Bending the rules…

Warm, moist habitat provide ideal conditions for atypical plant growth. Typical of elementary science learnings, plant growth does not always follow the same path for success. The Strangler Fig (there are several varieties) tree shown in these images is an example of a rule bender.

Once upon a time, deposited high up in a host tree, perhaps by a passing bird, a sticky seed began to grow. This Strangler Fig seed used the moist tropical air to grow, sending roots downward, eventually reaching the ground. The earth-bound roots were able to allow the seed to grow into a self-sufficient tree, sending many roots and branches around its host tree. Though the Fig did not exactly strangle its host, it did grow large enough to take over the water, sunlight, and air (CO2) supply resulting in the host tree’s demise and eventual departure from the scene.

 

Heart shaped Fig roots, copyright 2014 Pamela Breitberg

Heart shaped Fig roots, copyright 2014 Pamela Breitberg

Strangler Fig roots copyright 2014 Pamela Breitberg

Strangler Fig roots copyright 2014 Pamela Breitberg

 

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