Non-Native to Florida
Download a page (PDF 174 KB) from Identification and Biology of Nonnative Plants in Florida’s Natural Areas – Second Edition, by K.A. Langeland, H.M. Cherry, et al. University of Florida-IFAS Pub SP 257. 2008.
For control information, see Integrated Management of Nonnative Plants in Natural Areas of Florida (SP 242)
Date of introduction to Florida: pre-1912 (ornamental)
(from Strangers in Paradise, Impact and Management of Nonindigenous Species in Florida, Chapter 2: Florida’s Invasion by Nonindigenous Plants: History, Screening, and Regulation, by D.R. Gordon and K.P. Thomas, pp. 21-37. Island Press, Washington, DC, 1997.)
View more information and pictures about laurel fig, as contained in the Langeland/Burks book, Identification & Biology of Non-Native Plants in Florida's Natural Areas.
Appearance: Evergreen tree to 15 m (50 ft) or more in height, with a rounded dense crown; smooth gray bark, milky sap, and long, thin, dangling aerial roots.
Leaves: Alternate, simple, leathery, deep glossy green; oval-elliptic to diamond-shaped, to 13 cm (5 in) long, with short pointed, ridged tips.
Flowers: Tiny, unisexual, numerous, hidden within the “fig”; a fleshy, specialized receptacle that develops into a multiple fruit (syconium).
Fruit: Green turning to yellow or dark red when ripe; sessile, in pairs at leaf axils; small, to 1 cm (0.5 in) in diameter.
Ecological threat: Began spreading by seed in the 1970s, following apparently accidental introduction of species-specific pollinating wasps. Found in various tropical hammocks. FLEPPC Category I
Distribution: C, SW, SE
Field Notations FICUMICR/FIMI2
Text from Invasive and Non-Native Plants You Should Know, Recognition Cards, by A. Richard and V. Ramey, 2007. UF/IFAS Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants, Publ. No. SP 431.
See the UF/IFAS Assessment, which lists plants according to their invasive status in Florida.