Genus of the Week
Week of June 1-7
This page has been created for people who want to learn more about plants, especially in the context of their taxonomy (Latin names, etc.). This is by no means an exhaustive list of all available Web resources on a particular genus.
Visit the Land of the Glandular Trichomes,
a microscopic look at plants in the Lamiaceae family.
This week's genus:
Number of Species: At least 800
Root: from the Latin "fi", meaning fig, and "cus", meaning tree.
The genus Ficus is probably best known to most people as an ornamental tree. While plants
from this genus do contribute to a thriving horticultural industry, one cannot overlook the
importance of these Fig-producing plants in the tropics. Ficus are often considered
keystone species, meaning that they are extremely important for the survivial of many other
organisms. Their fruits provide food and protection for several creatures, including wasps, birds
and other frugivores.
Here are a few links to images and descriptions of different Ficus species:
- Visit the Miami Agra-Starts Homepage to see many commercially viable varieties of Ficus
- The Irrigation and Green Industry Network has a
fact sheet that provides general information about this genus.
- Bonsai Web has information about several Ficus species that can be grown as
- www.plantadviser.com has a photo accompanying growing tips on the following species:
- Horticulturalists may want to check out Hort Digest #103, from the Hawaii
Cooperative Extension Service, for the article entitled "Chemical Branch Induction on
- Visit the Vascular Plant Image Gallery at Texas A&M University for several nice
photos of Ficus species.
- Heywood, V.H., ed. Flowering Plants of the World. New York, Oxford University Press: 1993.
- Primack, Richard B. Essentials of Conservation Biology. Sunderland, MA, Sinauer Associates Inc.: 1993.
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