two Ficus names that you mentioned. How come I don't know about the others?  How many Ficus are you growing?

From my personal experience I really don't think the temps limit Northern expansion of those Ficus.  At least not as far as California is concerned.  I've seen several pretty big Ficus palmeri and petiolaris growing in collections.  I'm pretty sure the limiting factor is the dryness, which doesn't seem to be decreasing.  

But I really wouldn't mind seeing one, or two, Southern Ficus colonizing California.  Who am I kidding, my preference is to see dozens and dozens of different Ficus species growing wild here.  Same with tree Aloes.  Basically, I want all of Southern California to put the Huntington Botanical Garden to shame.  Every single acre in SoCal should have more diversity than all of the Huntington's 120 acres.  

Perhaps most people prefer the status quo, but it's a basic fact that everybody who grows any plants outdoors here gives California the opportunity to select the fittest ones.  Countless plants are killed during summer by the heat/drought, and countless others are killed during winter by the cold/rain.  They are replaced with the survivors and new candidates.  "Californication" will result in more and more plants that can thrive here without any supplemental water.  

In order to help speed things up, I sow a lot of seeds.  

 

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Silas_Sancona
23 hours ago, epiphyte said:

If Ficus microcarpa can survive without any supplemental water, then why don't we ever see it in the local hills and canyons?  I'm pretty sure that I've seen Ficus carica gone wild in a few places.  

I only recognize the first two Ficus names that you mentioned. How come I don't know about the others?  How many Ficus are you growing?

From my personal experience I really don't think the temps limit Northern expansion of those Ficus.  At least not as far as California is concerned.  I've seen several pretty big Ficus palmeri and petiolaris growing in collections.  I'm pretty sure the limiting factor is the dryness, which doesn't seem to be decreasing.  

But I really wouldn't mind seeing one, or two, Southern Ficus colonizing California.  Who am I kidding, my preference is to see dozens and dozens of different Ficus species growing wild here.  Same with tree Aloes.  Basically, I want all of Southern California to put the Huntington Botanical Garden to shame.  Every single acre in SoCal should have more diversity than all of the Huntington's 120 acres.  

Perhaps most people prefer the status quo, but it's a basic fact that everybody who grows any plants outdoors here gives California the opportunity to select the fittest ones.  Countless plants are killed during summer by the heat/drought, and countless others are killed during winter by the cold/rain.  They are replaced with the survivors and new candidates.  "Californication" will result in more and more plants that can thrive here without any supplemental water.  

In order to help speed things up, I sow a lot of seeds.  

 

Intriguing for sure, and worthy of more detective work once i'm back in CA.. Would also think, based on what i gather from the article, one should be able to find examples of establishing  escaped specimens, beyond those that turn up in the old boots of Washingtonia or CIDPs within range of trees that set viable fruit / seed.. in such native habitats as Riparian / stream side woodlands, and moist / humid spots closer to the coast, perhaps growing on X cliff over looking the ocean..

Imo, locations like these would be the most logical places where Ficus seedlings would have the greatest chances of survival / post- germination success.. Even for our near- native, more drought resistant  F. palmeri and petiolaris, i'd suspect starting off close to more permanent sources of water would be the first step of the expanding of each species individual range north from where the current northern limit of each is down south.. Such habitat mimics where one would encounter a majority of the Ficus species that occur in Sonora and northern Sinaloa, and perhaps Baja Sur ...in warmer, nearly / completely frost free Gallery forests along River / Canyon bottoms mixed in among various, moisture loving Legumes, Montezuma Cypress, other tropical, mostly evergreen species.

Exceptions to that rule would be  F. palmeri and petiolaris who exhibit some degree of water storing capacity enabling either to grow in much drier places where water might not as readily available.. Of course, whether or not either could expand north depends on if the wasp that pollinates that particular species moves north / is introduced as well..   No wasp = no viable seed..  

Agree, aside from drought conditions which might retard potential seedling recruitment,  i also don't see weather as being something that would stop more southern species from expanding their territory north. 

As for my current collection, They include both F. petiolaris and palmeri, and pertusa.. I'd have added F. trigonata had i had extra cash on me when some specimens were available.. VERY uncommon.  Another Nursery in Tucson had some F. cotinifolia specimens, but decided to hold on to them for future cutting stock. F. insipida shows up every so often also. 

I could be wrong of course, but the more i continue researching, it seems as though there's a lot of stuff from down south that seems to have been overlooked, or to my knowledge, hasn't been trialed more, if at all including a few Bursera sp. in the Simarubra clade which grow in the transition zone between the warmer, more tropical / lower elevation forests, and cooler, higher elevation Oak / Pine -Oak woodlands.. Possibly hardy enough to survive in CA?? There is even a hemi-epiphytic species of Bursera, B. standleyana which may or may not qualify as a strangler, and another that eventually grows as a giant Liana ( Bursera instabilis).. Let alone several tree-sized Manihot sp.  and a potential 30 or so additional Ficus species from Mexico and Central America.. among other interesting stuff i keep stumbling upon.. 



 

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bubba

Be careful what you wish for... 

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epiphyte

Silas, when you moving back to Cali?  Where in Cali?  

My petiolaris recently "bloomed" but the flowers weren't pollinated.  My rubiginosa seems to get pollinated.  Not sure about my benjamina.  Has my lutea ever bloomed?  It's got to be big enough.  My benghalensis is much smaller and it blooms, but I don't think the flowers are pollinated.  I'd love to know all the different Ficus that are pollinated here.   

If you drive down from the California border... how long before you find a native fig in the wild?  I get the feeling that it would be a pretty long drive.  So I don't think that a pollinator could make the trip on its own.   

That's really neat that there's a hemi-epiphytic Bursera!  I had no idea that such a plant existed.  I completely understand what you mean about overlooked plants.  Quite often I find myself asking why some plant isn't already in cultivation here.  For example, as far as I know, nobody in California is growing this Pleopeltis.  

Nurseries and botanical gardens introduce lots of new plants... but I feel like there should be a non-profit with this mission.  

1. Identify plants that should be, but are not, widely cultivated in California
2. Facilitate their introduction/distribution 

In some cases it will turn out that somebody is already growing a plant, then it's just a matter of propagating and distributing it.  

On Reddit it would be easy enough to create a subreddit for people to list the plants that should be more widely cultivated in California.  Then people could vote for their favorite ones.  Except, I think it would be better if people could "vote" with donations.  We'd see which plants were the most valuable (as opposed to popular) and the money could be used to help pay for their introduction/distribution.  

 

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Silas_Sancona
On 10/30/2018, 10:29:01, epiphyte said:

Silas, when you moving back to Cali?  Where in Cali?  

My petiolaris recently "bloomed" but the flowers weren't pollinated.  My rubiginosa seems to get pollinated.  Not sure about my benjamina.  Has my lutea ever bloomed?  It's got to be big enough.  My benghalensis is much smaller and it blooms, but I don't think the flowers are pollinated.  I'd love to know all the different Ficus that are pollinated here.   

If you drive down from the California border... how long before you find a native fig in the wild?  I get the feeling that it would be a pretty long drive.  So I don't think that a pollinator could make the trip on its own.   

That's really neat that there's a hemi-epiphytic Bursera!  I had no idea that such a plant existed.  I completely understand what you mean about overlooked plants.  Quite often I find myself asking why some plant isn't already in cultivation here.  For example, as far as I know, nobody in California is growing this Pleopeltis.  

Nurseries and botanical gardens introduce lots of new plants... but I feel like there should be a non-profit with this mission.  

1. Identify plants that should be, but are not, widely cultivated in California
2. Facilitate their introduction/distribution 

In some cases it will turn out that somebody is already growing a plant, then it's just a matter of propagating and distributing it.  

On Reddit it would be easy enough to create a subreddit for people to list the plants that should be more widely cultivated in California.  Then people could vote for their favorite ones.  Except, I think it would be better if people could "vote" with donations.  We'd see which plants were the most valuable (as opposed to popular) and the money could be used to help pay for their introduction/distribution.  

 

Regarding the move.. As long as plans stay on track, should be out there by May/ ..June at the latest. Regardless of timing, focused on somewhere within North county, say Vista, or as far east as Escondido. 

As far as where the closest to the CA / MEX, or AZ / MEX. border, recent observations of both F. palmeri and petiolaris have been made, using both data from Inaturalist, and rough measurements via google earth, the closest, most recent observation of F. palmeri looks to have been made approx. 496 miles south of San Diego, in a remote area roughly east of San Luis, near Rancho within 20 miles of the Baja Norte / Baja Sur border, approx. 30-40 miles inland south west of Isla San Lorenzo back in March of 2017. 
Looking at Inaturalist's data, they have most of Baja Norte painted as part of the potential range of F. palmeri. Because that area is very remote and likely not extensively explored / surveyed yearly, it's possible more "in situ" specimens could be discovered closer to CA.. 

Most recent closest observation of F. petiolaris was made in March of this year approx. 72.08 miles south of Nogales AZ in a remote area roughly due east of Estacion Llano, Sonora Mex. There are also observed specimens east of there in higher / more remote locations deep in the mountains of Eastern Sonora within a similar distance of the U.S. / Mexico border.  Again, entirely possible that other specimens could lurk in yet to be explored spots closer to the border there also..

As far as the wasp which pollinate either.. its quite likely that some of either species show up on this side of the border from time to time.. moving 80 miles should be a cinch for anything that can fly.. 500 miles might take a day or two, but is possible, especially over land under favorable conditions.. As tiny as they are, i don't think it would take much for them to be carried north in the wind of a remnant Tropical storm or other WX system strong enough to generate a windstorm from the south / southwest at a time when the insects are out. A bigger question is whether or not there are flowering / fruiting specimens around when they arrive, let alone how long they live after leaving the fruit itself ( if they could survive being tossed around in the wind for several hours / a day or two before finding a place to do their thing).. 

Regardless, birds could continue moving viable seed north, which would draw the wasps north in time also.. 

As far as Botanical Gardens and nurseries go, some do much better than others when it comes to exposing people to completely new plants.. That are from other places beyond Asia or Europe. While I enjoy access to Desert Botanical.. i find most of the rare stuff at another garden / other nurseries in Tucson..  Most plants you see at DBG sales are from local nurseries and don't extend too far beyond normal fare..  Phoenix has no nurseries dedicated to Native / regionally native plants, nor the magnitude of places where you are likely to find new or harder to find succulents and /or Cacti..  On the other hand,  you'll find a few places pushing the limit in regards to tropical fruits, etc here though.. 

Agree on wanting to see more nonprofit orgs. / foundations get involved as well..  Modeling future endevors around some of the great ones i have come to know for sure.


 

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epiphyte

It would be really cool if you could partner up with Kartuz!  His nursery is by far my favorite nursery for non-orchid epiphytes.  Not sure about recently but he has had some nice Ficus for sale... such as Ficus deltoidea.  

I only recently learned that Palomar College is in the same general area.  It came to my attention because their website hosts the Ficus articles from "Wayne's Word".  Maybe the botanical garden at the college has some nice Ficus specimens.  The "Wayne's Word" website gets a lot of credit for my interest in Ficus.  

It's one thing for a wasp to make the trip from Mexico, but then it's another thing for it to find the right Ficus.  Neither palmeri or petiolaris are common.  Ideally Mexico would have strategically placed botanical gardens to facilitate the Northern expansion of tropical dry forest plants.  

Imagine if you could have a total of 100 acres of land in Mexico that you could divide however you wanted.  For example you could have one 100 acre botanical garden... or two 50 acre botanical gardens... or 100 one acre botanical gardens.  Which division would you prefer?  I think I'd prefer to go with a larger number of smaller gardens in order for the jumps north to be smaller.  

Not sure where in Baja California would be the best place for the corridor to start.  Maybe Santa Rosalia?  

 

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Silas_Sancona

I may, in time. Have my list of replacement plants ready for visits to his nursery though:D

Also saw the Ficus page on Palomar's site. Thinking they do have a few species in the Arboretum collection there. 

Agree that neither  of the near-native Ficus sp. are all that commonly seen, though honestly, i don't know why they haven't been trialed more, especially in local parks, street medians wide enough for growing them. Here are some pictures of one of the nicest -looking specimens i have seen anywhere in Phoenix.. The zoo might have others but haven't been there. Might visit before moving however. regardless, the leaves, bark, canopy would certainly attract attention, let alone provide great shade.. and take the heat..

Scottsdale F. petiolaris.. 

Overall appearance
20170903_090818.jpg.70c8a1ef1c45ff4e3acb

Close-up of the Trunk
20170903_090930.jpg.34f044015fa0b3715ead

Branch w/ developing Fruit.. Doubt they would be viable ( i wish).. Didn't see any seedlings in nearby beds.
20170903_090915.jpg.669a3dd9c4ba0ef0bbed

As far as land, if i end up with 2 or 3 acres to play with in a few years, i'll be thrilled. No doubt more would be great, lol but we both know CA. land isn't going to get cheaper anytime soon. A little piece of property in the heart of the TDF region in Sonora, or up in the mountains in the Cape region of Baja Sur would be cool as well.. Perennial seed source, and potential  eco-tourism site.. Never stop dreaming, right?

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epiphyte

Care to share your list??  I'm curious how many of the plants I won't know.  

Thanks for sharing the pics of the F. petiolaris!  That is a nice specimen!  I remember that the Fullerton Arboretum had a really great one with multiple trunks... but it might have been palmeri. 

Perhaps they aren't more common because they don't grow so easy from cuttings?  I've taken a few cuttings from my petiolaris but they didn't root.  Maybe it was my fault though and the medium wasn't well-drained enough.  Or maybe I took the cuttings at the wrong time.  

Then again, Ficus thonningii grows easy from cuttings but it isn't very common.  Have you seen the one at the LA Arboretum?  It has by far the best aerial roots in California.  

A while back the Quail Botanic Garden made a big concrete tree and then attached rooted cuttings from the LA Arboretum's thonningii to it along with other plants.  The last time that I visited the garden the epiphyte installation seemed to be growing in nicely.  It's such a really cool idea.  Hopefully the LA Arboretum and Huntington will try something similar.  

In my 2011 Epiphyte Grand Prix I included a variegated Ficus diversifolia that I had picked up from Kartuz.  For some reason it didn't establish.  This past August I tried again to grow a Ficus epiphytically, but this time I used Ficus thonningii and it quickly established.  It isn't on my Cedar tree though!  Instead it's attached to a branch that is suspended vertically in the small area that I water most frequently.  On some other mossy mounts in the same area there are some Ficus rubiginosa seeds that I think are starting to germinate. 

My friend Gary recently gave me a big clump of Platycerium veitchii that had been growing on his old Ficus carica.  There were several rooted Ficus stems in the Staghorn clump.  I divided the Staghorn and attached each division just below a mounted orchid.  The point is for the orchid to benefit from having its roots grow into the Staghorn.  One of the Staghorns has a Ficus stem that has produced a green bud, so there's a chance that it will grow.  If it does then its roots will compete with the orchid roots... but perhaps the orchid roots will grow on the Ficus stems as they get larger.  

The goal is to try and create the most sustainable and dynamic hanging garden.  

 

 

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Silas_Sancona
On 11/5/2018, 3:34:19, epiphyte said:

Care to share your list??  I'm curious how many of the plants I won't know.  

Thanks for sharing the pics of the F. petiolaris!  That is a nice specimen!  I remember that the Fullerton Arboretum had a really great one with multiple trunks... but it might have been palmeri. 

Perhaps they aren't more common because they don't grow so easy from cuttings?  I've taken a few cuttings from my petiolaris but they didn't root.  Maybe it was my fault though and the medium wasn't well-drained enough.  Or maybe I took the cuttings at the wrong time.  

Then again, Ficus thonningii grows easy from cuttings but it isn't very common.  Have you seen the one at the LA Arboretum?  It has by far the best aerial roots in California.  

A while back the Quail Botanic Garden made a big concrete tree and then attached rooted cuttings from the LA Arboretum's thonningii to it along with other plants.  The last time that I visited the garden the epiphyte installation seemed to be growing in nicely.  It's such a really cool idea.  Hopefully the LA Arboretum and Huntington will try something similar.  

In my 2011 Epiphyte Grand Prix I included a variegated Ficus diversifolia that I had picked up from Kartuz.  For some reason it didn't establish.  This past August I tried again to grow a Ficus epiphytically, but this time I used Ficus thonningii and it quickly established.  It isn't on my Cedar tree though!  Instead it's attached to a branch that is suspended vertically in the small area that I water most frequently.  On some other mossy mounts in the same area there are some Ficus rubiginosa seeds that I think are starting to germinate. 

My friend Gary recently gave me a big clump of Platycerium veitchii that had been growing on his old Ficus carica.  There were several rooted Ficus stems in the Staghorn clump.  I divided the Staghorn and attached each division just below a mounted orchid.  The point is for the orchid to benefit from having its roots grow into the Staghorn.  One of the Staghorns has a Ficus stem that has produced a green bud, so there's a chance that it will grow.  If it does then its roots will compete with the orchid roots... but perhaps the orchid roots will grow on the Ficus stems as they get larger.  

The goal is to try and create the most sustainable and dynamic hanging garden.  

 

 

From Kartuz?.. pretty tame actually,  mostly your basic, flowering-type stuff, plus some Hoya / Lipstick Plant sp. originally purchased from him.  The interesting things lie within the replacement Orchid, and wish / White Whale lists i have.   

 I've also heard a lot of conflicting info regarding how easy / difficult getting Ficus petiolaris and palmeri cuttings to root is supposed to be. Some say it was easy, while others have had the similar experiences you'd mentioned,   If a challenge to root, that could factor into why either species isn't utilized more in the landscape trade. Then again, it seems i have been seeing more seedlings available so, perhaps in time, you'll start seeing 15gal specimens in X  nursery's inventory, even if just a handful or so are regularly in-stock, if this isn't already the case.. 

Regardless, If i had to guess, i'd bet the best time to try cuttings is likely at the height of summer, similar to when i have had the most success getting Bursera, Boswellia sacra, and Plumeria cuttings going. I may bite the bullet and try rooting the top of my petiolaris next year.. Has become quite stretched out from sitting under patio a bit too long and have been flip flopping regarding topping it to get it in better shape..  

Have seen pictures of the Fullerton specimen, among some other examples i'm looking forward to checking out in-person once out of the furnace, and back on the " West side of the Hill " ( Since most of Orange County, and San Diego are basically due west of us..) as i like to call it.

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