Ficus grisea Vahl
Ficus inclusa Warb. ex Glaz.
Ficus involucrata Warb. ex Glaz.
Urostigma clusiifolium (Schott) Miq.
Tree growing in a wall
Photograph by: Not known
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Ficus clusiifolia is an evergreen shrub or a tree with a dense, vase-shaped crown; it can grow 7 - 18 metres tall. The short bole can be 50 - 70cm in diameter with aerial roots[
The tree is sometimes harvested from the wild for local medicinal use and its low value wood. It can be used as a pioneer when restoring native woodland and, providing a good shade, it can be used in landscaping[
S. America - eastern Brazil.
Open areas in the Atlantic and coastal rainforests, often near the coast where it is more likely to be a shrub[
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Grows best in a sunny position[
A moderately fast-growing plant, able to reach a height of 2 metres within 2 years from seed[
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 powdered ash of burned young stems is used as a treatment for diarrhoea in children[
A fast-growing tree providing food for the native fauna, it can be grown as a pioneer when restoring native woodland[
The wood is coarse-textured, straight-grained, light in weight, easy to cut, with poor mechanical properties and very susceptible to termites and rot. It is only used for low value items such as the filling in doors and panels[
Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a partially shaded position in a nursery seedbed. The seed is very small and an easy way of obtaining it from the tree is to collect the fruits and place them in a plastic bag then leave them until the fruit is partially decomposed. Then mix the fruit with some water to make a suspension of seeds and pulp - this suspension can be sown directly onto the seedbed. A low germination rate can be expected, with the seed sprouting within 15 - 25 days[
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