Ficus guerichiana Engl.
Urostigma ilicinum Sond.
Ficus ilicina is an evergreen tree that can grow up to 6 metres tall. The plant posseses a peculiar growth form whereby it grows espalier-like against near-vertical rocky faces, either extending up broken cliff-faces to a height of 35 metres, or climbing to, and often enveloping, small granite boulders[
]. The stems and branches are usually flattened[
The plant is sometimes harvested from the wild as a local source of food, tannins and dyestuff.
Southern Africa - southern Angola, Namibia, S. Africa.
Rock surfaces in dry areas at elevations around 1,300 metres[
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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[
Fruit - raw[
]. The globose fruit is around 10mm in diameter[
The bark is a source of tannins[
The bark is used as a dye[
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