A REVIEW ON BIOLOGICAL AND PHYTOCHEMICAL PROPERTIES OF FICUS SPECIES
T.Siva kala*, D.Swarnalatha, M.Sreenivasulu, C.Gopinath.
Annamacharya College Of Pharmacy,
Numerous plants synthesize substances that are useful in the maintenance of health in humans and animals with a view that to increase the wide range of medicinal usages, the present day entails new drugs with more potent and desired activity with less or no side effects. The genus ficus constitutes one of the largest genera of medicinal plants. There are about 511 ficus trees existing in Asia, Malaysia, Pacific island and Australia,132 species occur in central and south America and 112 of ficus occur in Africa ,South of Sahara and Madagascar.(1)The wordficolin,which appears similar toFicusand refers to a lectin like compound combining the first parts of the words for fibrinogenand collagen.
REFERENCE ID: PHARMATUTOR-ART-1663
Ficus genus occurring in the most tropical and sub tropical areas. ficus trees are native to Indo Australian region, Central and South America and Africa.
VARIOUS SPECIES OF FICUS:
Ficus altissima (council tree), Ficus aspera (clown fig), Ficus auriculata, syn. Ficus roxburghii, Ficus benghalensis (Indian banyan), Ficus benjamina (weeping fig), Ficus benjamina ‘Exotica’, Ficus benjamina ‘Comosa’, Ficus binnendykii (narrow-leaf ficus), Ficus carica (common edible fig), Ficus celebinsis (willowficus), Ficus deltoidea (mistletoe fig) syn. Ficus diversifolia, Ficus elastica (Indian rubber tree), Ficus elastica Abidjan’, Ficus elastica ‘Asahi’, Ficus elastica ‘Decora’, Ficus elastica ‘Gold’, Ficus elastica ‘Schrijveriana’,Ficus lacor (pakur tree), Ficus lingua (box-leaved fig) syn. Ficus buxifolia, Ficus lyrata (fiddle-leaf fig), Ficus macrophylla (Moreton Bay fig), Ficus microcarpa (Chinese banyan), Ficus microcarpa var. crass folia (waxficus), Ficus microcarpa ‘Variegate’, Ficus pseudo Palma (Philippine fig), Ficus pumila (creeping fig) syn.Ficus repens, Ficus religiosa (bo tree or sacred fig), Ficus religiosa (Port Jackson fig or rusty fig), Ficus rubiginosa ‘Variegata’ Ficus sagittata, Ficus radicans (Variegata), Ficus saussureana, syn. Ficus dawei, Ficus stricta, Ficus subulata, syn. Ficus salicifolia, Ficus tikoua (Waipahu fig).
The ficus tree belongs to the mulberry family of Moraceae. Although it grows in many forms, the most commonly known type of ficus is the benjamina (sometimes called the weeping ficusor weeping fig). This type grows outdoors in bush form in southern Florida, but is grown indoors throughout North America and Europe.
TAXANOMY OF FICUS:
Super order: Urticanae
Starting new plants is known as propagation, easily multiply the number of ficus plants by a few methods like cutting and seed germination. Cutting is an easy method to propagate ficus. Take about 5 nodes long cutting and prune all leaves and branches off it except a couple of leaves at the top. Dip the base in rooting hormone. Plant this cutting in rich moist soil. Keep the soil moist all the time.fruits of some ficus species have up to 4000 seeds in a single fruit. seeds can also be bought from sellers, but there is nothing like fresh organic seeds. Now plant these seeds in rich moist soil. Add some Peat moss to the soil. Keep the soil moist.
Ficus trees grow well in just about any well-drained soil. Most ficus tree growers mix peat moss, bark, and sand to use as soil. Most plants can grow in relatively small containers. These plants can adjust to a range of moisture levels, as long as the level is consistent. Many people overwater the tree, making the soil too soggy. The soil should be moist but not soggy, The soil should not dry out between waterings. Ficus grow very well with sub-irrigation and growers shouldn't allow it to dry out between each watering Figs require full sun all day to ripen palatable fruits. Trees become enormous, and will shade out anything growing beneath. Repeated pruning to control size causes loss of crop. The succulent trunk and branches are unusually sensitive to heat and sun damage. Roots are greedy, traveling far beyond the tree canopy. In coastal climates, grow in the warmest location, against a sunny wall or in a heat trap. For container grown plants, replace most of the soil in the tub every three years and keep the sides of the tub shaded to prevent overheating in sunlight.
Young fig trees should be watered regularly until fully established. In dry western climates, water mature trees deeply at least every one or two weeks. Desert gardeners may have to water more frequently. Mulch the soil around the trees to conserve moisture. If a tree is not getting enough water, the leaves will turn yellow and drop. Also, drought-stressed trees will not produce fruit and are more susceptible to nematode damage. Recently planted trees are particularly susceptible to water deficits, often runt out, and die.
Regular fertilizing of figs is usually necessary only for potted trees or when they are grown on sands. Excess nitrogen encourages rank growth at the expense of fruit production, and the fruit that is produced often ripens improperly, if at all. As a general rule, fertilize fig trees if the branches grew less than a foot the previous year. Apply a total of 1/2 - 1 pound of actual nitrogen, divided into three or four applications beginning in late winter or early spring and ending in July. When grown indoors ficus have almost no need to be fertilized. If you must fertilize any well balanced fertilizer such as 20-20-20 will maintain growth. Pelleted fertilizers also work read instructions carefully. Indoors plants grow slower and therefore have lower requirements for food.
Fig trees are productive with or without heavy pruning. It is essential only during the initial years. Trees should be trained according to use of fruit, such as a low crown for fresh-market figs. Since the crop is borne on terminals of previous year's wood, once the tree form is established, avoid heavy winter pruning, which causes loss of the following year's crop. It is better to prune immediately after the main crop is harvested, or with late-ripening cultivars, summer prune half the branches and prune the remainder the following summer. If radical pruning is done, whitewash the entire tree.
In borderline climates, figs can be grown out of doors if they are given frost protection. Brown Turkey, Brunswick and Blue Celeste cultivars are some of the best choices. Plant against a wall or structure which provides some heat by radiation. Or grow as a bush, pruning the trunk to near ground level at the end of the second year. Allow several stems to replace the trunk, and grow as you would a lilac. For further protection, erect a frame over the plant, covering and surrounding it with heavy carpet in winter. Keep the roots as dry as possible during winter, raising a berm to exclude melting snows during thaws. In northern climates, the fig is best grown as a tub or pot plant that can be brought into a warm location in winter and taken out again in spring. Dormant buds are more susceptible to freezing than wood. Freezing may also create a trunk without live buds; regrowth is possible only from roots.
Ficus enjoy warm conditions between 68-85 daytime temperature, with humidity at a 25 percent minimum. Cold, and drafty conditions in the 40′s and 50′s will slow growth considerably.
Ficus can survive in low interior light but would prefer bright filtered light Position. Ficus near or opposite a curtained southern window. Ficus has been used by interior plants capers for many years, the plants must be acclimated to their location and drop leaves as they go through the process .
INSECTS AND DISEASES: Mealy bugs, aphids and scale are probably the most common insect indoors. Because of the wide leaves that most Ficus have cleaning the leaves regularly with a damp cloth to remove dust will help not only in appearance but also in removing of some pest which tend to gather under the bottom of leaves.
The fig is a picturesque deciduous tree, to 50 ft tall, but more typically to a height of 10 - 30 ft. Their branches are muscular and twisting, spreading wider than they are tall. Fig wood is weak and decays rapidly. The trunk often bears large nodal tumors, where branches have been shed or removed. The twigs are terete and pithy rather than woody. The sap contains copious milky latex that is irritating to human skin. Fig trees often grow as a multiple-branched shrub, especially where subjected to frequent frost damage. They may be espaliered, but only where roots may be restricted, as in containers.
Fig leaves are bright green, single, alternate and large (to 1 ft length). They are more or less deeply lobed with 1 - 5 sinuses, rough hairy on the upper surface and soft hairy on the underside. In summer their foliage lends a beautiful tropical feeling.
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