Dwarf Ficus natalensis?

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Dwarf Ficus natalensis?

Post  Ryan on Thu Jul 12, 2012 5:09 am

Hey everyone,



I bought this dwarf leaf form of Ficus natalensis from Wigerts bonsai down in Florida and it arrived today. However, I've got a quick question about it. So first, here's the tree. It's a mess of leaves and aerial roots, so I haven't really had time to look it over.







Now here's my question. I noticed that there appears to be a big difference in the standard natalensis I bought from them and this dwarf variety. The leaves also feel very different. The dwarf variety feels much thicker than the standard, and the underside of the leaves are fuzzy.

Here's the standard size:


And here's the dwarf type:



Is this in fact a dwarf form, or is this a whole different species?

Thanks for any comments,


Ryan

Ryan
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Re: Dwarf Ficus natalensis?

Post  Billy M. Rhodes on Thu Jul 12, 2012 10:54 am

Is this in fact a dwarf form, or is this a whole different species?

Good question, I have seen the "dwarf" and you are correct about the differences. I think we have a lot of variation in the Ficus family and we may never know all the answers. Also, although in most of the US Ficus don't produce viable seeds, it is possible some of the things we are seeing are hybrids.

Billy M. Rhodes
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Ficus natalensis

Post  bonsaisr on Thu Jul 12, 2012 2:09 pm

Instead of guessing, try contacting the expert, Dr. C.C. Berg, Berg@NHN.LeidenUniv.nl. He is very nice about answering inquiries.
Iris

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Re: Dwarf Ficus natalensis?

Post  Ryan on Thu Jul 12, 2012 3:38 pm

Thank you both. It's been suggested on an Australian forum that this could be an obliqua or platypoda. I'll go ahead and shoot Dr. Berg an email, thanks Iris.

Ryan
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Re: Dwarf Ficus natalensis?

Post  Ryan on Thu Jul 12, 2012 11:04 pm

I sent Dr. C.C. Berg an e-mail, I'll see what he says.


Looking at pictures, I'm thinking this could be a burtt-davyi. They throw aerial roots easily, which could explain why this one is so full of those.

Ryan
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Re: Dwarf Ficus natalensis?

Post  Billy M. Rhodes on Thu Jul 12, 2012 11:12 pm

Looking at pictures, I'm thinking this could be a burtt-davyi. They throw aerial roots easily, which could explain why this one is so full of those.

I don't think so. I have three Burtt-Davyii. Although I am aware of two leaf sizes in BD, these leaves are too glossy and large.

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Re: Dwarf Ficus natalensis?

Post  Ryan on Thu Jul 12, 2012 11:14 pm

Billy M. Rhodes wrote:Looking at pictures, I'm thinking this could be a burtt-davyi. They throw aerial roots easily, which could explain why this one is so full of those.

I don't think so. I have three Burtt-Davyii. Although I am aware of two leaf sizes in BD, these leaves are too glossy and large.


Actually yeah, you're right about that. I've got only a few burtt-dayii, and the ends of the leaves aren't as pointed as these are. I asked Andrea (Eriks wife) if she was sure that this was a dwarf form of natalensis, and she's still standing by the idea that it is. Hmmm Question

Ryan
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Re: Dwarf Ficus natalensis?

Post  Ryan on Thu Jul 12, 2012 11:21 pm

Maybe it's a Port Jackson (F. rubiginosa).....

Ryan
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Re: Dwarf Ficus natalensis?

Post  Billy M. Rhodes on Thu Jul 12, 2012 11:28 pm

Ryan wrote:Maybe it's a Port Jackson (F. rubiginosa).....

Maybe, but I thought Port Jackson was South PAcific/Australia and natalinsis was African.

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Re: Dwarf Ficus natalensis?

Post  Ryan on Thu Jul 12, 2012 11:32 pm

Billy M. Rhodes wrote:
Ryan wrote:Maybe it's a Port Jackson (F. rubiginosa).....

Maybe, but I thought Port Jackson was South PAcific/Australia and natalinsis was African.

PJ Fig comes from Australia, and Natalensis is African, which is clearly not what this guy is. The Wigerts claim it to be a Dwarf South African Fig, and that can't be true.

Ryan
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Re: Dwarf Ficus natalensis?

Post  Ryan on Thu Jul 12, 2012 11:59 pm

I just received a message from Erik in regards to this tree:

if you want a burt davyii i can send you some, i have 3 types: Burt davyii standard leaf, burt davyii nana (small leaf) and burt davyii longifolia (has long narrow leaf). The tree i just sent you is cultivar originally grown by jim moody at jupiter bonsai, then by his grandson allen carver of jupiter bonsai. called 'dwarf african strangler fig' or Ficus natalensis. The other variety you purchased earlier this year was 'crater fig' or Ficus natalensis of stock originally from Jim Smith of dura stone nursery. You did not receive a burt davyii - i hand picked and packed your order. If you have questions on ficus I would direct them to either a wholesale grower (myself, jim smith, allen carver) based in florida, Jerry meislick in montana, or pedro morales in puerto rico. There is alot of misinformation out there -- Erik Wigert


Hmmm.

Ryan
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Re: Dwarf Ficus natalensis?

Post  Guest on Fri Jul 13, 2012 6:18 am

Hey Ryan,

Nurserymen can & do still make mistakes, this is one of my Port Jacksons (Ficus rubiginosa), in need of a good feed but is the best pic I have for you to compare leaf shape, they are also furry on the underside, this can be more or less pronounced depending on seedling variation. Ficus obliqua & platypoides do not have the same hairs on the underside.

Regardless of ID it is still a great score Very Happy

Matt

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