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Seashore and Beach Plants

Ficus microcarpa

Malayan banyan Jejawi Moraceae

 

Malayan banyan, Ficus microcarpa, jejawi

 

Ficus microcarpa, also known as Chinese Banyan, Malayan Banyan, Indian Laurel or Curtain fig, is a banyan native in the range from Sri Lanka to India, southern China, the Malay Archipelago, the Ryukyu Islands, Australia, and New Caledonia.
Hill's Weeping Fig is a form of Ficus microcarpa. It was first formally described as a species in its own right (Ficus hillii) by F.M. Bailey in the Botany Bulletin of the Queensland Department of Agriculture, based on the type specimen collected in the "scrubs of tropical Queensland'". In 1960, it was reassigned by British botanist E.J.H. Corner as a variety of F. microcarpa, namely F. microcarpa var. hillii. In the 2005 Australian Plant Census it was treated as a synonym of F. microcarpa.
Distribution and habitat

Ficus microcarpa was widely distributed as an ornamental plant and is one of the most common street trees in warm climates. The symbiotic pollinating fig wasp, Eupristina verticillata, was introduced along with F. microcarpa. Such an introduction, however, can be delayed: in Brazil - where specimens of the tree had been used in gardening since the nineteenth century, when it was introduced by the French architect Auguste François Marie Glaziou into various public parks of Rio de Janeiro - the appearance of saplings began only during the 1970s. Such saplings are considered to be very aggressive, as they can grow on the walls of buildings, bridges, highways, and other concrete structures. The tree is considered a major invasive species in Hawaii, Florida, Bermuda, Central America, and South America.
Ecology

In some parts of its introduced range, it is very attractive to avian wildlife: in São Paulo, Brazil, ten species of birds were listed as feeding on its fruits, especially Turdus rufiventris, Pitangus sulphuratus, Turdus leucomelas, Thraupis sayaca and Celeus flavescens. Its fruit and leaves are also sought after and eaten by the parrot Aratinga leucophthalmus. Although invasive, its hardiness makes it an important species for the attraction of avian wildlife in urban environments.
Cultivation
Ficus microcarpa as an indoor landscape plant.

Ficus microcarpa is cultivated as an ornamental tree for planting in gardens, parks, and in containers as an indoor plant and bonsai specimen.

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