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  • San Diego Zoo

Species Collection


Plants: Species

Fig (Ficus): Rubber Tree Ficus elastica

FAMILY: MORACEAE (Mulberry Family)

A tropical Asian import, the rubber tree has been widely used as an indoor plant for 100 years. The biggest leaves are up to 12 inches (30 centimeters) long and 5 inches (13 centimeters) wide, and animals prefer the large, thick ones to nibble on. The figs are small and insignificant.

The bark of the rubber tree produces copious amounts of white latex sap, giving rise to its common name. It was once an important source of rubber in its native South Asia until the late 19th Century.