The rubber plant (Ficus elastica) is a popular ornamental plant from the Ficus genus.These tropical plants generally have thick stems and fleshy, variegated leaves. Gardeners value this small, compact plant for its thick, waxy foliage, ornamental flowers and ease of care. It has broad shiny oval leaves. Leaf size is the largest in young plants. The leaves develop inside a reddish sheath at the tip of branches, which looks very attractive. The tree can yield a milky white latex, which has been used to make rubber.