Strangler Figs, The King of All Tropical Rainforest Plants
Strangler Figs gets its name by what it does best, Strangles other plants literally to death sucking the life out of it leaving just the core of the tree, now being supported by the strangler fig tree.
These tropical rainforest plants starts as epiphytes growing on branches of trees, getting there by droppings form wildlife in the tropical forest including monkeys, and bats.
This once epiphyte starts to grow its roots will vine towards the soil so that it can take hold, while the flourishing part of the plant grows upwards towards the sun getting needed nutrients from it.
Its reasoning for this is because in the dense dark rainforest it is survival of the fittest and adaptation is the name of the game, when all the plants are fighting for that much need sunlight. This is why so may rainforest plants are low light plants, the smaller weak plants have no choice but to adapt to its environment and the tropical rainforest biome.
Once it has gained control of the host tree it will over come it and can grow as tall as 150 feet being the so called King of the forest.
The strangler tree really is not a tree that you would want to grow I your back yard, although they’re very interesting intricate and beautiful but because of its enormous size and its ability to attach and destroy trees even homes and structures its probably best not to grow these magnificent trees.
So as they say, please don’t try this at home...
As you can see in the pictures above the devastation they can cause, even its roots can grow up to 30 feet destroying everything in its path.
These trees are actually very vital to the rainforest animals and wild life, as well as most plants in the rainforest because the rainforest birds like the toucan rainforest birds and the wild parrots in the rainforest, monkeys, lizards, frogs, just to name a few depend on the figs for food and shelter form the elements of its natural climate for tropical rainforest.
These Trees and other trees that grow in and around Congo rainforest, Southeast Asian Rainforest, Papua New Guinea Rainforest just to name a few tropical rainforest locations are being destroyed for its wood, from fires and man at alarming rates.