Characteristics of Abar Tree (Ficus saxophila) in the Wild

Ficus saxophila

Abar (Ficus saxophila) is a species of Ara species originating from Southeast China, Laos, the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, the Lesser Sunda Islands, Malaya, Indonesia (Java, Maluku, Sulawesi), and New Guinea. The abar tree is rarely exposed because its population is smaller than other Ficus species in the same distribution area.


CONFUSION: Many plant enthusiasts confuse Abar (Ficus saxophila) with Bodhi (Ficus religiosa). The two look very similar and are almost indistinguishable, but Bodhi leaves tend to be stiffer, thicker, and more oval compared to the limp, thinner, and more lanceolate Abar leaves.


Currently, there are no in-depth observations of Ficus saxophila.

Characteristics of Abar Leaf

Ficus saxophila Leaf
Photo source: Yudhy Bekken

Abar leaves tend to droop, become limp, and sometimes have wavy edges. The length of each leaf reaches 15 cm with a width of 8-9 cm. The leaf stalks are long and yellowish-green or bright yellow.

Characteristics of Abar Fruit

Ficus saxophila Fruit
Photo source: Yudhy Bekken

The fruit is typical of Ficus, round, small, with white spots, about 0.8 cm in diameter, appears in the leaf axils, green when young, and turns yellow to purple-black when ripe.

Characteristics of Abar Tree

Ficus saxophila Tree
Photo source: Yudhy Bekken

Abar trees often grow epiphytes that ride on the trunks of other trees, where when they grow large the roots will strangle the host tree and grow independently. The height of the Abar tree can reach 20 meters with a trunk diameter of 1-1.5 meters. Abar trees can also grow in places where there is minimal water, such as in roof cavities and building walls, concrete gaps, and river walls.

The most easily recognized characteristic of the Abar tree is its large, pointed-tipped, oval-to-lanceolate leaves. The dark gray bark is one of the differences between Abar and Bodhi.

Benefits of Abar Tree

The Abar tree can be used as a protective tree from the wind because it has a wide canopy and prevents soil erosion because of its strong roots.

So far it is not known what pharmaceutical or economic benefits can be produced from Abar trees.

How to Cultivate Abar Tree

The Abar tree is easy to cultivate, it can be cultivated by planting seeds, cuttings, and grafts.

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