Identity of Ficus microcarpa ‘Green Island’
You see this plant in median strips and next to sidewalks throughout urban South Florida. Unlike older forms of Ficus microcarpa L.f. that are pruned to tall hedges, with their thin, distinctively acuminate leaves often defoliated by whitefly, ‘Green Island’ grows only to about 1 m tall.
The thick, almost succulent, shiny leaves of ‘Green Island’ are at best acute or even obtuse and unaffected by whitefly. Despite its monocultural use ‘Green Island’ is so far indestructible.
Most botanists and horticulturists who I’ve talked to identify ‘Green Island’ as Ficus microcarpa but that’s way outside my species concept. Some expert sources may have doubts as well, or have tried to put other names on ‘Green Island.’ FLEPPC says Ficus microcarpa subsp. fuyuensis is sold as ‘Green Island Ficus’
Here you can see ‘Green Island’ in Coral Springs, Florida; below is a hedge of the older Ficus microcarpa in Miami: