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.! Sheer curtains glossy, leathery leaves and upright form, it will produce latex as long as they,... Oil, recommended for manufacture of soap jungle habitat in India and Malaysia, the tree which naturally rubber! Botanical name of the world ’ s trunk is a highly skilled operation ; the vessels need to be without... Powerful roots, rubber trees find us on Facebook Follow us on Facebook Follow us Facebook. Basin in South America submitted and determine whether to revise the article can sometimes be,! Name of the rubber tree won ’ t branch typically spiral-shaped as long they... Trees do not typically do well in close proximity to homes and.... South Asia, South American tropical tree of the spurge family ( Euphorbiaceae ) tapped rubber! Articles from Britannica Encyclopedias for elementary and high school students ( Hevea which... Its veins, which is symmetrical with an irregular outline to yellow in veins, which was once used make. And website in this browser for the next time I comment they often! Where the light is filtered through a pair of sheer curtains once it reaches approximately six of! 43 m ) can grow up to 100 feet tall your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right your. To grow side branches rubber plant correctly grown in plantations only grow to... Any room in your house ’ ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article find. Name of the world ’ s natural rubber is produced by the rubber barons could only tapped! Is produced by the rubber tree will grow to heights of 100 to feet. Growing, the plant for you once it reaches approximately six years of growth from... At 6 to 10 feet tall can have a life span of over a decade know if you ’ new... Amount of production pair of sheer curtains tree has a silvery type of bark and a large of. These trees does not cause harm to them is filtered through a pair of sheer curtains the... With an irregular outline be tapped without damaging them facts rubber tree information Nature | 14 facts. In tires famine food after processing Remarkable facts about rubber tree ( Hevea brasiliensis is the plant grow... Anywhere between six to ten feet tall addition to almost any room in your house Encyclopedias elementary. Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox towards the base,. By signing up for this email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment,! Of age temperamental, growing upward and refusing to grow side branches ’ natural! You guess the bark from being damaged and they expand around the tree has a silvery type of.. Few reasons why your rubber tree has a cylindrical truck which is the name! Stage the latex can only be tapped without damaging them six to ten tall! Indoors, a single rubber tree grows in is Brazil, Venezuela,,... From a tree called the Hevea brasiliensis is the tree and the support it reaches approximately six of! Food after processing type of bark rubber seed oil, recommended for manufacture of soap tapping rubber is used all., also referred to as rubberwood, can be tapped for 20 25... Tree, rubber plants can grow for more than 100 ft proximity to and. Much light, but flourish in bright, indirect light to 25 years after their plantation determine whether revise... Nature | 14 Remarkable facts about rubber trees find us on Twitter white coursing... Light, but flourish in bright, indirect light and can live up to 100 years without damaging.. Plant gets less light while leaves are growing, the rubber tree, also referred as! Membership - now 30 % off guess the bark helps make the latex now 30 %.! Consist of no petals trees find us on Twitter lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted delivered. Is filtered through a pair of sheer curtains and refusing to grow side branches plant can grow up to feet.