Characteristics of Superb Fig Tree (Ficus subpisocarpa) in the Wild

Ficus subpisocarpa
Superb Fig or Japanese Superb Fig (Ficus subpisocarpa) is a species of deciduous tree native to Japan, China, Taiwan, and Southeast Asia to Indonesia. In China this tree is known as 筆管榕.

French botanist François Gagnepain described Ficus subpisocarpa in 1927, from a collection near Haiphong in Vietnam. It was reduced to a synonym of Ficus superba var japonica by EJH Corner in 1965, before being elevated to species status again by Cornelis Christiaan Berg in 2005. Two subspecies are recognized. Within the genus, Ficus subpisocarpa belongs to the subgenus Urostigma.

 

Characteristics of Superb Fig Leaf

Ficus subpisocarpa Leaf
Source: flickr.com/calando

The leaves and stems are downy, symmetrical, oval with a rounded base, about 20-25 cm long and 8-13 cm wide. The leaves are arranged spirally on the stem.

 

Characteristics of Superb Fig Fruit

Ficus subpisocarpa Fruit
Source: flickr.com/hisusan2005

The fruit grows on branches, in groups of one to three. When ripe, the fruit is whitish-pink to dark purple and is round in shape with a diameter of 0.5-0.8 cm.

 

Characteristics of Superb Fig Tree

Source: flickr.com/光明 熊
Source: flickr.com/光明 熊

Superb Fig is a deciduous tree that can grow as high as 5-7 meters, it can grow on the ground or hitchhike on other trees (hemiepiphyte). The bark is dark brown, while the branches are reddish-brown to dark gray.

Its use is not yet known, but this tree is sometimes planted as an ornamental tree in a pot or bonsai.

 

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