Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER)

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

Primarily a threat at high elevations?  no

Risk assessment results:  Evaluate, score: 4 (Go to the risk assessment)

Other Latin names:  Ficus nitida Thunb.

Common name(s): [more details]

Chinese: chui ye rong

English: Benjamin fig, Benjamin tree, Benjamin's fig, Java fig, javatree, Malayan banyan, oval-leaf figtree, tropic-laurel, weeping banyan, weeping fig, weeping laurel

Kwara‘ae: fi‘i sirifena, sirifena

Spanish: ficus

Tongan: ‘ovava Fisi

Habit:  tree

Description:  "Large banyan, glabrous; adventitious roots few to none. Leaves subdistichous, elliptic to ovate, rarely oblong, acute to acuminate, cuneate to rounded at base; lamina 3-12 cm long, 1.5-6 cm wide; laterial veins 6-13 pairs; petiole 4-16 mm long, 1-1.5 mm wide; stipules to 1.2 cm long. Figs usually sessile, ellipsoidal, ovoid, obovoid, or rarely subglobose, 8-12 mm diam., ripening dark red; pedicel if present thick; ostiole enclosed by 3 flat apical bracts in a disc 2 mm diam., often with a rim; basal bracts 2 or 3, to 1.5 mm long, concealed beneath fig-body. Male flowers abundant, pedicellate; tepals 3. Female flowers sessile; tepals free, 3 or 4. Gall flowers pedicellate; tepals 3 or 4" (Chew, 1989; p. 37).

Habitat/ecology:  A large tree with an aggressive root system, shading out plants underneath. Commonly used as a house plant but grows outdoors well in tropical and semi-tropical climates.

Propagation:  Seed

Native range:  Southern and southeastern Asia to southwestern Melanesia, Australia; 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
Saipan Island introduced
Raulerson, L. (2006) (p. 26)
Cook Islands
Southern Cook Islands
Rarotonga Island cultivated
Sykes, Bill (year unknown)
Ecuador (Galápagos Islands)
Isabela Group
Isabela Island introduced
cultivated
Charles Darwin Foundation (2008)
Ecuador (Galápagos Islands)
Isabela Group
Volcán Sierra Negra, Isabela Island introduced
cultivated
Charles Darwin Foundation (2008)
Ecuador (Galápagos Islands)
San Cristóbal Group
San Cristóbal Island introduced
cultivated
Charles Darwin Foundation (2008)
Ecuador (Galápagos Islands)
Santa Cruz Group
Santa Cruz Island introduced
cultivated
Charles Darwin Foundation (2008)
Federated States of Micronesia
Pohnpei Islands
Pohnpei Island introduced
cultivated
Herrera, Katherine/Lorence, David H./Flynn, Timothy/Balick, Michael J. (2010) (p. 114)
Voucher cited: F.R. Fosberg 58550 (BISH)
Federated States of Micronesia
Pohnpei Islands
Pohnpei Island   Bishop Museum (Honolulu) (1978) (voucher ID: BISH 661263)
Taxon name on voucher: Ficus benjamina L.
Fiji
Fiji Islands
Vanua Levu Island introduced
cultivated
Smith, Albert C. (1981) (p. 175)
Voucher cited: DA 15962
Fiji
Fiji Islands
Vanua Levu Island   Bishop Museum (Honolulu) (1969) (voucher ID: BISH 32936)
Taxon name on voucher: Ficus benjamina L.
Fiji
Fiji Islands
Viti Levu Island introduced
cultivated
Smith, Albert C. (1981) (p. 175)
Vouchers cited: Smith 9072, Setchell & Parks 15150
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Maupiti (Maurua) Island introduced
cultivated
Florence, J. (1997) (p. 156)
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Maupiti (Maurua) Island introduced
cultivated
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, M.-H. (1987) (p. 27)
Voucher cited: Fosberg 64935 (US)
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Raiatea (Havai) Island introduced
cultivated
Welsh, S. L. (1998) (p. 186)
Voucher cited: BRY 26650
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Tahiti Island introduced
cultivated
Florence, J. (1997) (p. 156)
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Tahiti Island introduced
cultivated
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Vouchers cited: J. Florence 2389 (PAP), J. Florence 2827 (PAP), J. Florence 4467 (PAP)
Cultivée
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Tahiti Island   Bishop Museum (Honolulu) (1992) (voucher ID: BISH 662489)
Taxon name on voucher: Ficus benjamina L.
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Tahiti Island   National Tropical Botanical Garden (U.S.A. Hawaii. Kalaheo.) (1992) (voucher ID: PTBG 30717)
Taxon name on voucher: Ficus benjamina L.
Guam
Guam Island
Guam Island introduced
Raulerson, L. (2006) (p. 26)
Kiribati
Tungaru (Gilbert) Islands
Tarawa Atoll introduced
Fosberg, F. R./Falanruw, M. V. C. (1980) (p. 203)
Voucher cited: Adair 190 (BISH)
Kiribati
Tungaru (Gilbert) Islands
Tarawa Atoll   Bishop Museum (Honolulu) (1968) (voucher ID: BISH 31168)
Taxon name on voucher: Ficus benjamina L.
Marshall Islands
Ralik Chain
Kwajalein (Kuwajleen) Atoll introduced
cultivated
Whistler, W. A./Steele, O. (1999) (p. 101)
Marshall Islands
Ratak Chain
Arno Atoll introduced
cultivated
Vander Velde, Nancy/Vander Velde, Brian (2007) (p. 9)
"Rare; single large tree near residence in Ine village".
Marshall Islands
Ratak Chain
Majuro (Mãjro) Atoll introduced
cultivated
Vander Velde, Nancy (2003) (p. 109)
Marshall Islands
Ratak Chain
Wotje (Wõjjã) Atoll introduced
Vander Velde, Nancy/Vander Velde, Brian (2009) (p. 2)
Voucher cited: Vander Velde 0516200903
New Caledonia
New Caledonia Archipelago
Île Grande Terre introduced
cultivated
MacKee, H. S. (1994) (p. 102)
Voucher cited: MacKee 40681
Palau
Palau (Belau ) (main island group)
Babeldaob Island introduced
cultivated
Space, James C./Lorence, David H./LaRosa, Anne Marie (2009) (p. 20)
Palau
Palau (Belau ) (main island group)
Malakal (Ngemelachel) Island introduced
cultivated
Space, James C./Lorence, David H./LaRosa, Anne Marie (2009) (p. 20)
Palau
Palau (Belau ) (main island group)
Ngercheu Island introduced
cultivated
Space, James C./Lorence, David H./LaRosa, Anne Marie (2009) (p. 8)
Carp Resort
Palau
Rock Islands (Chelbacheb)
Ngerchong Island   National Tropical Botanical Garden (U.S.A. Hawaii. Kalaheo.) (2005) (voucher ID: PTBG 46289)
Taxon name on voucher: Ficus benjamina L.
Papua New Guinea
Bismarck Archipelago
Bismarck Archipelago   Peekel, P. G. [translated by E. E. Henty] (1984) (p. 139)
Papua New Guinea
Bougainville Islands
Bougainville Island   Foreman, D. B. (1971) (p. 48)
Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea (eastern New Guinea Island)
Papua New Guinea (eastern New Guinea Island) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Philippines
Philippine Islands
Philippine Islands native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Philippines
Philippine Islands
Philippine Islands native
Merrill, Elmer D. (1923) (p. 46)
In primary forests at low and medium altitudes.
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) (1921) (voucher ID: BISH 161435)
Taxon name on voucher: Ficus benjamina L.
Solomon Islands
Solomon Islands
New Georgia Island   Bishop Museum (Honolulu) (1993) (voucher ID: BISH 634908)
Taxon name on voucher: Ficus benjamina L.
Solomon Islands
Solomon Islands
Solomon Islands native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Solomon Islands
Solomon Islands
Solomon Islands native
Hancock, I. R./Henderson, C. P. (1988) (p. 74)
Tonga
Ha‘apai Group
Ha‘ano Island introduced
invasive
Space, James C./Flynn, Tim (2001) (p. 72)
Tonga
Ha‘apai Group
Lifuka and Foa Islands introduced
invasive
Space, James C./Flynn, Tim (2001) (p. 72)
Voucher: Flynn 6892 (PTBG, AD, BG, US)
Tonga
Ha‘apai Group
Lifuka and Foa Islands   National Tropical Botanical Garden (U.S.A. Hawaii. Kalaheo.) (2001) (voucher ID: PTBG 239)
Taxon name on voucher: Ficus benjamina
Tonga
Ha‘apai Group
‘Uiha Island introduced
invasive
Space, James C./Flynn, Tim (2001) (p. 72)
Tonga
Tongatapu Group
‘Eua Island introduced
invasive
Space, James C./Flynn, Tim (2001) (p. 60)
Tonga
Tongatapu Group
Tongatapu Island introduced
cultivated
Space, James C./Flynn, Tim (2001) (p. 53)
Tonga
Tongatapu Group
Tongatapu Island   National Tropical Botanical Garden (U.S.A. Hawaii. Kalaheo.) (1989) (voucher ID: PTBG 3898)
Taxon name on voucher: Ficus benjamina
Tonga
Vava‘u Group
Vava‘u Island introduced
invasive
Space, James C./Flynn, Tim (2001) (p. 66)
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)
Northern Territory native
Australian Biological Resources Study (2013)
Australia
Australia (continental)
Queensland native
Australian Biological Resources Study (2013)
Cambodia
Cambodia
Cambodia (Kingdom of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
China
China
China (People's Republic of) native
Zhengyi, Wu/Raven, Peter H./Deyuan, Hong (2013)
Moist mixed forests, near villages; 400-800 m. SW Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Hainan, S Yunnan.
China
China
Hong Kong introduced
cultivated
Wu, Te-lin (2001) (p. 61)
Cultivated, roadside tree.
Indonesia
Indonesia
Indonesia (Republic of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Malaysia
Malaysia
Malaysia (country of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Singapore
Singapore
Singapore (Republic of) uncertain if introduced
invasive
Chong, Kwek Yan/Tan, Hugh T. W./Corlett, Richard T. (2009) (p. 41)
Weed of uncertain origin
Taiwan
Taiwan Island
Taiwan Island native
Zhengyi, Wu/Raven, Peter H./Deyuan, Hong (2013)
Moist mixed forests, near villages; 400-800 m.
Thailand
Thailand
Thailand (Kingdom of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Vietnam
Vietnam
Vietnam (Socialist Republic of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Indian Ocean
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
French Territory of Mayotte
Mayotte Islands
Mayotte Island introduced
cultivated
Comité français de l'Union Internationale pour la Conservation de la Nature en France (2013)
Potentiellement envahissant.
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:  On Tonga, mostly cultivated but occasional trees in the forest (may have been planted there) (Space & Flynn, 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.