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Sunday, Jan 13, 2002

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Fiddle-leaved fig

The genus Ficus (family Moraceae), has more than 800 species of which 65 have been recorded in India. Among these are edible, medicinal, lac yielding, timber yielding and a ornamental varieties. Ficus lyrata Warb, is one such ornamental species.

Fiddle-leaved fig (Ficus lyrata), also known as Chinese fig, is a native of West Africa. It is an attractive, tree, growing up to 10 metres with a thick brown stem. The leaves are large, thick, leathery, 25-40 cm long and 30 cm wide. The leaves are fiddle shaped, deep green, with yellowish green veins and a rounded apex. It is a slow growing plant and prefers warm and moist conditions.

The plant is very hardy and can be grown in open and in partially shaded locations. It can be ground cultured as a specimen tree by the side of a lawn or road for display. The soil around the roots should be allowed to dry out before the watering. This tree can be propagated by air layering or stem cutting.

SUJATHA NAIR
K.N. SHIVA
D.R. SINGH
R.P. MEDHI

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