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A tree eating a tree that ate a tree that ate a tree

Discussion in 'Live Plants' started by The Snark, Mar 17, 2017.

  1. The Snark

    The Snark هرج و مرج مهندس Old Timer

    What we have here is a strangler fig. Err, some strangler fig. Figs. The longer you stare at this thing, the more complex it seems and the more confusing it gets.
    The mess.

    Note the strangler wrapping the stranglee in proper strangle fashion. The the victim is another strangler fig, a generation older.

    In the various loops and squishes the earlier generation is clearly seen. But way inside there is yet another tree. This too is a strangler fig from an earlier generation yet that has succumbed to the embrace. This can be assumed because this fig is self healing, closing wounds and damage to prevent rot unless the tree is completely dead.

    Here it can be easily seen how the second and third fig generation fuse together as they compete for growing space...

    ...and try to outmaneuver the previous generation.

    And out maneuver the outmaneuvering.

    Take note that the original tree of a different species is long gone, the only evidence it had ever been is the general shape the generations of ficus has taken. Going by the shapes of the branching, possibly a Jacaranda.

    A little eye candy observes the ongoing slow motion battle from across the canal.

    And a little way down the road is a beautiful new open air restaurant with a nice view of the organics that will be served with my lunch.
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  2. The Snark

    The Snark هرج و مرج مهندس Old Timer

    A little footnote explaining the OP.

    I had previously researched our local strangler fig, Ficus Tinctoria. Without a host, the plant more closely resembles a vine that creeps along the ground and over rocks. In order for it to take the shape of a tree it must have a host.

    One day at a local meditation center I observed a ficus doing it's usual thing, sitting in the corner and contemplating it's naval, only to note it's victim was another ficus. So I got to studying the phenomenon and discovered by examining the bark and cambium layer a third tree underneath: another ficus, now deceased, outgrown by the subsequent generations. Only the general shape of these three generations belied what the original tree was, possibly as much as 100 or more years ago. Since Tinctoria can grow up to 20 meters tall or more, and this very mature tree is barely 12 meters tall, the original tree must have been little more than a sapling when it became a victim.

    Trivia: the seeds of Tinctoria can be processed to make an almost indelible red-brown dye. This dye has been used as an alternative to the saffron colored dye commonly used on Buddhist monks robes found in Sri Lanka and India.
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2017
  3. schmiggle

    schmiggle Arachnoprince Active Member

    This is absolutely amazing! I'm impressed when I see one tree eating another...this is quite beyond me
  4. aphono

    aphono Arachnobaron Active Member

    Very cool! I've wondered what would happen if a strangler fig seed landed on a strangler fig.. thanks for answering that a couple times over lol.
  5. Tleilaxu

    Tleilaxu Arachnoprince Old Timer

    I wonder if you can buy strangler fig seeds, it would be a cool bonsai project, get a cool looking rotting log or branch and place the fig seed on it.
  6. The Snark

    The Snark هرج و مرج مهندس Old Timer

    I suppose somebody on the planet has seeds. Since it is an undesirable plant as well as a restricted invasive you might be in for a major search.
  7. Ratmosphere

    Ratmosphere Arachnoking Active Member

    That's pretty rad!
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