Rubber trees are native to the rain forests of the Amazon region of South America. They’re also found in low altitudes in wetlands such as Sri Lanka, China, Liberia and India, with a significant part of the world’s rubber coming from these trees.
Here are 14 more interesting facts about rubber trees!
Hevea brasilienis is the botanical name of the rubber tree.
Also known as the rubber fig tree or the rubberwood tree, the rubber tree plant can grow to over 100 feet tall in the wild.
The tree has a cylindrical truck which is typically swollen towards the base.
Due to their large and powerful roots, rubber trees do not typically do well in close proximity to homes and sidewalks.
Although the rubber trees are most suited for hot and wet climates in the tropical rainforest, they can also survive in extremely dry conditions.
The leaves of the rubber tree are typically spiral-shaped. The flowers are small and consist of no petals. Sudden temperature drops can cause the leaves to drop.
Harvesting latex from these trees does not cause harm to them.
The latex can only be tapped from rubber trees after six years of growth. A cut is made (typically thin) on the trunk of the tree and the silver bark is then removed.
Found in Central and South America, the Mesoamerican people (such as the Aztecs and the Mayans) were the first to tap rubber from these trees. They made play balls from the latex they collected (after letting it dry). Latex was also used to waterproof their clothing.
Although rubber trees produce latex as long as they live, the amount of production may decrease with age.
Rubber plant leaves
In 1961, a song known as High Hopes (a song about rubber trees) by Frank Sinatra reached the Billboard top 100. After Sinatra’s initial song debut, several versions of the song have been performed.
As they are often tapped for latex, the Rubber Trees that are grown in plantations only grow up to 25 meters.
The leaves of these rubber trees are typically cream to yellow in colour and contain a pungent smell. The male and female flowers are located in the same tree.
The fruit of the tubber tree explodes which releases and spreads the seeds as far as 30 meters away.
Do you know any interesting or fun facts about rubber trees? Share them in the comments below!