Juvenile and Adult Ficus cerasicarpa leaves

Here’s a side by side comparison of a juvenile leaf from a cultivated seedling of Ficus cerasciarpa (right) and an adult leaf from a cultivated cutting of a wild tree (left). As you can see they are very different, figs having different juvenile foliage is pretty common. Young plants tend to have bigger leaves and internodes, growing as quickly to establish themselves while times are good. As the plant matures,  its growth rate, leaves and internodes tend to reduce along with its water and nutrient requirements.

left: Adult ceriscarpa leaf. right: Juvenile ceriscarpa leaf.
left: Adult ceriscarpa leaf.
right: Juvenile ceriscarpa leaf.

 

The juvenile leaf is pretty much  double the size (around 24cm long) of the adult leaf (about 12cm) and it’s unlikely that seedlings in the wild would produce leaves this big. The young leaf is glossy dark green with a fine covering of almost invisible hair on the underside. Both surfaces of the adult leaf are covered in an obvious layer of downy hair, preventing the sheen of the younger leaf. The adult leaf blade is also thicker than that of the juvenile leaf. The vein pattern and colour is similar between the leaves.

 

ceriscarpa adult
Ficus ceriscarpa juvenile, bright green, not much hair.

 

cerasicarpa juvenile
Ficus cerasicarpa adult, dull colouring, tiny hairs can be seen. The brown dots are infections that have occur as the leaf matured.