- Specie: Weeping Fig (ficus benjamina)
- Location: Man Fai Street on the harbour between Central ferry piers and Macau ferry pier
There are many types of ficus trees in Hong Kong, and it is somethings difficult to tell them apart except for the obvious evergreen Chinese Banyans (ficus microcarpa) with their extensive aerial roots and tiny leaves, or the deciduous Big-Leaved Figs (ficus virens), which also feature aerial roots but with large pointed ovoid leaves that fall to the ground during the winter.
Take this young individual on a small street next to Victoria Harbour between the Central ferry piers and the Macau ferry terminal. It has some aerial roots, thin and hair like, which hang down like many other ficus species. But its leaves are slightly too big for a Chinese Banyan and not quite big enough to be a Big-Leaved Fig. On any other occasion, it could be easily be mistaken either. But not this time.
Growing amongst the branches and limbs are bright orange fruit that unmistakably identified this individual as a Weeping Fig (ficus benjamina).
The fruit is like the size of an olive, but bright orange and sometimes red. They grow in clusters that accentuate their brilliance. At the same time, a closer look at this tree reveals another distinct characteristic – long thin branchlets that extend out from the main branches to support the leaves.
The bright fruits not only make the Weeping Fig stand out on the street, but it also attracts some very interested visitors.
As the fruits fall from the tree, they shower the ground like teardrops, which probably contributed to its name. If you just happen to be walking around town at this time of year (beginning of July), look out for these sparkling trees.