This fascinating killer is often more impressive than its host
Also called golden fig, the strangler fig (Ficus aurea) depends on cracks or fissures in the bark of a host tree to survive. Once it starts growing. the strangler fig will put out air roots that reach to the ground.
In the process, the trunk of the strangler fig often encases its host tree, eventually killing or "strangling" it.
Similar to the strangler fig is the shortleaf fig (Ficus laevisata) that grows in the same regions. However, the shortleaf fig has broader leaves with a heart shaped base, larger fruits about an inch and longer stems on its fruits and flowers.