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image of Israel Journal of Plant Sciences

Germination of drupelets of Ficus religiosa L. was studied from the ecological standpoint in an effort to explain the sporadic distribution in Israel of the epiphytic plants of this species, which escape cultivation and grow on the trunk's of various ornamental trees. Drupelets of F. religiosa germinate readily in closed petri dishes and covered pots, when placed on various substrates (like sterile filter paper, light and heavy soil, leaf litter, decaying fruit or fresh fruit pieces) at 25°C, in the light. No germination takes place in total darkness. Constant humidity has been found essential for germination, whereas frequent drying of the substrate hinders germination. These findings explain why germination of drupelets occurs only in constantly wet niches, and not underneath the crown of F. religiosa trees subjected to intermittent watering and drying.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Botany, The George S. Wise Faculty of Life Sciences, Tel Aviv University


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1. Bessey E.A."The Florida strangling figs."Ann. Rep. Mo. Bot. Gdn.1908Vol 192333
2. Corner E.J.H."Wayside Trees of Malaya.,"2nd ed.1952Government Printers, Singapore
3. Galil J., Eisikowitch D."On the pollination ecology of Ficus religiosa L. in Israel"Phytomorphology1969Vol 18356363
4. Ramirez W.B."Germination of seeds of New World Urostigma (Ficus), Morus rubra (Moraceae)."Rev. Biol. Trop.1976Vol 24116

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