In Nañing, Guangxi, China, a peculiar tree known as the “Spider’s Web” or “Strangler Fig” can be found. Its branches are entwined and knotted in a unique pattern.
The strangle fig, also known as a strangler, is a type of tropical fig tree from the Ficus genus in the Moraceae family. These trees are named for their growth pattern, which involves wrapping themselves around host trees and often leading to the death of the host. Strangle figs and other species like them can be found in tropical forests all over the world. While they can suffocate and out-compete their hosts, there is evidence to suggest that trees enveloped by strangler figs are better able to survive tropical cyclones, indicating a somewhat mutualistic relationship. These plants are fully capable of photosynthesis and do not rely on their hosts for nutrients.