Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER)

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Ficus benghalensis
L., Moraceae
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Present on Pacific Islands?  yes

Primarily a threat at high elevations?  no

Risk assessment results:  Low risk (based on second screen), score: 3 (Go to the risk assessment)

Other Latin names:  Ficus indica L.

Common name(s): [more details]

English: banyan, banyan fig, banyantree, Bengal banyan, Bengal fig, East Indian figtree, horn fig, Indian banyan, vada tree

French: arbre banian, banyan du Bengale, figuier des pagodes

Rotuman: paka

Samoan: pulu, pulu

Habit:  tree

Description:  "Wide-spreading banyan with copious aerial roots.  Leaves broadly ovate, obtuse, the base cordate; lamina 10-30 cm long, 7-20 cm wide, very coriaceous, puberulous beneath; lateral veins 5-7 pairs, the basal pair prominent, reaching 1/3 of lamina length; petiole 1.5-7 cm long, 5 mm wide, puberulous; stipules thick, 1-1.5 cm long and wide, puberulous.  Figs paired, sessile, puberulous, depressed-globular, 1.5-2 cm diam., maturing orange to red; ostiole broadly unbonate, enclosed by 3 flat apical bracts; basal bracts 3, foliaceous, obtuse, 3-7 mm long, 10-15 mm wide, puberulous.  Male flowers pedicellate; tepals 2 or 3.  Female flowers sessile; tepals 3 or 4.  Gall flowers pedicellate; tepals 3 or 4"  (Chew, 1989; p. 36).

Habitat/ecology:  In Australia, reported to be naturalized in northeastern and central Queensland in mixed eucalypt woodland with monsoon scrub species (Chew, 1989; p. 36). In addition to competing with natural vegetation, the roots can cause damage to structures and roadways.

Propagation:  Seed distributed by birds. Trees begin as epiphytes on host trees. Requires a species-specific wasp for pollination.

Native range:  India and Pakistan; also cultivated (GRIN).

Presence:

Pacific
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
American Samoa
Tutuila Islands
Tutuila Island introduced
cultivated
Space, James C./Flynn, Tim (2000) (p. 35)
Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (US)
Northern Mariana Islands
Pagan Island introduced
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1979) (p. 53)
Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (US)
Northern Mariana Islands
Pagan Island introduced
cultivated
Fosberg, F. R./Falanruw, M. V. C./Sachet, M.-H. (1975) (p. 21)
Doubless planted. Voucher cited: Moore 347 (US)
Fiji
Fiji Islands
Rotuma Island   Bishop Museum (Honolulu) (1991) (voucher ID: BISH 638062)
Taxon name on voucher: Ficus benghalensis L.
Fiji
Fiji Islands
Viti Levu Island introduced
cultivated
Smith, Albert C. (1981) (p. 175)
Vouchers cited: DA 6068, DA 13269 (L.9545)
Fiji
Fiji Islands
Viti Levu Island   Bishop Museum (Honolulu) (1962) (voucher ID: BISH 32932)
Taxon name on voucher: Ficus benghalensis L.
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Tahiti Island introduced
cultivated
Welsh, S. L. (1998) (p. 186)
Voucher cited: Florence 2619
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Tahiti Island introduced
cultivated
Florence, J. (1997) (pp. 155-156)
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Tahiti Island introduced
cultivated
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Vouchers cited: J. Florence 2391 (PAP), J. Florence 2619 (PAP)
Cultivée
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Tahiti Island   Bishop Museum (Honolulu) (1982) (voucher ID: BISH 493283)
Taxon name on voucher: Ficus benghalensis L.
Guam
Guam Island
Guam Island introduced
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1979) (p. 53)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Hawai‘i (Big) Island introduced
cultivated
Staples, George W./Herbst, Derral R. (2005) (p. 408)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Kaua‘i Island introduced
cultivated
Imada, Clyde T./Staples, George W./Herbst, Derral R. (2013) (p. Voucher specimens)
Vouchers cited: Flynn 5690 (BISH 641459), Lorence 8004 (BISH 653772)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Maui Island introduced
cultivated
Staples, George W./Herbst, Derral R. (2005) (p. 408)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
O‘ahu Island introduced
cultivated
Staples, George W./Herbst, Derral R. (2005) (p. 408)
Japan (offshore islands)
Ogasawara (Bonin) Islands
Bonin (Ogasawara) Islands introduced
Kato, Hidetoshi (2007)
Kiribati
Tungaru (Gilbert) Islands
Tarawa Atoll introduced
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1979) (p. 53)
Nauru
Nauru Island
Nauru Island introduced
cultivated
Thaman, R. R./Fosberg, F. R./Manner, H. I./Hassall, D. C. (1994) (pp. 171-172)
Vouchers cited: Fosberg 58749 (US), Thaman & Manner 53 (SUVA)
Nauru
Nauru Island
Nauru Island   Bishop Museum (Honolulu) (1978) (voucher ID: BISH 660710)
Taxon name on voucher: Ficus benghalensis L.
Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea (eastern New Guinea Island)
Papua New Guinea (eastern New Guinea Island)   Waterhouse, Barbara (year unknown)
Samoa
Western Samoa Islands
Upolu Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Space, James C./Flynn, Tim (2002) (p. 66)
Samoa
Western Samoa Islands
Upolu Island   Bishop Museum (Honolulu) (1973) (voucher ID: BISH 417714)
Taxon name on voucher: Ficus benghalensis L.
United States (other Pacific offshore islands)
Midway Atoll
Sand Island introduced
cultivated
Starr, Forest/Starr, Kim/Loope, Lloyd (2008) (pp. B-8)
Pacific Rim
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Australia
Australia (continental)
Queensland introduced
invasive
Australian Biological Resources Study (2013)
"Found in mixed eucalypt woodland with monsoon scrub species".
Singapore
Singapore
Singapore (Republic of) introduced
invasive
Chong, Kwek Yan/Tan, Hugh T. W./Corlett, Richard T. (2009) (p. 41)
Casual
Indian Ocean
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
British Indian Ocean Territory
Chagos Archipelago
Diego Garcia Island   Stoddart, D. R./Taylor, J. D., eds. (1971) (p. 148)
Vouchers cited: Willis & Gardiner s.n. (K), Rhyne 654 (US), Stoddart 807 (K, US)
British Indian Ocean Territory
Chagos Archipelago
Diego Garcia Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Whistler, W. Arthur (1996) (pp. 28, 34)
British Indian Ocean Territory
Chagos Archipelago
Diego Garcia Island   National Tropical Botanical Garden (U.S.A. Hawaii. Kalaheo.) (1995) (voucher ID: PTBG 38081)
Taxon name on voucher: Ficus benghalensis L.
Maldives
Maldive Islands
Addu Atoll   Spicer, R. A./Newberry, D. MacC. (1979) (p. 13)
Maldives
Maldive Islands
Malè Atoll   Fosberg, F. R. (1957) (p. 16)
Seychelles
Seychelles Islands
Coetivy Island   Robertson, S. A./Fosberg, F. R. (1983) (p. 151)
Voucher cited: Robertson 3120 (K)
Seychelles
Seychelles Islands
Frégate Island   Robertson, S. A./Todd, D. M. (1983) (p. 55)
Voucher cited: Roberson 2668
Seychelles
Seychelles Islands
Poivre Island   Robertson, S. A./Fosberg, F. R. (1983) (p. 172)
Also reported from
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
United States (continental except west coast)
United States (other states)
USA (Florida) introduced
U.S. Dept. Agr., Nat. Res. Cons. Serv. (2013)

Comments:  Planting of this species is prohibited in Miami-Dade County, Florida (U.S.) (Hunsberger, 2001).

Control: 

Chemical:  "Fig trees are particularly sensitive to triclopyr herbicides as a basal or cut-stump treatment.  Trees found growing on concrete or rock structures should be treated with herbicide while young to avoid costly structural damage.  Use extreme caution when applying herbicide to figs growing as epiphytes to ensure that the poison does not contact the host tree.  When exotic figs germinate high in the branches of large trees in natural forest communities, it may be extraordinarily difficult to get close enough to the fig to treat it"  (Randall & Marinelli, 1996; pp. 33-34).


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This page was created on 1 JAN 1999 and was last updated on 29 APR 2013.