Ficus schottii Kunth & C.D.Bouché
Ficus catappifolia is an evergreen tree with a wide, dense, globose crown; it can grow 8 - 16 metres tall. The short bole can be 50 - 90cm in diameter[
The tree is sometimes harvested from the wild for local use as a medicine and source of wood. It is seen as an indicator plant of fertile soil and, with the excellent shade it provides, it can be used in rural plantings[
The plant is classified as 'Least Concern' in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species(2011)[
S. America - Brazil, Bolivia, Venezuela, the Guyanas.
Amazon rainforest, in areas not subject to seasonal inundation, growing in both the dense primary forest and also the more open, secondary formations; favouring elevated ground with a fertile, humus-rich, clayey soil[
|Conservation Status||Least Concern
|Other Uses Rating||
Succeeds in full sun to fairly dense shade[
]. Prefers a well-drained soil, favouring fertile, humus-rich, clayey soils in the wild[
]. Established plants are drought tolerant[
The tree sometimes commences life as an epiphyte, growing in the branches of another tree[
]. Eventually it sends down shoots that produce roots when they reach soil level. This provides the tree with extra nutrition that enable it to eventually outgrow and smother the host tree.
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[
A latex obtained from the stem is used in a plaster to soothe abdominal pain[
Where the plant grows wild it is seen as an indication of fertile soils[
The wood is of uniform texture, moderately heavy, soft, with moderate mechanical properties and low durability. Easy to work with, it is used locally for making wooden troughs and other containers, boxes, insides of doors and panels, conglomerates etc[
Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a partially shaded position in a nursery seedbed. The seed is very small so should be sown on the surface and gently watered into the soil, being careful not to wash it away. A low germination rate can be expected, with the seed sprouting within 28 - 42 days[
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