Scientific: Ficus benjamina
Common: Weeping fig, weeping Chinese banyan, Java laurel
Family: Moraceae
Origin: India, Malaysia

Pronounciation: FII-cus ben-ja-MY-na

Hardiness zones
13, 23-24 (indoors elsewhere)
USDA 9 (can experience winter freeze damage in exposed locations) - 11

Landscape Use: Eloquent medium-sized evergreen shade tree, great high entry ways, east and north building accents, atriums, courtyards and interior malls, large containers, topiary. Often planted (mistakenly because of its eventual size) as a residential entryway tree. Here's weeping fig being used as a small formal hedge in Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico.

Form & Character: Dense upright and rounded to spreading with age, refined looking, formal, clean, adverse to stress, well behaved.

Growth Habit: Soft-wooded evergreen perennial tree, moderate and spreading to 30 to 50 feet with a near equal spread.

Foliage/texture: Lustrous, bright green, glabrous oval leaves tapering to acuminate tip, boat shaped if sun acclimated, trunk smooth and brownish grey, lenticels on small branches, white milky latex producer, aerial roots; medium texture.

Flowers & fruits: Both flowers and fruit are small, auxiliary, inconspicuous, fruit a a rounded nut, small, yellowish to orange when fully ripe.

Seasonal color: None

Temperature: Hardy to 30oF (Phoenix weeping fig trees experienced major freeze damage in January 2007). Foliage and young branches can be freeze injured during cool winters in Phoenix. Recovers quickly. Hard frosts of coldest winters might kill. Best to plant near buildings on south and east exposures so that the tree can intercept night-time long wave radiation as a heat source during the winter to guard against freeze injury.

Light: Full sun to full shade

Soil: Tolerant

Watering: Regular

Pruning: Uplift and elevate canopy base only as necessary. Weeping fig needs to be rigorously trained when young if the desire is to train it to become a standard. Useful as large topiary.

Propagation: Semi hardwood cutting, May and June best, air layering is easy.

Disease and pests: Thrips and scale

Additional comments: Generally adapted to outside culture and landscape use in Phoenix with protection. Acute sensitivity to winter night cold is it's biggest problem in Phoenix (not the summer heat) - ergo, position weeping fig trees near buildings so they can benefit from radiant heat energy during cold winter nights. Mostly they recover quickly after a freeze. They may be maintained as a slow growing interior container plant for some time and of course are popular indoor shopping mall atrium trees. There are many named cultivars; here's a variegated one that's found in a large Scottsdale, Arizona shopping mall atrium.