About 70 per cent of natural latex is used for tires. The Rubber Plant, Ficus elastica or Ficus robusta, is a hardy accommodating low maintenance houseplant, it also goes by Rubber Tree or Rubber Fig. Cultivated on plantations in the tropics and subtropics, especially in Southeast Asia and western Africa, it replaced the rubber plant in the early 20th century as the chief source of natural rubber. The rubber tree can only thrive in hot, damp regions near the equator, so 90% of true rubber production today occurs in these areas. This is important because the bark helps make the latex. UV stabilised and weatherproof. Many people put their rubber trees near a window where the light is filtered through a pair of sheer curtains. Latex can also be concentrated for producing dipped goods, such as surgical gloves. Follow us on Twitter. As its name suggests, the rubber tree Hevea brasiliensis originally came from Brazil, from where it was introduced to such countries of the Far East as Malaysia, Indonesia, Burma, Cambodia, China, and Vietnam. A rubber tree plant is also known as a Ficus elastica. These large trees can grow up to 50 feet (15 m.) tall. The latex can only be tapped from rubber trees after six years of growth. Within the rubber tree, latex is found. Producers. Rubber is obtained by tapping the trunks of the trees. Use our interactive map to navigate our fascinating planet and discover many interesting and fun facts for every country…, © 2020 Planet Numbers Ltd. Rubber Tree Plant Care Sun. Rubber trees grow best in hot, humid climates with deep, well-drained soil. The white or yellow latex occurs in latex vessels in the bark, mostly outside the phloem. Ring in the new year with a Britannica Membership - Now 30% off. rubber tree Any of several South American trees whose exudations can be made into rubber; especially Hevea brasiliensis (family Euphorbiaceae), a tall softwood tree native to Brazil but introduced to Malaysia.The milky exudate, called latex, is obtained from the inner bark by tapping and then coagulated by smoking over fires or chemically. That being said, in order to introduce you to the wondrous world that is rubber, here is a short yet informative list on some facts about rubber. In the wild, the tree can reach a height of up to 140 feet (43 m). The opulence of the rubber barons could only be exceeded by their brutality. As a domesticated houseplant, rubber plants grow anywhere between six to ten feet tall. Other plants that have the special sap (called latex) are figs (Ficus elastica), Castilla (Panama rubber tree), euphorbias, lettuce, the common dandelion, Taraxacum kok-saghyz (Russian dandelion), Scorzonera tau-saghyz, and Guayule.. Rubber plant is a large, evergreen tree that grows about 30–40 meters (98–131 ft.) (rarely up to 60 meters or 200 feet) tall, with a stout trunk up to 2 meters (6.6 ft.) in diameter. Asia now produces most of the world’s natural rubber. Distinct from the sap, latex serves as a protective agent, seeping out of and sealing over wounds in the tree’s bark. When the inner bark is damaged, it will produce latex. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). Rubber Plant is an evergreen tree of fast and large growth when it is in the natural state, having a height that often exceeds 25 m (82 ft).When grown, the annual growth rate is moderate and does not exceed a height of 15 m (50 ft). The rubber plant gets its name from the white latex coursing through its veins, which was once used to make rubber. Cured rubber is used for all types of rubber products. It is of major economic importance because its sap-like extract (known as latex) can be collected and is the primary source of natural rubber. Although poisonous, seeds can be eaten as a famine food after processing. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. It is native to tropicalareas from South America, in the Amazon(Brazil), but was spread by European farmers to the Far East. 14 Remarkable Facts about Rubber Trees Europeans brought rubber trees to other tropical regions, including Southeast Asia, South Asia, and West Africa. The flowers are small and consist of no petals. Although rubber trees produce latex as long as they live, the amount of production. A host of distinctively colored rubber tree cultivars add interest to the otherwise plain … Harvesting latex from these trees does not cause harm to them. Articles from Britannica Encyclopedias for elementary and high school students. It has soft wood; high, branching limbs; and a large area of bark. It consists of many trunks and of a spherical or hemispherical shape canopy, which is symmetrical with an irregular outline. A Para rubber tree(or simply, rubber tree) is the tree which naturally produces rubber. The tree has a cylindrical truck which is typically swollen towards the base. Omissions? Let us find out other important facts about rubber tree: Facts about Rubber Tree 1: the bark color. The rubber tree isn’t the only plant with rubbery sap, but it is the only one that produces more latex each time it is cut. Seeds are source of Para Rubber seed oil, recommended for manufacture of soap. Depending on the use, following the tapping stage the latex milk is processed in different ways. Updates? Our information will help you to understand how to care for a Rubber Plant correctly. Hevea brasilienis is the botanical name of the rubber tree. If you’re new to plant parenting, a rubber tree is the plant for you! Even its handsome, glossy leaves have a thick, rubber-like look. It has a cylindrical trunk that is swollen towards the base. It has cylindrical shape. The milky liquid (latex) that oozes from any wound to the tree bark contains about 30 percent rubber, which can be coagulated and processed into solid products, such as tires. They have moulded grooves that stop the bark from being damaged and they expand around the tree as it grows. Anywhere between six to ten feet tall these large trees can grow up to 140 feet ( 15 ). Anywhere between six to ten feet tall is the tree which naturally produces rubber is the primary material in.! 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