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Useful Tropical Plants

Ficus cotinifolia

Kunth

Moraceae

+ Synonyms

Ficus hondurensis Standl. & L.O.Williams

Ficus myxifolia Kunth & C.D.Bouché

Ficus paraisoana Lundell

Ficus subrotundifolia Greenm.

Urostigma cotinifolium (Kunth) Miq.

Urostigma guatemalanum Miq.

Urostigma myxaefolium (Kunth & Bouché) Miq.

Common Name:

Ficus cotinifolia
Large specimen, growing in native habitat
Photograph by: dogtooth77
Creative Commons License
Ficus cotinifolia Ficus cotinifolia Ficus cotinifolia

General Information

Ficus cotinifolia is a tree with a broad, spreading crown comprised of a few large branches; it can grow 15 metres tall. The bole often branches from low down, it can be 100cm in diameter[
331
Title
Flora of Guatemala
Publication
 
Author
Standley P.C. & J. A. Steyermark
Website
http://www.archive.org/
Publisher
 
Year
1946 - 1976
ISBN
 
Description
A superb reference, though somewhat dated. Gives lots of plant uses as well as information on plant habit and habitat. The entire flora (13 volumes) can now be downloaded from http://www.archive.org/
,
411
Title
Trees and Shrubs of Mexico
Publication
Contributions from the United States National Herbarium Vol 23
Author
Standley P.C.
Publisher
Smithsonian Institution; Washington
Year
1926
ISBN
 
Description
Although dated, it contains a wealth of information on the trees and shrubs of Mexico, including many of their uses. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
]. The tree often produces aerial roots from the crown, which develop into new trunks and support the wide-spreading canopy[
676
Title
Anthropological Papers Nos. 27 - 32
Publication
Bureau of American Ethnology. Bulletin 136.
Author
 
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
US Government Printing Office; Washington.
Year
1943
ISBN
 
Description
A series of papers, including one looking at 100 often used native plants of the Yucatan.
]. The roots, as in other species, are often exposed above the ground[
331
Title
Flora of Guatemala
Publication
 
Author
Standley P.C. & J. A. Steyermark
Website
http://www.archive.org/
Publisher
 
Year
1946 - 1976
ISBN
 
Description
A superb reference, though somewhat dated. Gives lots of plant uses as well as information on plant habit and habitat. The entire flora (13 volumes) can now be downloaded from http://www.archive.org/
].
The tree is sometimes harvested from the wild for local use as a food, medicine and source of fibre and latex.

Known Hazards

None known

Botanical References

331
Title
Flora of Guatemala
Publication
 
Author
Standley P.C. & J. A. Steyermark
Website
http://www.archive.org/
Publisher
 
Year
1946 - 1976
ISBN
 
Description
A superb reference, though somewhat dated. Gives lots of plant uses as well as information on plant habit and habitat. The entire flora (13 volumes) can now be downloaded from http://www.archive.org/

Range

C. America - Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Guatemala to northern Mexico.

Habitat

Seasonally very dry deciduous and evergreen formations, at elevations up to 900 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 *  *
Medicinal Rating *  *
Other Uses Rating *  *
HabitTree
Height12.00 m
PollinatorsWasps
Cultivation StatusWild

Cultivation Details



Plants flower throughout the year[
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.
].
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[
493
Title
Flora of Yucatan
Publication
 
Author
Standley P.C.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Field Museum of Natural History; Chicago
Year
1930
ISBN
 
Description
The first flora that was attempted for this area in 1930, so it is obviously lacking information and the Botanical names can be out of date. Still, an excellent work and it records many plant uses. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
]. A sweetish flavour[
493
Title
Flora of Yucatan
Publication
 
Author
Standley P.C.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Field Museum of Natural History; Chicago
Year
1930
ISBN
 
Description
The first flora that was attempted for this area in 1930, so it is obviously lacking information and the Botanical names can be out of date. Still, an excellent work and it records many plant uses. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].

Medicinal

The latex, mixed with the powdered bark, is applied to wounds and bruises[
411
Title
Trees and Shrubs of Mexico
Publication
Contributions from the United States National Herbarium Vol 23
Author
Standley P.C.
Publisher
Smithsonian Institution; Washington
Year
1926
ISBN
 
Description
Although dated, it contains a wealth of information on the trees and shrubs of Mexico, including many of their uses. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
,
676
Title
Anthropological Papers Nos. 27 - 32
Publication
Bureau of American Ethnology. Bulletin 136.
Author
 
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
US Government Printing Office; Washington.
Year
1943
ISBN
 
Description
A series of papers, including one looking at 100 often used native plants of the Yucatan.
].

Agroforestry Uses:

This species is one of the first trees to appear on dirt-covered stone ruins in Yucatan, and its spreading roots, after taking hold in the ground, soon cover the entire mounds[
676
Title
Anthropological Papers Nos. 27 - 32
Publication
Bureau of American Ethnology. Bulletin 136.
Author
 
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
US Government Printing Office; Washington.
Year
1943
ISBN
 
Description
A series of papers, including one looking at 100 often used native plants of the Yucatan.
]. This should make the plant an excellent pioneer species for restoring woodland in open areas[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
].

Other Uses

The latex contains rubber[
493
Title
Flora of Yucatan
Publication
 
Author
Standley P.C.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Field Museum of Natural History; Chicago
Year
1930
ISBN
 
Description
The first flora that was attempted for this area in 1930, so it is obviously lacking information and the Botanical names can be out of date. Still, an excellent work and it records many plant uses. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
]. It is used as an adulterant of chicle[
331
Title
Flora of Guatemala
Publication
 
Author
Standley P.C. & J. A. Steyermark
Website
http://www.archive.org/
Publisher
 
Year
1946 - 1976
ISBN
 
Description
A superb reference, though somewhat dated. Gives lots of plant uses as well as information on plant habit and habitat. The entire flora (13 volumes) can now be downloaded from http://www.archive.org/
,
493
Title
Flora of Yucatan
Publication
 
Author
Standley P.C.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Field Museum of Natural History; Chicago
Year
1930
ISBN
 
Description
The first flora that was attempted for this area in 1930, so it is obviously lacking information and the Botanical names can be out of date. Still, an excellent work and it records many plant uses. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].

The fibrous bark can be used as a paper[
783
Title
Flora, Tehuacan Valley
Publication
Fieldiana: Botany Vol. 31 No. 4.
Author
C. Earle Smith Jr.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Chicago Natural History Museum; Chicago.
Year
1965
ISBN
65-18866
Description
An excellent botanical publication, this issue is an article on the plants found in the Tehuacan Valley in Mexico, including some information on plant uses.
].

The wood is white throughout[
331
Title
Flora of Guatemala
Publication
 
Author
Standley P.C. & J. A. Steyermark
Website
http://www.archive.org/
Publisher
 
Year
1946 - 1976
ISBN
 
Description
A superb reference, though somewhat dated. Gives lots of plant uses as well as information on plant habit and habitat. The entire flora (13 volumes) can now be downloaded from http://www.archive.org/
].

Propagation

Seed -

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