Ficus acutifolia Hutch.
Ficus cnestrophylla Warb.
Ficus colpophylla Warb.
Ficus irumuensis De Wild.
Ficus niokoloensis Berhaut
Ficus paludicola Warb.
Ficus pendula Welw. ex Hiern
Ficus scolopophora Warb.
Ficus spirocaulis Mildbr.
Ficus storthophylla Warb.
Ficus urceolaris Welw. ex Hiern
Ficus warburgii H.Winkl.
Ficus xiphophora Warb.
Ficus asperifolia is a variable plant that can be a scrambling shrub, or small tree, growing up to 4 metres high, or a climbing shrub producing stems up to 8 metres long[
The tree is a much used medicinal plant in Africa where it is harvested from the wild for local use and also sold in local markets[
]. The leaves are commonly used locally as a sandpaper and occasionally as a food.
Moister regions of Tropical Africa - Senegal to Sudan, south to Angola and the Congo.
Damp sites or river-banks; of riverine forest or closed secondary jungle[
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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[
Leaves - cooked and eaten as a vegetable[
]. Consumption only happens occasionally[
Like the forest sandpaper fig (Ficus exasperata), this species is commonly employed in African traditional medicine, being used in the treatment of a wide range of conditions[
Root decoctions are used in the treatment of urinary tract ailments, gonorrhoea, asthma and tuberculosis. The root is chewed in case of cough. The root is an ingredient in a prescription to expel worms[
The root bark is used against eye problems. The body is rubbed with root scrapings as a tonic[
The wood ash or charcoal is applied on lesions caused by leprosy[
Decoctions of the bark are used in the treatment of coughs, worms, haemorrhoids and abnormal enlargement of the spleen. They are also used as ingredients in the treatment of heart problems. A cold bark extract is drunk in case of dizziness. A maceration of the bark, combined with Senna occidentalis and Setaria megaphylla is taken to facilitate childbirth or to heal gonorrhoea[
Sap from the stem bark is used to stop bleeding, as a treatment of wounds, sores, abscesses, eye ailments, stomach-ache and for the removal of spines, but some traditional healers consider it corrosive to the skin and dangerous to ingest. The ash of burnt stem bark is sprinkled on wounds[
]. Scrapings from the bark are made into an embrocation with stimulant and tonic properties. The stem bark is locally applied on the body for the treatment of malaria[
The leaves and young stems are abortifacient, analgesic, antidote, diuretic, emetic, oxytocic and stomachic. A decoction is taken for the treatment of dysentery; diseases of the kidneys and urinary tract; respiratory conditions such as coughs, colds, flu and asthma; hypertension. The young leaf is chewed and swallowed in case of gastric ulcers[
]. The fresh leaf is used as an ingredient of preparations for the treatment of heart diseases[
]. The leaves are cooked with bananas and eaten as a treatment for gonorrhoea; the cooking water is also drunk for this purpose[
The leaf juice or a decoction of the leaf is applied as an enema for the treatment of stomach-ache, and as an antidote to poison[
The leafy shoot is used in preparations applied externally against jaundice. Leaf pulp or sap is externally applied for the treatment of eye ailments, rash, wounds, leprous sores, fungal infections, itching, oedema, ringworm, rheumatism, and lumbar and intercostal pain. The powder of the dried leaf is sprinkled on burns[
]. The leaves are used as a mouthwash against thrush, inflammation of the gums and other mouth and throat ailments[
]. The head is rubbed with warmed leaves for the treatment of headaches; tumours are also rubbed with warmed leaves. In case of severe headache, the patient’s head is washed with a decoction of the leaf[
The abrasive leaf surface is used to scarify the skin to promote penetration of medicines, and to scour the tongue and throat for the treatment of mouth and throat ailments[
]. The leaf is also used to scratch itching parts of the body and is ingested for mechanical treatment of diarrhoea and intestinal worms[
The fruit is eaten as a treatment of coughs and venereal diseases. The dried and powdered fruit is added to porridge for the treatment of sterility in women[
Water with the seed powder is drunk as a tonic in case of fever[
The coarse leaves are sometimes used as a sandpaper[
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