Characteristics of West Indian Laurel Fig Tree (Ficus americana) in the Wild

Ficus americana
West Indian laurel fig or Jamaican cherry fig is a tree species in the Moraceae family that is native to Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, Honduras, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, and Brazil.

The West Indian laurel fig is classified under the subgenus Urostigma (strangulation fig) and part Americana. The species vary, the five subspecies previously recognized are housed in a large number of other species.

Ficus americana Aubl. or Ficus perforata L. To counter this, Cornelis Berg proposed in 2003 that the name Aublet be preserved above Linnaeus, as it is more widely used. Finally, this proposal was accepted after long discussion.

 
Five subspecies are currently recognized:

  • Ficus americana Aubl. subsp. americana
  • Ficus americana Aubl. subsp. andicola (Standl.) CC Berg
  • Ficus americana Aubl. subsp. greiffiana (Dugand) CC Berg
  • Ficus americana Aubl. subsp. guianensis (Desv.) CC Berg
  • Ficus americana Aubl. subsp. subapiculata (Miq.) CC Berg

 

Characteristics of West Indian Laurel Fig Leaf

Ficus americana Leaf
Source : wikimedia.org

The leaves are oblong, 4-11 cm long, 1-3.5 cm wide, sharp at the apex, smooth, inconspicuous secondary and tertiary veins, 0.4-1.4 cm long petiole, and hairless.

 

Characteristics of West Indian Laurel Fig Fruit

Ficus americana Fruit
Source : tropical.theferns.info

The fruit is typical of Ficus, in the form of a berry that appears at the end of a branch. The fruit is preferred and as a staple food for fruit-eating animals such as bats, squirrels, and birds.

 

Characteristics of West Indian Laurel Fig Tree

Ficus americana Tree
Source : earth.com

The West Indian laurel fig can grow as a medium-sized tree up to 20-25 meters high. When the tree is young, it grows as an epiphyte but then stands on its own. The branches are downy, and gray to brown.

The tree is very tough and can live in various places such as areas that are damp, dry, even between roofs or walls of buildings, and even on street corners.

 

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