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Useful Tropical Plants

Ficus pungens

Reinw. ex Blume

Moraceae

+ Synonyms

Ficus kalingaensis Merr.

Ficus myriocarpa Miq.

Ficus ovalifolia Ridl.

Ficus petrotica Diels

Common Name:

Ficus pungens

General Information

Ficus pungens is usually a small to medium-sized tree that can grow up to 25 metres tall. The bole sometimes has short stilt roots[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
]. The stalks have very sharp thorns, though these can fall off[
658
Title
Food Plants of Papua New Guinea
Publication
 
Author
French. B.R.
Publisher
Author.
Year
2006
ISBN
 
Description
Published on-line in PDF format, this book contains information on several hundred New Guinea food plants.
].
The tree is harvested from the wild for local use as a food, medicine and source of fibre. A fairly common vegetable within its native range, it is occasionally cultivated as a food crop[
658
Title
Food Plants of Papua New Guinea
Publication
 
Author
French. B.R.
Publisher
Author.
Year
2006
ISBN
 
Description
Published on-line in PDF format, this book contains information on several hundred New Guinea food plants.
].

Known Hazards

In some reports the latex is reported to be very poisonous[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].

Botanical References

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

Range

Southeast Asia - Indonesia, Philippines to New Guinea, New Britain.

Habitat

Locally common in primary and secondary lowland forest, at elevations up to 1,700 metres[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
]. Normally found near streams and drains[
658
Title
Food Plants of Papua New Guinea
Publication
 
Author
French. B.R.
Publisher
Author.
Year
2006
ISBN
 
Description
Published on-line in PDF format, this book contains information on several hundred New Guinea food plants.
].

Properties

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

Cultivation Details



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

Leaves - cooked and eaten as a vegetable[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
,
658
Title
Food Plants of Papua New Guinea
Publication
 
Author
French. B.R.
Publisher
Author.
Year
2006
ISBN
 
Description
Published on-line in PDF format, this book contains information on several hundred New Guinea food plants.
].

The water that flows from a large root that has been cut obliquely can be drunk after boiling[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].

Medicinal

Although there are some reports of the latex being very poisonous, in some regions the root or leaf latex is swallowed to cure cough quickly[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
,
481
Title
Medicinal Plants in Papua New Guinea
Publication
 
Author
 
Publisher
World Health Organisation
Year
2009
ISBN
978-92-9061-249-0
Description
Traditional medicinal uses of 126 species from Papua New Guinea, including information on modern research into the plants.
].

The leaves, combined with those of an unknown Mallotus species, are crushed and mixed with water - this solution is said to relieve a bad cough[
481
Title
Medicinal Plants in Papua New Guinea
Publication
 
Author
 
Publisher
World Health Organisation
Year
2009
ISBN
978-92-9061-249-0
Description
Traditional medicinal uses of 126 species from Papua New Guinea, including information on modern research into the plants.
].
Heated leaves are applied externally to relieve body pains[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
,
481
Title
Medicinal Plants in Papua New Guinea
Publication
 
Author
 
Publisher
World Health Organisation
Year
2009
ISBN
978-92-9061-249-0
Description
Traditional medicinal uses of 126 species from Papua New Guinea, including information on modern research into the plants.
].

The bark is crushed and squeezed, the extracted juice being taken orally for a week as a treatment for asthma[
481
Title
Medicinal Plants in Papua New Guinea
Publication
 
Author
 
Publisher
World Health Organisation
Year
2009
ISBN
978-92-9061-249-0
Description
Traditional medicinal uses of 126 species from Papua New Guinea, including information on modern research into the plants.
].

Other Uses

The fibrous bark is used to make mats[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].

The fibrous branches used to clean teeth[
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 leaves of some species are used to wrap food for cooking[
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 leaves of some species are quite rough and can be used as a sandpaper substitute and for scouring pots[
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 of plants in this genus is usually of low quality, light in weight, soft and not very durable. It is sometimes used for purposes such as light construction, digging sticks, yam stakes, etc.
The wood is also used for fuel and sometimes for making fire by friction[
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.
].

Propagation

Seed -
Cite as: Tropical Plants Database, Ken Fern. tropical.theferns.info. 2023-12-02. <tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Ficus+pungens>

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