One of the more interesting plants you can find in the Florida landscape is Ficus aurea, or the Florida Strangler Fig. This plant is unique in that it has aerial roots that grow down from its branches and wrap themselves around nearby trees, eventually strangling them to death. The strangler fig starts as an epiphyte, or a plant that grows on another plant, and once it has killed its host tree it becomes a hemiepiphyte, meaning it grows partially in the ground.
The Florida Strangler Fig is a large tree that can reach heights of 60 feet or more. It has broad, dark green leaves that are up to 12 inches long. The figs produced by the tree are edible, and are enjoyed by both humans and wildlife.
The Florida Strangler Fig can be found in a variety of habitats, including forests, wetland areas, and even urban areas. It is best seen during the spring and summer, when it is in bloom. If you're looking to see one of these interesting plants in the wild, be sure to check out some of Florida's forests or wetlands.