Saturday, July 26, 2008

Random plant event: Ficus benjamina figs

We had a Ficus maclellandii produce figs last winter (or at least we didn't notice it until last winter), but this is the first time I've seen them on F. benjamina.


I'm surprised that they're spotted; it makes them cooler somehow. Unfortunately, I think customers, or maybe co-workers, are noticing them and pulling them off or knocking them off accidentally, so I may not get to see the full progression (and even if people stopped pulling them off, the plant in question might sell). But at least there's been this much.


Weirdly, this is the only plant that's doing this, even though we have several others of more or less the same size (and one that's quite a lot bigger). Don't know what the cue is, but apparently it's pretty specific.


6 comments:

Benjamin Vogt said...

Benjamina! That's the feminine, I suppose, of my name. Huh. This is the most fascinating comment anyone has ever left you, or will ever leave you.

Anonymous said...

It's so strange seeing them as street trees in parts of southern California. It's even stranger seeing a 30' Radermachera (aka 'China Doll') in Anaheim.

Nifty pics; I've never seen benjamina fruit before!

Korina

Anonymous said...

It's so strange seeing them as street trees in parts of southern California. It's even stranger seeing a 30' Radermachera (aka 'China Doll') in Anaheim.

Nifty pics; I've never seen benjamina fruit before!

Korina

sheila said...

I've only had berries on F. benjaminas that were quite elderly. I got a couple on a F. alii once, too.

I used to help do the plants at a big-league baseball stadium that had 28 large F. benjaminas all along the concourse where the box seats were. They would make figs, which would drop and then go crunch underfoot, leaving behind a mess on the floor looking not unlike a smashed acorn, only a bit smaller. I'm sure it was a nightmare for whoever had to vacuum in there. Luckily, the season didn't seem to last that long (a month or two, if I remember correctly).

Anonymous said...

I rescued a small Benjamina from a dumpster 23 years back and have been nursing it in large pots outdoors since then - it is now a small shade tree.Yesterday I noticed that it has produced figs for the first time and exclusively on new growth. I wonder if these can be sprouted?

mr_subjunctive said...

Well, possibly they could be sprouted if:

1) They've been pollinated (which requires a particular species of wasp), and
2) You're really lucky. I planted something like a hundred Ficus religiosa seeds this spring, and got eleven seedlings, of which four survived transplantation. My understanding is that the numbers are similar for most other Ficus species, though maybe not quite as bad as mine.

Cuttings are really a lot easier, if more plants are what you want.