Covellia ulmifolia (Lam.) Gasp.
Ficus blepharostoma Warb.
Ficus difformis Lam.
Ficus heterophylla Blanco
Ficus hispida Blanco
Ficus sinuosa Miq.
Ficus sparsifolia Merr.
Ficus velascoi Merr. ex Sata
Ficus ulmifolia is a shrub or small tree; it can grow from 3 - 5 metres tall[
The tree is sometimes harvested from the wild for local use as a food, medicine and substitute for sandpaper.
Rates of habitat loss through logging and shifting cultivation have led to considerable population declines. The plant is classified as 'Vulnerable' in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species(2011)[
S. E. Asia - Philippines.
Thickets and open places, at elevations up to 1,500 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[
]. Well flavoured[
]. Not much flavour, but sometimes eaten with sugar and cream[
]. They are soft and fleshy when mature, orange red to purple, somewhat rounded, and about 1.5 centimeters long[
The latex contains the proteolytic enzyme ficin - this has the property of destroying round-worms and, in some instances, hook-worms[
]. The enzyme, however, is more or less injurious to the intestine[
The leaves of this species are very hard and rough, and are used for cleaning cooking utensils and scouring hardwood floors, stairs, windowsills, etc. ; and also in place of sandpaper in polishing wood, when sandpaper is not available[
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