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A you a Rubber plant or a Rubber tree?

I spotted this leaf while out for a run recently

The mottled colors struck me as strangely beautiful, worthy of a picture. And as I continued my run I realized the leaf was from one of the many rubber trees in the forest my track takes me through. Rubber trees, native to South America, were introduced to South East Asia by the British in 1876.

Farmed for their latex resin Rubber trees are all over the region and are a typical roadside tree in Singapore’s older neighborhoods.

History aside, what I was suddenly struck by, was a memory of the rubber plant in my parents home in the ‘70s.

Reflecting on the size of the tree versus the plant I had the realization, in a non native environment thriving can be tough perhaps impossible. Climate, soil, nutrition, environment all play a part in growth and development.

But in the right environment you can thrive, be productive and grow to your full potential (for a rubber tree that's about 130 feet - see below for a fine specimen in my garden); So if you ever find yourself not thriving, make sure your environment is the right one for you…

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