Florida strangler fig

Ficus aurea

''Ficus aurea'', commonly known as the Florida strangler fig , golden fig, or ''higuerón'', is a tree in the family Moraceae that is native to the U.S. state of Florida, the northern and western Caribbean, southern Mexico and Central America south to Panama. The specific epithet ''aurea'' was applied by English botanist Thomas Nuttall who described the species in 1846.

''Ficus aurea'' is a strangler fig. In figs of this type, seed germination usually takes place in the canopy of a host tree with the seedling living as an epiphyte until its roots establish contact with the ground, after which it enlarges and strangles its host, eventually becoming a freestanding tree in its own right. Individuals may reach 30 m in height. Like all figs, it has an obligate mutualism with fig wasps: figs are only pollinated by fig wasps, and fig wasps can only reproduce in fig flowers. The tree provides habitat, food and shelter for a host of tropical lifeforms including epiphytes in cloud forests and birds, mammals, reptiles and invertebrates. ''F. aurea'' is used in traditional medicine, for live fencing, as an ornamental and as a bonsai.