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Surname: Rubber tree
Latin name: Ficus elastica
Number of species: about 1000
circulation area: originally India and Indonesia
fruit: yellowish-green figs
heyday: all year round
height: 10 - 40m
Older: up to 500 years possible
Properties of the bark: ?
Properties of the wood: ?
Locations of the tree: partially shaded
leaf: oval shaped, dark green top, light green bottom, 10 - 30cm long
Interesting about the rubber tree
Of the gum or Ficus elastica belongs to the family of mulberry family and originates from Southeast Asia, but is today native to many tropical countries as a cultivated ornamental plant and popular as a houseplant in Europe. This evergreen tree reaches heights of growth of up to forty meters in its natural habitat and has a trunk of two meters in diameter. Like all ficus species, so-called milky juice cells are also found in the tissue of the rubber tree, which release large quantities of whitish secretions, the so-called "rubber juice" or latex, if they are injured. This can sometimes trigger violent allergic reactions in humans. The name of the rubber tree is deceptive in this context, because latex is not made from the latex of the rubber tree, but from that of the rubber tree.
The Ficus elastica is characterized by large oval and stalked leaves with smooth edges, deep green, shiny surface and a much brighter underside. In the wild, young gum trees have larger leaves than older specimens, as they are covered in thickets by other plants and therefore can catch little sunlight. In mature gum trees, the leaves are usually up to a maximum of 30 inches long and about ten inches wide. The lower parts, the so-called stipules, serve to protect the young leaf by enveloping it. The stipules usually have an intense red color and are repelled when the young leaf has unfolded.
Like many ficus species, the rubber tree lives in symbiosis with a highly specialized wasp for the purpose of pollination. Therefore, he does not have to train conspicuous flowers to attract insects. From the flowers of the rubber tree, which are hidden inside the inflorescences, develop inedible small fruits that look like yellowish-green figs. Rubber trees are therefore used exclusively for decorative purposes, which are suitable as easy-care, robust and by the shiny leaves and red stipules extremely attractive room and potted plants.