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Useful Tropical Plants

Ficus amplissima

Sm.

Moraceae

+ Synonyms

Ficus indica Willd.

Ficus pseudobenjamina (Miq.) Miq.

Ficus pseudotsiela Trimen

Ficus tjiela Miq.

Ficus tsiela Roxb.

Urostigma pseudobenjaminum Miq.

Urostigma pseudotjiela Miq.

Common Name:

Ficus amplissima

General Information

Ficus amplissima is an evergreen tree with a widely spreading crown; it can grow up to 20 metres tall. It often starts life as an epiphyte in the branch of a tree and can eventually send down aerial roots that, once they reach the ground, provide extra nutrients that help the plant grow more vigorously. These aerial roots can completely encircle the trunk of the host tree, constricting its growth - this, coupled with the more vigorous top growth, can lead to the fig outcompeting and killing the tree in which it is growing.
The tree is sometimes harvested from the wild for its wood. It is grown to provide shade in coffee plantations and is often planted in avenues[
146
Title
A Manual of Indian Timbers.
Publication
 
Author
Gamble. J. S.
Publisher
Bishen Singh Mahendra Pal Singh
Year
1972
ISBN
-
Description
First written in the 19th century, but still a classic, giving a lot of information on the uses and habitats of Indian trees. Not for the casual reader.
].

Known Hazards

None known

Botanical References

506
Title
Flora of British India.
Publication
 
Author
Hooker J.D.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
L.Reeve & Co.; London
Year
1872 - 1875
ISBN
 
Description
Rather dated, but has some information on plant uses. It can be downloaded from the Internet.

Range

E. Asia - India, Sri Lanka, the Maldives.

Habitat

A subcanopy tree in disturbed evergreen forests at elevations up to 1,000 metres.

Properties

Other Uses Rating *  *  *
HabitEvergreen Tree
Height15.00 m
PollinatorsWasps
Cultivation StatusCultivated, Ornamental, Wild

Cultivation Details



Fig trees have a unique form of fertilization, each species relying on a single, highly specialized species of wasp that is itself totaly dependant upon that fig species in order to breed. The trees produce three types of flower; male, a long-styled female and a short-styled female flower, often called the gall flower. All three types of flower are contained within the structure we usually think of as the fruit.
The female fig wasp enters a fig and lays its eggs on the short styled female flowers while pollinating the long styled female flowers. Wingless male fig wasps emerge first, inseminate the emerging females and then bore exit tunnels out of the fig for the winged females. Females emerge, collect pollen from the male flowers and fly off in search of figs whose female flowers are receptive. In order to support a population of its pollinator, individuals of a Ficus spp. must flower asynchronously. A population must exceed a critical minimum size to ensure that at any time of the year at least some plants have overlap of emmission and reception of fig wasps. Without this temporal overlap the short-lived pollinator wasps will go locally extinct[
413
Title
Global Invasive Species Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.issg.org/database/welcome/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Very detailed information on almost 400 species (with more being added) of plants that have become weeds in areas outside their native range.
].

Edible Uses

None known

Medicinal

None known

Agroforestry Uses:

The tree is used to provide shade in coffee plantations[
317
Title
Mansfeld's Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Plants
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://mansfeld.ipk-gatersleben.de/pls/htmldb_pgrc/f?p=185:3:4292127278597336
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details of a huge range of useful plants.
].

Other Uses

The dark brownish-coloured wood has a tinge of green in it. The wood has a hard, straight grain, like a Sapeli mahogany, but with a smoother surface. It is an attractive wood for good quality decorative woodwork, the transverse grain marked by wide patches of dark-coloured concentric layers[
719
Title
A Manual of the Timbers of the World
Publication
 
Author
Howard A.L.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
MacMillan and Co.; London.
Year
1934
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent and comprehensive book on timbers. Rather dated, but still a main source of information for many of the less known woods. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].

Propagation

Seed -

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