Ficus Identification

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Ficus Identification

Post  Jesse on Fri Feb 11, 2011 9:38 pm




This is a ficus I picked up last fall from a local shop. I was told it was from the private collection of a bonsai artist who passed away a few years back. I think it was neglected somewhat in its shaping, etc. during the last few years of his life but it has been kept healthy. I was told in the shop it is a Ficus Retusa or something that sounded like that. I was also told it was a somewhat rare variety (I'm guessing this was overstated) to find in the western USA and that its tends to have contorted branches. How rare it is or isn't is not critical to me but I have been trying to research the thing and I cannot find anything by that description that matches the plant I have. I saw one like it in the pictures someone posted of one of the bonsai shows but I lost the link to the thread I saw it in. Is anyone familiar with this particular type of ficus? I am trying to figure out this plant before I jump in with my shears. When I pluck a leaf it seems to ooze a milky substance which my other ficus does not do so I want to be sure I know what I'm doing before working on this plant.


Last edited by Jesse on Fri Feb 11, 2011 9:40 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : left something out)

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Re: Ficus Identification

Post  Billy M. Rhodes on Fri Feb 11, 2011 9:58 pm

I think it is a cultivar of Ficus benjamina known as "Wrightia." It has very brittle branches and it s not recommended to use wire on it.

Some of my friends call it Ficus break a folia.

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Re: Ficus Identification

Post  Jesse on Fri Feb 11, 2011 10:18 pm

Haha...sounds like you know the type then. They are brittle but I haven't tried messing with them yet at all. Even now that you give the exact name, there is almost nothing that pops up about this exact plant on the internet. Thank very much Mr. Rhodes...I'll keep digging!

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Re: Ficus Identification

Post  Khaimraj Seepersad on Fri Feb 11, 2011 10:32 pm

Try - Ficus wiandii

http://www.google.com/images?rlz=1T4TSHB_en___TT342&q=ficus+wiandi&um=1&ie=UTF-8&source=og&sa=N&hl=en&tab=wi&biw=897&bih=361

for information at the top of the google page is Web

Luck.
Khaimraj

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Re: Ficus Identification

Post  Russell Coker on Fri Feb 11, 2011 11:07 pm

Khaimraj Seepersad wrote:Try - Ficus wiandii

http://www.google.com/images?rlz=1T4TSHB_en___TT342&q=ficus+wiandi&um=1&ie=UTF-8&source=og&sa=N&hl=en&tab=wi&biw=897&bih=361

for information at the top of the google page is Web

Luck.
Khaimraj

Yes, same as 'rianne'.

R

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Re: Ficus Identification

Post  Billy M. Rhodes on Fri Feb 11, 2011 11:10 pm

Well it starts with "W."


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Re: Ficus Identification

Post  Khaimraj Seepersad on Fri Feb 11, 2011 11:13 pm

Thanks Russell.
Ha ha ha Billy.
Khaimraj

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Re: Ficus Identification

Post  Billy M. Rhodes on Fri Feb 11, 2011 11:17 pm

It is a F. ben. cultivar from Holland.

I have one buried in the greenhouse.

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ficus ID..

Post  moyogijohn on Sat Feb 12, 2011 9:33 pm

Billy is right on,,,if it is that type of ficus,, clip and grow!! i broke one all to he-- with the least bending i could do...take care john

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Ficus Identification

Post  bonsaisr on Sat Feb 12, 2011 11:40 pm

Jesse wrote:I was told in the shop it is a Ficus Retusa or something that sounded like that.

Ficus retusa is an invalid name for Chinese banyan, Ficus microcarpa.
You apparently have Ficus benjamina 'Wiandi.' Yes, it is somewhat rare in this country, but very popular in Europe.

Jesse wrote: Is anyone familiar with this particular type of ficus? I am trying to figure out this plant before I jump in with my shears. When I pluck a leaf it seems to ooze a milky substance which my other ficus does not do so I want to be sure I know what I'm doing before working on this plant.

Except for the crooked brittle branches (which are controlled by clipping, not wiring), follow the information on F. benjamina, which is plentiful. What is your other plant that is supposedly a Ficus? Every Ficus bonsai on the planet bleeds latex when cut.
Your first job right now is just to trim the wildness & eliminate crossing branches. Then read all the bonsai books you can find until you have a feeling about styling it. You will do this mostly in warm weather.
Iris

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Re: Ficus Identification

Post  Billy M. Rhodes on Sun Feb 13, 2011 2:29 am

Remember since it is a F. ben. cultivar you must leave some foliage on each branch or you will get die back.

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Re: Ficus Identification

Post  Jesse on Sun Feb 13, 2011 5:31 am

Billy, Khaimraj, John, Iris, and Russell,

Thank you so much. I have found some information under those names and the tips on how to care and treat this plant are outstanding. I did notice that die back on only branch I snipped back to see how it would respond. There is a wealth of care guidance on f. ben so that is awesome.

Regarding the other ficus, I will have to post a pic of it as well. It is a rather common ficus I believe that I was given for free. It was 14 ft. tree that I cut back to a stump, following the advice of a more experienced bonsai buddy, last fall. Looking back, I wish I had airlayered the upper portion and grafted a couple of branches to the lower trunk. Luckily, it back budded and has a few shoots popping out just below the cut line. It is a long term fun project and it was a new experience for both of us--but I wish I had known then what I know now. I have a feeling I will think and/or say that myself many times over in the future during this journey we call 'bonsai.'

Thanks,
Jesse

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