The knotted branches of a ‘Spider’s Web’ tree (also known as ‘Strangler Fig’) Nanning, Guangxi, China.
“Strangler fig, also called strangler, any of numerous species of tropical figs (genus Ficus, family Moraceae) named for their pattern of growth upon host trees, which often results in the host’s d.e.a.th. Strangler figs and other strangler species are common in tropical forests throughout the world. Although a strangler fig often smothers and outcompetes its host, there is some evidence that trees encased in strangler figs are more likely to survive tropical cyclones, suggesting that the relationship can be somewhat mutualistic. The plants are fully pH๏τosynthetic and do not rely on their hosts for nutrition.