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Useful Tropical Plants

Ficus citrifolia

Mill.

Moraceae

+ Synonyms

Caprificus gigantea (Kunth) Gasp.

Ficus antimanensis Pittier

Ficus botryapioides Kunth & C.D.Bouché

Ficus brevifolia Nutt.

Ficus caribaea Jacq.

Ficus catesbaei Steud.

Ficus eximia cubensis Miq.

Ficus eximia paraguariensis Hassl.

Ficus foveata Pittier

Ficus foveolata Pittier ex Tamayo

Ficus gentlei Lundell

Ficus gigantea Kunth

Ficus guanarensis Pittier

Ficus laevigata Vahl

Ficus lentiginosa Vahl

Ficus oblongata Link

Ficus pedunculata Aiton

Ficus populifolia Desf.

Ficus populnea Willd.

Ficus populoides Warb.

Ficus portoricensis Urb.

Ficus pyrifolia Desf.

Ficus rectinervis Warb.

Ficus rubrinervis Link

Ficus sancti-crucis (Liebm.) Miq.

Ficus syringifolia Kunth & C.D.Bouché

Ficus thomaea Miq.

Ficus turbinata Pittier

Oluntos laevigata (Vahl) Raf.

Urostigma botryapioides (Kunth & C.D. Bouché) Miq.

Urostigma giganteum (Kunth) Miq.

Urostigma laevigatum (Vahl) Miq.

Urostigma lentiginosum (Vahl) Liebm.

Urostigma pedunculatum (Aiton) Miq.

Urostigma populneum (Willd.) Miq.

Urostigma sancti-crucis Liebm.

Urostigma syringifolium (Kunth & C.D.Bouché) Miq.

Common Name:

Ficus citrifolia
Large, mature tree with buttresses and aerial roots
Photograph by: Riba
Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0
Ficus citrifolia Ficus citrifolia Ficus citrifolia Ficus citrifolia Ficus citrifolia Ficus citrifolia Ficus citrifolia Ficus citrifolia

General Information

Ficus citrifolia is an evergreen shrub, or more commonly a tree with a spreading crown; it can grow up to 18 metres tall. The bole can be 75cm in diameter[
447
Title
Common Trees of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands
Publication
 
Author
Little E.L.; Wadsworth F.H.
Publisher
USDA, Forest Service; Washington.
Year
1964
ISBN
 
Description
Contains detailed information, and usually an illustration, on 250 tree species, including both native and exotic species.
]. The plant often begins life as an epiphyte, growing in the branch of another tree; as it grows older it sends down aerial roots which, when they reach the ground quickly form roots and become much thicker and more vigorous. They supply nutrients to the fig, allowing it to grow faster than the host tree. The aerial roots gradually encircle the host tree, preventing its main trunk from expanding, whilst at the same time the foliage smothers the foliage of the host. Eventually the host dies, leaving the fig to carry on growing without competition[
447
Title
Common Trees of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands
Publication
 
Author
Little E.L.; Wadsworth F.H.
Publisher
USDA, Forest Service; Washington.
Year
1964
ISBN
 
Description
Contains detailed information, and usually an illustration, on 250 tree species, including both native and exotic species.
].
The tree is sometimes harvested from the wild for local use as a food and source of wood. It is grown as a hedge and also as an ornamental and shade-providing tree[
447
Title
Common Trees of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands
Publication
 
Author
Little E.L.; Wadsworth F.H.
Publisher
USDA, Forest Service; Washington.
Year
1964
ISBN
 
Description
Contains detailed information, and usually an illustration, on 250 tree species, including both native and exotic species.
].

Known Hazards

None known

Botanical References

369
Title
Flora of Costa Rica
Publication
 
Author
Standley P.C.
Website
http://www.archive.org/
Publisher
Field Museum of Natural History; Chicago
Year
1938
ISBN
 
Description
Rather dated, but an excellent treatment of the area. Available for download from the internet.

Range

S. America - Argentina, Paraguay, Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, the Guyanas; C. America - Panama to Mexico; Caribbean; Florida.

Habitat

Forests, thickets, fence rows and roadsides[
447
Title
Common Trees of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands
Publication
 
Author
Little E.L.; Wadsworth F.H.
Publisher
USDA, Forest Service; Washington.
Year
1964
ISBN
 
Description
Contains detailed information, and usually an illustration, on 250 tree species, including both native and exotic species.
]. Plants of moist and wet evergreen forest formations from sea level to 1,200 metres[
369
Title
Flora of Costa Rica
Publication
 
Author
Standley P.C.
Website
http://www.archive.org/
Publisher
Field Museum of Natural History; Chicago
Year
1938
ISBN
 
Description
Rather dated, but an excellent treatment of the area. Available for download from the internet.
].

Properties

Edibility Rating *  *
Other Uses Rating *  *
HabitEvergreen Tree
Height12.00 m
PollinatorsWasps
Cultivation StatusOrnamental, 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

Fruit - raw[
447
Title
Common Trees of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands
Publication
 
Author
Little E.L.; Wadsworth F.H.
Publisher
USDA, Forest Service; Washington.
Year
1964
ISBN
 
Description
Contains detailed information, and usually an illustration, on 250 tree species, including both native and exotic species.
]. Fleshy, but with very little flavour[
447
Title
Common Trees of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands
Publication
 
Author
Little E.L.; Wadsworth F.H.
Publisher
USDA, Forest Service; Washington.
Year
1964
ISBN
 
Description
Contains detailed information, and usually an illustration, on 250 tree species, including both native and exotic species.
]. The roundish fruit is greenish, often brown dotted, turning reddish and brownish at maturity, about 10mm in diameter[
447
Title
Common Trees of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands
Publication
 
Author
Little E.L.; Wadsworth F.H.
Publisher
USDA, Forest Service; Washington.
Year
1964
ISBN
 
Description
Contains detailed information, and usually an illustration, on 250 tree species, including both native and exotic species.
].

Medicinal

None known

Agroforestry Uses:

The plants make excellent live fences because they root so readily from cuttings[
447
Title
Common Trees of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands
Publication
 
Author
Little E.L.; Wadsworth F.H.
Publisher
USDA, Forest Service; Washington.
Year
1964
ISBN
 
Description
Contains detailed information, and usually an illustration, on 250 tree species, including both native and exotic species.
].

Other Uses

The sapwood is whitish, and the heartwood light brown. The wood is fairly light in weight, soft, yet tough and strong for its weight. Nevertheless, it is not durable and is very susceptible to attack by dry-wood termites. The rate of air-seasoning is slow, and amount of degrade is minor.Machining characteristics are as follows: planing and sanding are good; shaping, turning, boring, and mortising are poor; and resistance to screw splitting is excellent. It is used for making guitars and is suitable for boxes, crates, interior construction, and light carpentry[
447
Title
Common Trees of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands
Publication
 
Author
Little E.L.; Wadsworth F.H.
Publisher
USDA, Forest Service; Washington.
Year
1964
ISBN
 
Description
Contains detailed information, and usually an illustration, on 250 tree species, including both native and exotic species.
].
The wood is used for fuel[
447
Title
Common Trees of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands
Publication
 
Author
Little E.L.; Wadsworth F.H.
Publisher
USDA, Forest Service; Washington.
Year
1964
ISBN
 
Description
Contains detailed information, and usually an illustration, on 250 tree species, including both native and exotic species.
].

Propagation

Seed -

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