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Rubber Plant "Mangrove", or Ficus elastica Melany Petit Mangrove is an attractive large-leaved foliage plant with dark, glossy oval leaves that emerge from red leaf sheaths. The variety "Petite Melany" has much smaller leaves and a more compact habit than other varieties of this species.
Ficus elastica is the original rubber plant. Elastica obviously means elastic, and refers to the sticky latex that exudes from the plant whenever its stems or leaves are damaged. This was used for the manufacture of soft rubber goods, such as elastic bands and erasers until the south American plant Hevea brasiliensis was introduced to south-east Asia in commercial plantations. Ficus elastica was first introduced to the UK as a decorative plant in 1815.