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  Ficus aurea

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Join date : 2010-12-26

PostSubject: Ficus aurea   Sat 08 Jan 2011, 5:30 am

Ficus aurea, commonly known as the Florida strangler fig (or simply strangler fig), golden fig, or higuerón,[1] is a tree in the family Moraceae that is native to the state of Florida, the northern and western Caribbean, southern Mexico and Central America south to Panama.[2] The specific epithet aurea was applied by English botanist Thomas Nuttall who described the species in 1846. Older names that had been applied to this species have later been ruled invalid.[3]

Ficus aurea is a strangler fig. In figs of this type, seed germination usually takes place in the canopy of a host tree with the seedling living as an epiphyte until its roots establish contact with the ground, after which it enlarges and strangles its host, eventually becoming a freestanding tree in its own right. Individuals may reach 30 m (98 ft) in height. Like all figs, it has an obligate mutualism with fig wasps: figs are only pollinated by fig wasps, and fig wasps can only reproduce in fig flowers. The tree provides habitat, food and shelter for a host of tropical lifeforms including epiphytes in cloud forests and birds, mammals, reptiles and invertebrates. F. aurea is used in traditional medicine, for live fencing, as an ornamental and as a bonsai.

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