Golden Fig TreeThe Golden Fig (F. aurea, Nutt.) climbs up another tree, which it strangles with its coiling stems and aerial roots. There is a famous specimen tree on one of the islands of southern Florida, which has spread by striking root with its drooping branches until it now covers with its secondary trunks an area of a quarter of an acre. It looks much like a banyan tree. More often in South Florida one sees this tree with a sturdy single trunk which has swallowed up the parasite that supported it in youth. Smooth as a beech trunk, with a crown of foliage more glossy than the live oak, this is a large and beautiful tree. The little yellow figs snuggle in the axils of the leaves and turn purple when ripe. They are succulent and sweet, and are sometimes used for jams and preserves.
Another interesting thing about Ficus aurea is that its wood is lighter than that of any other native tree. Its specific gravity is 0.26, which means that, bulk for bulk, this substance is only one-fourth as 'heavy as water. Most of our woods range between 0.40 and 0,80. The heaviest wood belongs also to a Florida tree, Krugiodendron ferreum, Urb., whose specific gravity, when sea
soned, is 1.302.