Ficus virens, Red balete, Lipstick Ficus, White Fig

Ficus virens has many common names; Red Balete in the Philippines, Lipstick Ficus in India and White Fig in Australia. Whatever it is called it is a huge tree growing in its native environment. It can stand alone as a single trunk tree or exist as a strangler fig with many aerials. The most famous trees of this species are the Cathedral fig and the Curtain fig in Australia.

The species can make excellent bonsai. Leaves reduce well in container culture. Some cultivars show very extensive red or bronze coloring on the new leaves. Unfortunately this lovely red color does not persist for long as it fades into a dark green as the leaves mature.

Ficus virens is not often available as plants in the US so all my trees are grown from seed. The following are all about 8 years old and beginning to show signs of becoming good bonsai. All the trees are under 10-12″ tall or about 30cm.

Ficus virens seed grown

With some Ficus virens new leaves are quite red

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for bonsai. The book is a softcover, 8 by 10 inch volume, with 144 color pages, containing detailed information for the beginner as well as the advanced hobbyist.
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