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Useful Tropical Plants

Ficus tinctoria

G.Forst.

Moraceae

+ Synonyms

Ficus altimeraloo Roxb. ex Miq.

Ficus ampelas K.D.Koenig ex Roxb.

Ficus angulata Miq.

Ficus angustata Miq.

Ficus antoniana Elmer

Ficus chlorosykon Rech.

Ficus clarkei King

Ficus cuneata Blume

Ficus cuspidifera Miq.

Ficus dodonaeifolia Zipp. ex Miq.

Ficus excelsa (Miq.) Miq.

Ficus excelsa Vahl

Ficus fenicis Merr.

Ficus gibbosa Blume

Ficus irregularis Steud.

Ficus laeta Decne.

Ficus michelii H.Lév.

Ficus neoehudarum Summerh.

Ficus paradoxa Blume

Ficus parasitica K.D.Koenig ex Willd.

Ficus pereng Steud.

Ficus pervia Miq.

Ficus platypoda angustata (Miq.) Corner

Ficus pseudobotryoides H.Lév. & Vaniot

Ficus reticulata Thunb.

Ficus reticulosa Miq.

Ficus rhomboidalis H.Lév. & Vaniot

Ficus rhomboidalis Vahl

Ficus rigida Blume

Ficus scabriuscula Buch.-Ham. ex Sm.

Ficus sclerophylla Roxb.

Ficus subobliqua Miq.

Ficus swinhoei King

Ficus tuberculata Roxb.

Ficus validinervis F.Muell. ex Benth.

Ficus volubilis (Dalzell) King

Urostigma ampelos Dalzell & A.Gibson

Urostigma excelsum Miq.

Urostigma volubile Dalzell & A.Gibson

Common Name: Dye Fig

Ficus tinctoria
Fruiting branch
Photograph by: Deby Arifiani
Creative Commons License
Ficus tinctoria Ficus tinctoria Ficus tinctoria Ficus tinctoria Ficus tinctoria

General Information

A very variable evergreen plant, sometimes a shrub only 1 metre tall, at other times a small tree but more commonly becoming a large tree with a spreading crown that can grow up to 25 metres tall. The bole can be 300cm in diameter[
286
Title
Flora of Australia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.anbg.gov.au/abrs/abif/flora/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
The full information from the Flora of Australia - on-line. An excellent resource.
,
490
Title
Flora Vitiensis Nova
Publication
 
Author
Smith. A.C.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Pacific Tropical Botanical Garden; Hawaii
Year
1979
ISBN
 
Description
A comprehensive flora of Fiji, often showing plant uses. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
]. It often starts life as an epiphyte in the branches of another tree, as it grows larger it produces many slender aerial roots that grow down from its branches. When they touch the ground they root into the soil and enlarge, providing extra nutrient to the plant which then grows much more vigorously. Over time the roots surround and constrict the trunk of the host tree, whilst the top growth shades out the host tree, leading to its death[
490
Title
Flora Vitiensis Nova
Publication
 
Author
Smith. A.C.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Pacific Tropical Botanical Garden; Hawaii
Year
1979
ISBN
 
Description
A comprehensive flora of Fiji, often showing plant uses. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
]. As the tree gets larger it produces aerial roots from the crown, these can become prop roots when they touch the soil, feeding and supporting the canopy and allowing it to spread even wider[
286
Title
Flora of Australia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.anbg.gov.au/abrs/abif/flora/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
The full information from the Flora of Australia - on-line. An excellent resource.
].
The fruit is a commonly used food in some Pacific Islands, where it is almost a staple food[
339
Title
Agroforestry in the Pacific Islands: Systems for Sustainability
Publication
 
Author
W.C. Clarke and R.R. Thaman (Editors)
Website
http://www.unu.edu/unupress/unupbooks/80824e/80824E00.htm#Contents
Publisher
United Nations University Press, Tokyo
Year
1993
ISBN
92-808-0824-9
Description
The guide includes information on 100 species of plants for Agroforestry. It is also available on the web at the address given above.
]. The plant is gathered from the wild for local use as a food, medicine and source of fibre and dyestuff.

Known Hazards

None known

Botanical References

200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
,
266
Title
Flora of China
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/china/
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden Press; St. Louis.
Year
1994
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent, comprehensive resource in 25 volumes. In addition to the botanical information the flora also gives basic information on habitat and some uses. An on-line version is also available.
,
490
Title
Flora Vitiensis Nova
Publication
 
Author
Smith. A.C.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Pacific Tropical Botanical Garden; Hawaii
Year
1979
ISBN
 
Description
A comprehensive flora of Fiji, often showing plant uses. It can be downloaded from the Internet.

Range

E. Asia - China, Indian subcontinent, southeast Asia to the Philippines, Australia, Pacific Islands

Habitat

Moist valleys, rocks, in southern China[
266
Title
Flora of China
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/china/
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden Press; St. Louis.
Year
1994
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent, comprehensive resource in 25 volumes. In addition to the botanical information the flora also gives basic information on habitat and some uses. An on-line version is also available.
]. Typical of beach thickets or coastal rocky places in Fiji, but sometimes it is found inland at elevations up to 500 metres in dense or open forest, frequently on steep slopes[
490
Title
Flora Vitiensis Nova
Publication
 
Author
Smith. A.C.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Pacific Tropical Botanical Garden; Hawaii
Year
1979
ISBN
 
Description
A comprehensive flora of Fiji, often showing plant uses. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].

Properties

Edibility Rating *  *  *
Medicinal Rating *  *
Other Uses Rating *  *
HabitEvergreen Tree
Height15.00 m
PollinatorsWasps
Cultivation StatusWild

Cultivation Details



The plant usually produces fruit all year round[
490
Title
Flora Vitiensis Nova
Publication
 
Author
Smith. A.C.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Pacific Tropical Botanical Garden; Hawaii
Year
1979
ISBN
 
Description
A comprehensive flora of Fiji, often showing plant uses. It can be downloaded 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[
46
Title
Dictionary of Economic Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Uphof. J. C. Th.
Publisher
Weinheim
Year
1959
ISBN
-
Description
An excellent and very comprehensive guide but it only gives very short descriptions of the uses without any details of how to utilize the plants. Not for the casual reader.
]. The ripe or unripe fruit is processed or cooked in many ways to produce a minor staple in some Pacific Islands. and is made into puddings or a dried, preserved food[
339
Title
Agroforestry in the Pacific Islands: Systems for Sustainability
Publication
 
Author
W.C. Clarke and R.R. Thaman (Editors)
Website
http://www.unu.edu/unupress/unupbooks/80824e/80824E00.htm#Contents
Publisher
United Nations University Press, Tokyo
Year
1993
ISBN
92-808-0824-9
Description
The guide includes information on 100 species of plants for Agroforestry. It is also available on the web at the address given above.
]. The green or yellow figs become orange to dull red and finally purple, they are up to 17mm in diameter[
490
Title
Flora Vitiensis Nova
Publication
 
Author
Smith. A.C.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Pacific Tropical Botanical Garden; Hawaii
Year
1979
ISBN
 
Description
A comprehensive flora of Fiji, often showing plant uses. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].

Medicinal

A decoction of the plant juices and leaves is mentioned as an internal remedy for weakness after childbirth[
490
Title
Flora Vitiensis Nova
Publication
 
Author
Smith. A.C.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Pacific Tropical Botanical Garden; Hawaii
Year
1979
ISBN
 
Description
A comprehensive flora of Fiji, often showing plant uses. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].
The plant juices and leaves are used as a dressing for broken bones[
490
Title
Flora Vitiensis Nova
Publication
 
Author
Smith. A.C.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Pacific Tropical Botanical Garden; Hawaii
Year
1979
ISBN
 
Description
A comprehensive flora of Fiji, often showing plant uses. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].

Other Uses

The fibre from the bark is made into cordage[
46
Title
Dictionary of Economic Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Uphof. J. C. Th.
Publisher
Weinheim
Year
1959
ISBN
-
Description
An excellent and very comprehensive guide but it only gives very short descriptions of the uses without any details of how to utilize the plants. Not for the casual reader.
].

A scarlet dye is made from the juice of the fruit, combined with the juice of the fruit from Cordia subcordata[
46
Title
Dictionary of Economic Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Uphof. J. C. Th.
Publisher
Weinheim
Year
1959
ISBN
-
Description
An excellent and very comprehensive guide but it only gives very short descriptions of the uses without any details of how to utilize the plants. Not for the casual reader.
]. It is used to colour cloth and to paint faces[
46
Title
Dictionary of Economic Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Uphof. J. C. Th.
Publisher
Weinheim
Year
1959
ISBN
-
Description
An excellent and very comprehensive guide but it only gives very short descriptions of the uses without any details of how to utilize the plants. Not for the casual reader.
,
339
Title
Agroforestry in the Pacific Islands: Systems for Sustainability
Publication
 
Author
W.C. Clarke and R.R. Thaman (Editors)
Website
http://www.unu.edu/unupress/unupbooks/80824e/80824E00.htm#Contents
Publisher
United Nations University Press, Tokyo
Year
1993
ISBN
92-808-0824-9
Description
The guide includes information on 100 species of plants for Agroforestry. It is also available on the web at the address given above.
].
A red dye is obtained from the roots[
339
Title
Agroforestry in the Pacific Islands: Systems for Sustainability
Publication
 
Author
W.C. Clarke and R.R. Thaman (Editors)
Website
http://www.unu.edu/unupress/unupbooks/80824e/80824E00.htm#Contents
Publisher
United Nations University Press, Tokyo
Year
1993
ISBN
92-808-0824-9
Description
The guide includes information on 100 species of plants for Agroforestry. It is also available on the web at the address given above.
].
A red dye that is used on the face is obtained from the sap[
339
Title
Agroforestry in the Pacific Islands: Systems for Sustainability
Publication
 
Author
W.C. Clarke and R.R. Thaman (Editors)
Website
http://www.unu.edu/unupress/unupbooks/80824e/80824E00.htm#Contents
Publisher
United Nations University Press, Tokyo
Year
1993
ISBN
92-808-0824-9
Description
The guide includes information on 100 species of plants for Agroforestry. It is also available on the web at the address given above.
].

The wood is readily combustible and, as smouldering logs, even when green, it was used to carry fire about in the Solomon Islands[
451
Title
Flora Malesiana Series 1
Publication
 
Author
Various
Website
http://www.archive.org
Publisher
Nationaal Herbarium Nederiand, Universiteit Leiden branch
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A massive treatment of the plants of the Malaysian Archipelago. Much of it has been made available to download from the Internet
].

Propagation

Seed - germinates best at a temperature around 20°c[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
].
Air layering[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
].
Tip cuttings around 4 - 12cm long, taken from lateral branches[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
].

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