Ficus microcarpa L.f.
Chinese banyan
Moraceae

This evergreen tree produces a very dense shade excluding all other species. It does not invade undisturbed forest but once established it will displace all other trees in its shade. The fruit are dispersed by alien frugivorous birds. Although it is susceptible to fire, it is only marginally affected because fire will not carry under the tree for lack of fuel. It has not been evaluated for biological control. There are a number of insects which attack it, most notably the Cuban laurel thrip (Gynaikothrips ficorum), but they do not reduce the vigor of most trees.

This species grows in all but the wettest and driest habitats on all of the major islands, most commonly on cliffs and rocky outcrops. It has the potential to grow up to 1,500 m but rarely grows much above 700 m. There are some particularly large trees along the Hana coastline, Maui.


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