Willow Leaf Ficus

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Re: Willow Leaf Ficus

Post  Rob Kempinski on Tue Jan 04, 2011 2:49 pm

John asked me to post of photo of how I initially wired my shohin formal upright. Here it was in 1999 in a Dale Cochoy pot (in hindsight was the wrong pot for the tree and alas the pot broke years ago.)



Incidentally, there has been major headway, almost a breakthrough in the discovery of the history of the Willow Leaf Ficus.
I will not say what it is yet, as the results are going to be published in a Scientific journal, but it entails the DNA and genetic morphing of the species. When the results are accepted by the science community we'll let you know what was found. It's very interesting.

Rob Kempinski
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Re: Willow Leaf Ficus

Post  Guest on Tue Jan 04, 2011 4:24 pm

Hi Rob

Why do you call it a willowleaf- when the last photo say Nerifolia?

Kind regards vonne

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willow leaf ficus part 2

Post  moyogijohn on Tue Jan 04, 2011 6:54 pm

Thank You Very much,,ROB,,For your posting your tree..That gives me your basic pruning..I am going to get mine right if possible....take care john

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Willow Leaf Fig

Post  bonsaisr on Tue Jan 04, 2011 9:02 pm

Yvonne Graubaek wrote:Hi Rob
Why do you call it a willowleaf- when the last photo say Nerifolia?
Kind regards vonne
Look at the date.
Apparently you are not familiar with the story of this maverick. It has never been seen in the wild. It suddenly appeared in Florida about 50 years ago in a shipment of trees. It was not recognized as a new species at first, so nobody remembered where the shipment came from. It was such an improvement on the old Ficus species for landscaping that the nurseries went wild over it, and of course it eventually found its way into the bonsai trade. Not knowing what to call it, the tradesmen labeled it F. neriifolia (sic) or F. salicifolia, which are similar in appearance. Some sources actually had them as synonyms, although those two species are from different continents.
Finally the developers of a Ficus website, Figweb, realized that this was an unidentified species, and sent a specimen to the High Priest of fig taxonomy, C.C. Berg, who published it as Ficus salicaria in 2004. (Now you know why a picture dated 1999 has the wrong name.) Berg believes that the tree originated in Guyana.
Publishing a new species from a cultivated specimen is always a little shaky. I am very interested in what the new study will find.
Iris

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Re: Willow Leaf Ficus

Post  Rob Kempinski on Tue Jan 04, 2011 11:46 pm

bonsaisr wrote:
Yvonne Graubaek wrote:Hi Rob
Why do you call it a willowleaf- when the last photo say Nerifolia?
Kind regards vonne
Look at the date.
Apparently you are not familiar with the story of this maverick. It has never been seen in the wild. It suddenly appeared in Florida about 50 years ago in a shipment of trees. It was not recognized as a new species at first, so nobody remembered where the shipment came from. It was such an improvement on the old Ficus species for landscaping that the nurseries went wild over it, and of course it eventually found its way into the bonsai trade. Not knowing what to call it, the tradesmen labeled it F. neriifolia (sic) or F. salicifolia, which are similar in appearance. Some sources actually had them as synonyms, although those two species are from different continents.
Finally the developers of a Ficus website, Figweb, realized that this was an unidentified species, and sent a specimen to the High Priest of fig taxonomy, C.C. Berg, who published it as Ficus salicaria in 2004. (Now you know why a picture dated 1999 has the wrong name.) Berg believes that the tree originated in Guyana.
Iris

Willow Leaf Fig is the common english name. Ficus nerifolia is what I call them despite Berg.

bonsaisr wrote:Publishing a new species from a cultivated specimen is always a little shaky. I am very interested in what the new study will find.
Iris

Berg may not be happy. Wink

Rob Kempinski
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willow leaf ficus part 2

Post  moyogijohn on Wed Jan 05, 2011 12:56 am

Thank You all for your help and learning more about this tree..I know this one has a long way to go...take care john

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Willow Leaf Fig

Post  bonsaisr on Wed Jan 05, 2011 7:43 pm

Here is a photograph of the true Ficus neriifolia (2 is).
http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.asianflora.com/Moraceae/Ficus-neriifolia-2.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.asianflora.com/Moraceae/&usg=__EfWdlyW2nnF6COPGYKXtq9qsLlY=&h=403&w=600&sz=83&hl=en&start=0&sig2=90FP57HFXVSbAR5WqPxt_Q&zoom=1&tbnid=bOZ-eHxCvD7T4M:&tbnh=135&tbnw=169&ei=ZMgkTcmUKsOAlAf6nJ3DCw&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dficus%2Bneriifolia%26um%3D1%26hl%3Den%26client%3Dsafari%26sa%3DN%26rls%3Den%26biw%3D1024%26bih%3D1072%26tbs%3Disch:1&um=1&itbs=1&iact=hc&vpx=298&vpy=572&dur=1095&hovh=184&hovw=274&tx=150&ty=108&oei=ZMgkTcmUKsOAlAf6nJ3DCw&esq=1&page=1&ndsp=30&ved=1t:429,r:16,s:0
(I checked it.)
Are you suggesting that what is presently accepted as F. salicaria is a variety of this species?
Iris

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Re: Willow Leaf Ficus

Post  Guest on Wed Jan 05, 2011 8:05 pm

Dear Iris
It is amazing how much you know about species. Many thanks for your information, more than one time Smile .
Also thanks to Rob Smile

Kind regards Yvonne

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Willow Leaf Fig

Post  bonsaisr on Wed Jan 05, 2011 8:55 pm

I found this out a few years ago. I noticed that a few bonsai sources had F. neriifolia as the equivalent of F. salicifolia, which is impossible. So I wrote to Professor Berg himself & asked him. Of course he told me he had just published F. salicaria.
The publication of this taxon, from a cultivated specimen of unknown provenance, had to involve some wild guesses. I'm sure, being a conscientious botanist, Berg would not be disappointed if someone is able to shed more light on it.
Iris

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willow leaf ficus part 2

Post  moyogijohn on Wed Jan 05, 2011 9:01 pm

THANKS AGAIN,,To every one for the information and help....take care john

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Re: Willow Leaf Ficus

Post  jrodriguez on Wed Jan 05, 2011 9:48 pm

Iris,

Early Puertorican bonsai master Mr. Adan Montalvo (R.I.P.) cultivated this species since the late fifties and always called it Ficus celebensis, until it was commonly referred to as F. Neriifolia. I have seen at least two other names, salicifolia and subulata. I have seen this tree in Indonesia, in the Bandung area. The guy that had it told me that it was common in Sulawesi (Celebes) and that a small type of wasp was responsible for its pollination by entering the small orifice present at the tip of it's fruit. In another note, an arquitect friend told me that he has seen this tree in some South American ruins he visited as a student.

As per the tree you posted the link of, I believe it is called Ficus longifolia in the plant trade.

It will be interesting to finally see what the article Rob mentions reveals. It seems to be extremely credible and the mystery behind his words is certainly exiting.

Kind regards,

Jose Luis

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Re: Willow Leaf Ficus

Post  Rob Kempinski on Wed Jan 05, 2011 11:26 pm

bonsaisr wrote:Here is a photograph of the true Ficus neriifolia (2 is).
http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.asianflora.com/Moraceae/Ficus-neriifolia-2.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.asianflora.com/Moraceae/&usg=__EfWdlyW2nnF6COPGYKXtq9qsLlY=&h=403&w=600&sz=83&hl=en&start=0&sig2=90FP57HFXVSbAR5WqPxt_Q&zoom=1&tbnid=bOZ-eHxCvD7T4M:&tbnh=135&tbnw=169&ei=ZMgkTcmUKsOAlAf6nJ3DCw&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dficus%2Bneriifolia%26um%3D1%26hl%3Den%26client%3Dsafari%26sa%3DN%26rls%3Den%26biw%3D1024%26bih%3D1072%26tbs%3Disch:1&um=1&itbs=1&iact=hc&vpx=298&vpy=572&dur=1095&hovh=184&hovw=274&tx=150&ty=108&oei=ZMgkTcmUKsOAlAf6nJ3DCw&esq=1&page=1&ndsp=30&ved=1t:429,r:16,s:0
(I checked it.)
Are you suggesting that what is presently accepted as F. salicaria is a variety of this species?
Iris

No.

Rob Kempinski
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Re: Willow Leaf Ficus

Post  Rob Kempinski on Wed Jan 05, 2011 11:29 pm

jrodriguez wrote:Iris,

Early Puertorican bonsai master Mr. Adan Montalvo (R.I.P.) cultivated this species since the late fifties and always called it Ficus celebensis, until it was commonly referred to as F. Neriifolia. I have seen at least two other names, salicifolia and subulata. I have seen this tree in Indonesia, in the Bandung area. The guy that had it told me that it was common in Sulawesi (Celebes) and that a small type of wasp was responsible for its pollination by entering the small orifice present at the tip of it's fruit. In another note, an arquitect friend told me that he has seen this tree in some South American ruins he visited as a student.

As per the tree you posted the link of, I believe it is called Ficus longifolia in the plant trade.

It will be interesting to finally see what the article Rob mentions reveals. It seems to be extremely credible and the mystery behind his words is certainly exiting.

Kind regards,

Jose Luis

Jose the only reason I am being vague right now is that discovery entails what could be an important scientific step that has to be vetted/accepted by a peer review of scientists. Until then it is best to be vague for a variety of reasons.

Rob Kempinski
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Re: Willow Leaf Ficus

Post  Dustin Mann on Wed Jan 05, 2011 11:43 pm

Thanks Jose Luis for correct information and nice to know you are good friends with Gary Wilkins. The Wilkins(1957) Jaboticaba was on cover of Florida Bonsai magizine in article by Mary Miller. The tree is massive in size. Gary Wilkins probably has some of oldest US tropical bonsai. I believe his mother was famous orchid grower.Mary Miller said I may have one of Wilkins willowleaf figs. It is formal upright(not much to speak of but has 20" nebari) I respect Gary's right to privacy(I am sort of introvert myself) Thank you too for mentioning your teacher Adam Mont..... rememberPedro and others in Florida talk about him. Dustin Mann

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how I worked my Nerifolia

Post  chokkan on Thu Jan 06, 2011 1:13 am

If It can help here are few photos of a Nerifolia I started to work 7 years ago If It can help.As youcan see I never hesitate to reduce it drastically to get taper.
Regards Jean




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Here is another one

Post  chokkan on Thu Jan 06, 2011 1:16 am

Here is another one that I did almost the same way chop it completely;it will start budding everywhere.Do that only in spring.
Jean


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Re: Willow Leaf Ficus

Post  Ryan on Thu Jan 06, 2011 2:45 am

Here is a very ugly one that I bought from my local nursery over a year ago:

My attempt at air layering it:


The layer never took, but there was growth shooting out from under it:


Chopped it off, lost the top, but here is the bottom as of a few weeks ago:



Hope you don't mind,

Ryan

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Re: Willow Leaf Ficus

Post  jrodriguez on Thu Jan 06, 2011 12:55 pm

Dustin,

Maybe, if you post a picture of the tree, I can let you know if the tree used to be Gary's. Gary's mom, Barbara, was definitely an expert orchid grower and artist. I believe she has several orchids to her name.

Kind regards,

Jose Luis

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Re: Willow Leaf Ficus

Post  jrodriguez on Thu Jan 06, 2011 1:00 pm

Rob,

I truly look forward to the article. I somehow wish to finally see the end of the dilemma. Ever since I was a kid I remember the arguments about he origins of this tree. Please, do keep us informed.

Kind regards,

Jose Luis

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Willow Leaf Fig

Post  bonsaisr on Thu Jan 06, 2011 3:10 pm

Rob Kempinski wrote:
Are you suggesting that what is presently accepted as F. salicaria is a variety of this species? (F. neriifolia)
Iris

Rob Kempinski wrote:No.
But in an earlier post you insist on calling it F. neriifolia. Please explain.
Something occurred to me. When willow leaf fig hopped out of that mystery shipment around 1955, it didn't bring its fig wasp with it. (All figs are pollinated by tiny wasps, & each species has its own pollinator.) Therefore it can only be propagated vegetatively, and every last one of these in the world is a single clone. If the name F. salicaria sticks, it should get a registered cultivar name, like F. salicaria 'Willow Leaf.'
Iris


Last edited by bonsaisr on Thu Jan 06, 2011 3:12 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Clarify quotes.)

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Re: Willow Leaf Ficus

Post  Rob Kempinski on Thu Jan 06, 2011 3:25 pm

bonsaisr wrote:
Rob Kempinski wrote:
Are you suggesting that what is presently accepted as F. salicaria is a variety of this species? (F. neriifolia)
Iris

Rob Kempinski wrote:No.
But in an earlier post you insist on calling it F. neriifolia. Please explain.
Iris

Because old habits are hard to break and my opinion is F. Salicaria will not last.

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Re: Willow Leaf Ficus

Post  gope on Sun May 15, 2011 12:41 pm

Rob Kempinski wrote:Incidentally, there has been major headway, almost a breakthrough in the discovery of the history of the Willow Leaf Ficus.
I will not say what it is yet, as the results are going to be published in a Scientific journal, but it entails the DNA and genetic morphing of the species. When the results are accepted by the science community we'll let you know what was found. It's very interesting.

Rob sorry for being impatient but is there any update for this story?
Regards
Marcin

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Willow Leaf Fig

Post  bonsaisr on Sun May 15, 2011 2:46 pm

jrodriguez wrote: a small type of wasp was responsible for its pollination by entering the small orifice present at the tip of its fruit.
Jose Luis
That is the way all Ficus are pollinated. Each species has its own personal wasp. Before pollination, it isn't a fruit; it is an inflorescence called a syconium. It is inside out, with the flowers on the inside. It is curious that this species got to Indonesia with its wasp, but not Florida, where it is propagated vegetatively.
Iris

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Re: Willow Leaf Ficus

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