Ficus sagittata ‘Variegata’ (syn. F. radicans)

The genus Ficus includes an immense number of species – an estimated 2,000. They are therefore sub-divided into several groups according to whether they are evergreen or deciduous, and whether the stems are erect, climbing, or prostrate. F. sagittata , native to the Philippines, Micronesia and the eastern Himalayas, belongs to the last group. It has trailing stems that root at the nodes. The evergreen leaves are about 5 cm (2 inch) long. They are longish lanceolate with a rounded base and completely glabrous. The leaves of the illustrated cultivar have creamy-white markings, some are practically completely white. Unlike the leaves of the similar F. pumila, the leaves of this species are symmetrical.

It is best grown in a plant case, but is also very attractive in a pot with its densely leaved stems trailing over the sides. When grown in a pot, it must be watered regularly so that the compost does not become dry; otherwise the leaves dry and shrivel. It does well in both warm and cool conditions. Propagate by tip cuttings. These root quickest in a propagator, hotbed, or, at least, under glass. Always put several young plants in one pot.

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