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Useful Tropical Plants

Ficus caballina

Standl.

Moraceae

+ Synonyms

Ficus ramiflora Standl.

Ficus tamatamae Pittier

Common Name:

Ficus caballina
Fruits ripening along the trunk
Photograph by: C. E. Timothy Paine
Creative Commons License
Ficus caballina Ficus caballina

General Information

Ficus caballina is a rather straggly shrub or tree with an open crown; it can grow up to 10 metres tall[
422
Title
Fruits of the Guianan Flora
Publication
 
Author
van Roosmalen. M.G.M.
Publisher
Institute of Systematic Boyany, Utrecht University; Netherlands.
Year
1985
ISBN
90-9000988-4
Description
Terse descriptions of over 1,700 species from the Guianas that bear fruits - not necessarily edible! Often mentions if the fruit is edible, plus gives brief description of habit and habitat.
,
453
Title
Woods of Northeastern Peru
Publication
 
Author
Williams L.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/
Publisher
Field Museum Press; Chicago.
Year
1936
ISBN
 
Description
Gives information on the properties of the wood of well over 1,000 species of woody plants from northeastern Peru. Can be downloaded from the Internet.
]. 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[
422
Title
Fruits of the Guianan Flora
Publication
 
Author
van Roosmalen. M.G.M.
Publisher
Institute of Systematic Boyany, Utrecht University; Netherlands.
Year
1985
ISBN
90-9000988-4
Description
Terse descriptions of over 1,700 species from the Guianas that bear fruits - not necessarily edible! Often mentions if the fruit is edible, plus gives brief description of habit and habitat.
]. The slender bole is usually bent, it can be free of branches for up to 1.8 metres[
453
Title
Woods of Northeastern Peru
Publication
 
Author
Williams L.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/
Publisher
Field Museum Press; Chicago.
Year
1936
ISBN
 
Description
Gives information on the properties of the wood of well over 1,000 species of woody plants from northeastern Peru. Can be downloaded from the Internet.
].
The plant is harvested from the wild for food and local medicinal use.

Known Hazards

None known

Botanical References

422
Title
Fruits of the Guianan Flora
Publication
 
Author
van Roosmalen. M.G.M.
Publisher
Institute of Systematic Boyany, Utrecht University; Netherlands.
Year
1985
ISBN
90-9000988-4
Description
Terse descriptions of over 1,700 species from the Guianas that bear fruits - not necessarily edible! Often mentions if the fruit is edible, plus gives brief description of habit and habitat.
,
434
Title
Flora of Peru
Publication
 
Author
Macbride. J.F.
Publisher
Field Museum of Natural History
Year
1936
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent attempt at a Flora of Peru, though it is clear that many of the plants were imperfectly known at that time and so information on them was sketchy. Available for download from the Internet.

Range

S. America - Bolivia, Brazil, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, the Guyanas.

Habitat

Riverine forest[
422
Title
Fruits of the Guianan Flora
Publication
 
Author
van Roosmalen. M.G.M.
Publisher
Institute of Systematic Boyany, Utrecht University; Netherlands.
Year
1985
ISBN
90-9000988-4
Description
Terse descriptions of over 1,700 species from the Guianas that bear fruits - not necessarily edible! Often mentions if the fruit is edible, plus gives brief description of habit and habitat.
].

Properties

Edibility Rating *  *
Medicinal Rating *  *
Other Uses Rating *  *
HabitTree
Height7.00 m
PollinatorsWasps
Cultivation StatusWild

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

Fruit - raw[
453
Title
Woods of Northeastern Peru
Publication
 
Author
Williams L.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/
Publisher
Field Museum Press; Chicago.
Year
1936
ISBN
 
Description
Gives information on the properties of the wood of well over 1,000 species of woody plants from northeastern Peru. Can be downloaded from the Internet.
]. Very small, but a sweet flavour[
453
Title
Woods of Northeastern Peru
Publication
 
Author
Williams L.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/
Publisher
Field Museum Press; Chicago.
Year
1936
ISBN
 
Description
Gives information on the properties of the wood of well over 1,000 species of woody plants from northeastern Peru. Can be downloaded from the Internet.
]. The globose fruit is pale red when mature, around 5 - 6mm in diameter[
434
Title
Flora of Peru
Publication
 
Author
Macbride. J.F.
Publisher
Field Museum of Natural History
Year
1936
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent attempt at a Flora of Peru, though it is clear that many of the plants were imperfectly known at that time and so information on them was sketchy. Available for download from the Internet.
,
453
Title
Woods of Northeastern Peru
Publication
 
Author
Williams L.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/
Publisher
Field Museum Press; Chicago.
Year
1936
ISBN
 
Description
Gives information on the properties of the wood of well over 1,000 species of woody plants from northeastern Peru. Can be downloaded from the Internet.
].

Medicinal

An exudate from the stems is used to treat sprains, wounds, cuts and skin infections[
348
Title
Medicinal Plants of the Guianas
Publication
 
Author
DeFilipps, R. A.; Maina, S. L.; & Crepin, J.
Website
http://botany.si.edu/bdg/medicinal/index.html
Publisher
Smithsonian Museum
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A down-loadable PDF document of a book in pre-publication awaiting illustration. An excellent, if rather terse, guide to the traditional medicinal uses of the plants of the region
,
453
Title
Woods of Northeastern Peru
Publication
 
Author
Williams L.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/
Publisher
Field Museum Press; Chicago.
Year
1936
ISBN
 
Description
Gives information on the properties of the wood of well over 1,000 species of woody plants from northeastern Peru. Can be downloaded from the Internet.
].
The thick white latex obtained from the stems is used like 'plaster of Paris' to set bones. The latex sets rapidly to a rather hard mass[
558
Title
Botanical Museum Leaflets Vol 30
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Harvard University, Boston.
Year
1984 - 1986
ISBN
 
Description
A series of botanical articles. It contains an article on the medicinal and toxic plants of the northwest Amazon. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].

Other Uses

When the yellowish or medium brown bark is cut, it exudes a fair quantity of insipid latex which coagulates readily. It has local medicinal uses[
453
Title
Woods of Northeastern Peru
Publication
 
Author
Williams L.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/
Publisher
Field Museum Press; Chicago.
Year
1936
ISBN
 
Description
Gives information on the properties of the wood of well over 1,000 species of woody plants from northeastern Peru. Can be downloaded from the Internet.
].

The wood is oatmeal-coloured with pale gray areas caused by stain. Coarse textured; straight or slightly wavy-grained; it has no distinctive odour, but is sometimes slightly bitter. The wood is light in weight, but fairly firm; easy to cut; checks slightly in drying[
453
Title
Woods of Northeastern Peru
Publication
 
Author
Williams L.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/
Publisher
Field Museum Press; Chicago.
Year
1936
ISBN
 
Description
Gives information on the properties of the wood of well over 1,000 species of woody plants from northeastern Peru. Can be downloaded from the Internet.
]. It has no recorded uses.

Propagation

Seed -

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