The Ficus Family

Ficus is a genus of trees, shrubs, and vines occupying a wide variety of mostly evergreen plants. Ficus lyrata, ficus elastic, ficus benjamina are well-known and common family members in a big family with over 850 species. 

Specific identification of many species can be difficult, but members of the genus Ficus are relatively easy to recognize. Many have aerial roots and a distinctive shape or habit, and their fruits distinguish them from other plants.

They produce fruit, yes all of them, that are often important bush food for many animals in the wild.  In essence, the fig fruit is a fleshy stem with multiple tiny flowers that fruit and coalesce.

Current molecular clock estimates indicate that Ficus is a relatively ancient genus being at least 60 million years old and possibly as old as 80 million. However, the main radiation of current species may have taken place more recently, between 20 and 40 million years ago.