Rubber Plant, a tree native to tropical Asia and widely grown elsewhere as a house plant. The tree is known also as the India, or Assam, rubber tree. It yields rubber of poorer quality than that of the Pará, or Brazilian, rubber tree, to which it is not related. Its tiny fruits, called figs, are not edible.
Wild, the tree may grow to 100 feet (30 m) in height; as a house plant it seldom exceeds 10 feet (3 m). The plant bears oblong leaves up to 15 inches (38 cm) long, with dark-green upper surfaces and paler dull-green undersides. Though it can endure heat, dry atmosphere, and lack of sunlight, the plant thrives best when well watered in good soil, and grown outdoors in summer.
When the plant sheds its lower leaves it produces a long, unsightly stem. This growth can be eliminated by a technique called air-layering. A notch is cut in the stem below a bud, and is packed with peat moss. New roots will grow in the moss, and the stem can then be cut below the new roots and the plant repotted.
The rubber plant is Ficus elastica of the mulberry family, Moraceae.