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
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[
]. 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[
]. 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[
The fruit is a commonly used food in some Pacific Islands, where it is almost a staple food[
]. The plant is gathered from the wild for local use as a food, medicine and source of fibre and dyestuff.
E. Asia - China, Indian subcontinent, southeast Asia to the Philippines, Australia, Pacific Islands
Moist valleys, rocks, in southern China[
]. 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[
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The plant usually produces fruit all year round[
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[
]. 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[
]. The green or yellow figs become orange to dull red and finally purple, they are up to 17mm in diameter[
A decoction of the plant juices and leaves is mentioned as an internal remedy for weakness after childbirth[
The plant juices and leaves are used as a dressing for broken bones[
The fibre from the bark is made into cordage[
A scarlet dye is made from the juice of the fruit, combined with the juice of the fruit from Cordia subcordata[
]. It is used to colour cloth and to paint faces[
A red dye is obtained from the roots[
A red dye that is used on the face is obtained from the sap[
The wood is readily combustible and, as smouldering logs, even when green, it was used to carry fire about in the Solomon Islands[
Seed - germinates best at a temperature around 20°c[
Tip cuttings around 4 - 12cm long, taken from lateral branches[
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