I was born and raised, and sell real estate in Daytona Beach, FL. Of course, throughout my life, I've visited South Florida many times, and am always fascinated by the obvious differences in our flora and fauna. Daytona Beach, although considered to be part of central Florida, is actually closer to the north part of the state. As such, when you spend time in the southern part of the state, you see the obvious sub-tropical (and HOT) climatic change. This change of climate is especially evident in nature.
In South Florida, there are many species of tropical plants and trees that will not grow in the Daytona Beach area. Knowing this, I'm somewhat jealous of the flowers, plants and trees that flourish in Miami, Fourt Lauderdale, Pompano, Palm Beach, West Palm, and other southern cities I've visited. I've learned the hard way that when these plants are brought just 2-4 hours north, they will not thrive. But I recently found that one of the trees I've envied is actually not just another pretty tree. What I thought was a thing of beauty is deservedly named the Strangler Fig Tree.
The Strangler Fig needs a host tree to even begin it's life. It starts as a parasitic seed, wedged into the cracks of a host tree. As the roots begin to grow, they extend through the air, all the while sucking nutrients from it's host. The roots will eventually reach the ground and the Strangler Fig will begin developing it's own root system. At this point, the Strangler Fig grows very rapidly. It then covers and "strangles" it's host tree with it's own trunk and eventually kills it. Over time, the host tree completely rots away until there is an empty space beneath the Strangler Fig, which then becomes home to all kinds of critters.
I've decided south Floridians can keep their Strangler Fig. I'll just admire it when I'm visiting. If you're ready to buy or sell real estate in Volusia County Florida, please don't hesitate to call. I'd love to help!
Look at this cool photo I found, of a strangler fig tree in Cambodia. It's growing on an old temple and has actually separated the blocks. That is one strong tree!