Characteristics of Alii Fig Tree (Ficus maclellandii) in the Wild

Ficus maclellandii

Alii Fig (Ficus maclellandii) is a species in the genus Ficus of the family Moraceae, native to India, Southeast Asia, and China. The tree is often planted as an ornamental tree because of its exotic foliage.

Ficus maclellandii has economic value, it has been introduced and cultivated as an ornamental tree in pots as well as for large areas such as parking areas, roadsides, and public parks.

This species was first described scientifically by George King in 1888.

The most famous cultivar of Ficus maclellandii is ‘Alii’ which was originally introduced in Hawaii. In the past, this cultivar was often mistakenly identified as Ficus binnendijkii or by the false name Ficus longifolia.

Ficus maclellandii is commonly referred to as Banana Leaf Fig or Long Leaf Fig which refers to its long leaf shape.
 

Characteristics of Alii Fig Leaf

Ficus maclellandii Leaf
Photo source: inaturalist.org/people/sogellizer

The leaves are oval to oblong-elliptical, 8-15 cm long, narrow apex, green surface, and 1-2 cm long petiole.
 

Characteristics of Alii Fig Fruit

Ficus maclellandii Fruit
Photo source: inaturalist.org/people/sogellizer

Small round fruit, 1-1.5 cm in diameter, speckled with white, green when young, and orange or red when ripe.
 

Characteristics of Alii Fig Tree

Ficus maclellandii Tree
Photo source: inaturalist.org/people/rachelteo

Ficus maclellandii can grow up to 30 meters in height and usually lacks solid aerial roots, mostly creating long, brown fibers. The bark is grayish white, and the branches are thick and dangling.

This tree grows optimally in areas with an altitude of 0 to 1,000 m above sea level near water sources such as swamps or rivers.
 

HOW TO CULTIVATE ALII FIG

Ficus maclellandii can be propagated from seeds and grafts. It can also be cut on young branches, but the success rate is low.
 

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