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Genus of the Week

Week of June 1-7

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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:


Ficus


Subclass: Dicotyledoneae
Superorder: Dilleniidae
Order: Urticales
Family: Moraceae
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:


References:

  1. Heywood, V.H., ed. Flowering Plants of the World. New York, Oxford University Press: 1993.
  2. Primack, Richard B. Essentials of Conservation Biology. Sunderland, MA, Sinauer Associates Inc.: 1993.

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