Harvesting latex from these trees does not cause harm to them. In its native habitat in southern parts of Asia, this plant can grow as tall as 60 metres, with its trunk getting as thick as two metres in diameter. Ring in the new year with a Britannica Membership - Now 30% off. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. Facts | Nature | 14 Remarkable Facts about Rubber Trees 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. Use our interactive map to navigate our fascinating planet and discover many interesting and fun facts for every country…, © 2020 Planet Numbers Ltd.   Cultivars. The rubber tree has a silvery type of bark and a rough top layer of bark. Tapping rubber is a highly skilled operation; the vessels need to be tapped without damaging them. Natural rubber is produced by coagulating/drying latex extracted from para rubber trees for five to 25 years after their plantation. Facts about Rubber Tree 2: the characteristics of the trunk. It has a cylindrical trunk that is swollen towards the base. Although the rubber trees are most suited for hot and wet climates in the tropical rainforest, they can also survive in extremely dry conditions. It consists of many trunks and of a spherical or hemispherical shape canopy, which is symmetrical with an irregular outline. Rubber, elastic substance obtained from the exudations of certain tropical plants (natural rubber) or derived from petroleum and natural gas (synthetic 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. 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. When learning how to care for a rubber tree plant, there are a few key things to remember, but rubber plant care isn’t as difficult as one might think. Natural rubber is produced by the rubber tree (Hevea brasiliensis). They are super soft, lightweight, strong and long lasting – they can have a life span of over a decade. 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. These large trees can grow up to 50 feet (15 m.) tall. Can you guess the bark color of a rubber tree? Privacy Policy | 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 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.. Producers. Asia now produces most of the world’s natural rubber. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. Rubber Tree Plant Care Sun. The places the rubber tree grows in is Brazil, Venezuela, Ecuador, Colombia, Peru, and Bolivia. Super soft tree ties pad out the space between the tree and the support. With its glossy, leathery leaves and upright form, it’s a striking addition to almost any room in your house. Hevea brasilienis is the botanical name of the rubber tree. UV stabilised and weatherproof. Hevea brasiliensis is the tree that most rubber comes from. The leaves of these rubber trees are typically cream to yellow in. Europeans brought rubber trees to other tropical regions, including Southeast Asia, South Asia, and West Africa. In the 1800s, most sap to make rubber came from South America. This article was most recently revised and updated by, https://www.britannica.com/plant/rubber-tree, rubber tree - Children's Encyclopedia (Ages 8-11), rubber tree - Student Encyclopedia (Ages 11 and up). Rubber tree, (Hevea brasiliensis), South American tropical tree of the spurge family (Euphorbiaceae). A rubber tree, also referred to as rubberwood, can be tapped for latex once it reaches approximately six years of age. It belongs to the genus Euphorbiaceae. A cut is made (typically thin) on the trunk of the tree and the silver bark is then removed. As a domesticated houseplant, rubber plants grow anywhere between six to ten feet tall. Today, some rubber is sourced from designated areas of rainforest rather than plantations. Distinct from the sap, latex serves as a protective agent, seeping out of and sealing over wounds in the tree’s bark. Cured rubber is used for all types of rubber products. Your email address will not be published. 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. A host of distinctively colored rubber tree cultivars add interest to the otherwise plain … A rubber tree plant is also known as a Ficus elastica. It has soft wood; high, branching limbs; and a large area of bark. Although the rubber tree is native to South America, only 2.4 percent of the global natural rubber production took place in all of North, Central, and South America as of 2018. latex straight from the tree Rubber is rubbery material made from latex, a milky liquid that drips out of a rainforest tree like the sap used to make maple syrup. The Rubber Plant, Ficus elastica or Ficus robusta, is a hardy accommodating low maintenance houseplant, it also goes by Rubber Tree or Rubber Fig. Sudden temperature drops can cause the leaves to drop. Articles from Britannica Encyclopedias for elementary and high school students. In its native jungle habitat in India and Malaysia, the plant can grow up to 100 feet tall. Para Rubber trees belong to the Euphorbiaceae family. When the inner bark is damaged, it will produce latex. Seeds are source of Para Rubber seed oil, recommended for manufacture of soap. Site Map. Rubber trees do not require much light, but flourish in bright, indirect light. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Cultivated on plantations in the tropics and subtropics, especially in Southeast Asia and western Africa , it replaced the rubber plant in the early 20th … 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). This is important because the bark helps make the latex. Its latex extracted from the tree’s trunk is a major source of natural rubber, which is the primary material in tires. Encyclopaedia Britannica's editors oversee subject areas in which they have extensive knowledge, whether from years of experience gained by working on that content or via study for an advanced degree.... Latex being tapped from trees on a rubber plantation near Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. But indoors, a rubber tree typically tops out at 6 to 10 feet tall. Click on the following article and get your rubber tree branching this year. Find us on Facebook 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. Write for us | 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. Follow us on Twitter. Updates? Chloroprene Rubber. The rubber plant gets its name from the white latex coursing through its veins, which was once used to make rubber. The trunk is characterized with swollen look. The rubber tree plant (Ficus elastica) can sometimes be temperamental, growing upward and refusing to grow side branches. In the wild, the rubber tree will grow to heights of 100 to 130 feet, and can live up to 100 years. Rubber Tree, Rubber Tree Where do you live? 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. Chloroprene rubber, or CR, is a very familiar type of rubber that … The opulence of the rubber barons could only be exceeded by their brutality. About 70 per cent of natural latex is used for tires. 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. Required fields are marked *. In order to collect the latex milk from tree, an incision is made in the bark of the rubber tree – which is called ‘tapping’. The leaves of the rubber tree are typically spiral-shaped. Your email address will not be published. Rubber trees originally grew in the Amazon Basin in South America. Depending on the use, following the tapping stage the latex milk is processed in different ways. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. Wild Hevea trees, like all primary rainforest trees, are widely dispersed, an adaptation that protects species from the South American leaf blight which easily spreads through and decimates plantations. Thanks for reading about the rubber tree. A Para rubber tree(or simply, rubber tree) is the tree which naturally produces rubber. The botanical name of the rubber tree is Hevea brasilienis. Even its handsome, glossy leaves have a thick, rubber-like look. Will they survive after being out in freezing temperatures? With skill, a single rubber tree can be tapped for 20 to 25 years. Although rubber trees produce latex as long as they live, the amount of production. Within the rubber tree, latex is found. Hevea brasiliensis is the tree that most rubber comes from. Our information will help you to understand how to care for a Rubber Plant correctly. Rubber tree ties that are designed to prevent bark damage. 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. Rubber trees grow best in hot, humid climates with deep, well-drained soil. Hevea brasilienis is the botanical name of the rubber. The para rubber tree is originated in Brazil. Rubber is obtained by tapping the trunks of the trees. Although poisonous, seeds can be eaten as a famine food after processing. Rubber plants can grow up to 100 feet in their native homeland of Southeast Asia. Latex can also be concentrated for producing dipped goods, such as surgical gloves. If the plant gets less light while leaves are growing, the … Rubber comes from a tree called the Hevea brasiliensis which originated in South America. Rubber tree, (Hevea brasiliensis), South American tropical tree of the spurge family (Euphorbiaceae). 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. Here are 14 other interesting facts about rubber trees! There are a few reasons why your rubber tree won’t branch. It is a tropical tree that grows to a height of 30 meters – 40 meters and has a leafy crown. When the tree is planted in its original location, it can grow for more than 100 ft. Ficus elastica (more commonly known as a rubber plant, rubber tree or rubber tree plant) is a popular houseplant because of its waxy leaves and larger-than-life appearance. Click for price. Many people put their rubber trees near a window where the light is filtered through a pair of sheer curtains. Corrections? Yellow Rubber Tree Leaves – Reasons For Yellowing Leaves On A Rubber Plant The tree has a cylindrical truck which is typically swollen towards the base. They have moulded grooves that stop the bark from being damaged and they expand around the tree as it grows. These vessels spiral up the tree in a right-handed helix which forms an angle of about 30 degrees with the horizontal, and can grow as high as 45 ft. Because of its elasticity, resilience, and toughness, rubber is the basic constituent of the tires used in automotive vehicles, aircraft, and bicycles. The latex can only be tapped from rubber trees after six years of growth. In the wild, the tree can reach a height of up to 140 feet (43 m). Due to their large and powerful roots, rubber trees do not typically do well in close proximity to homes and sidewalks. The flowers are small and consist of no petals. If you’re new to plant parenting, a rubber tree is the plant for you! It has a brown color. Hevea brasiliensis, the Para rubber tree, often simply called rubber tree, is a tree belonging to the family Euphorbiaceae and the most economically important member of the genus Hevea. As they are often tapped for latex, the Rubber Trees that are grown in plantations only grow up to 25 meters. 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