1961.000 Ficus L. - Figs

Berg C.C. & Wiebes J.T. (1992) African fig trees and fig wasps. Koninklijke Nederlandse Akademie van Wetenschappen. Amsterdam

Berg, C.C. (1991) Moraceae Flora Zambesiaca 9(6)

Burrows, J.E. & Burrows, S.M. (2003) Figs of Southern and South-Central Africa Umdaus Press, South Africa

Description of the genus

Monoecious or dioecious, trees, shrubs, lianes or epiphytes. Latex milky, rarely watery. Stipules fully or partly amplexicaul or lateral. Leaves almost always alternate, rarely subopposite or subwhorled; lamina with glandular spots in the axils of at least the basal lateral veins beneath or at the base of the midrib beneath. Figs solitary or in pairs, occurring in the leaf axils, or on short spurs on the lesser branches or on leafless branches on the older wood and trunk. Figs composed of an urceolate receptacle with an apical opening (ostiole), the flowers enclosed within. Male flowers: perianth segments 2-6; stamens 1-3. Female flowers: perianth segments 2-6(-7), stigmas 1 or 2. Fruits achene-like or more often ± drupaceous; at the fruiting stage the fig wall becomes ± fleshy.

Although most species start as epiphytes or lithophytes, trees can only mature when rooted into nutrient rich soil. Such soils occur in riverine alluvium, termite mounds, and crumbling buildings. Pollination is brought about by symbiotic wasps (Family Agaonidae). The wasps are species specific to their host trees. While figs are produced predominantly in the growing season (Sep-Mar) they may be found at any time of the year, a necessary condition in order to maintain the wasp populations. Individual fig trees bear figs either irregularly or at periods of more or less than twelve months.

Comment:  Cultivation: Figtrees can be grown from truncheons cut from healthy branches, but they are readily grown from fresh seed, taken from ripe figs. The seeds are sand-grain sized hard objects situated at the base of the layer of flowers. Trees grown from seed grow rapidly and generally produce trees of finer form than those grown from truncheons.
Reference: www.figweb.org

Worldwide: c. 750 species in tropical and warm regions

Zambia: 41 taxa.

The larvae of the following species of insect eat species of this genus:
Botyodes asialis
Gonimbrasia belina (Mopane moth, Mopane worm, Anomalous emperor)
Ficus ovata

Links to taxa:     View: living plant images - herbarium specimen images - all images for this genus

SpeciesFZ divisionsProvincesContent
abutilifolia (Miq.)Miq.[LR-lc]C,E,SE,Lk,SDescription, Image
ardisioides Warb. subsp. camptoneura (Mildbr.) C.C.Berg [LR-lc]WNwDescription, Image
asperifolia Miq. [LR-lc]N,WNw,LpDescription, Image
barteri Sprague [LR-lc]N,WNw,Cb,Lp,NDescription, Image
burkei (Miq.) Miq.[LR-lc]B,N,W,C,E,SNw,N,E,Lk,S,WDescription, Image
bussei Mildbr. & Burret[LR-lc]N,C,E,SN,E,Lk,SDescription, Image
capreifolia Delile[LR-lc]B,N,W,E,SNw,N,E,S,WDescription, Image
craterostoma Mildbr. & Burret[LR-lc]N,WNw,Lp,NDescription, Image
cyathistipula Warb. subsp. cyathistipula [LR-lc]N,WNw,Cb,Lp,NDescription, Image
dicranostyla Mildbr. [LR-nt]N,WCb,Lp,NDescription, Image
exasperata Vahl[LR-lc]NNDescription, Image
fischeri Mildbr. & Burret[LR-lc]B,W,C,SNw,Cb,C,Lk,S,WDescription, Image
glumosa Delile[LR-lc]N,W,C,E,SNw,N,E,Lk,SDescription, Image
ingens (Miq.) Miq.[LR-lc]N,C,E,SCb,N,E,Lk,SDescription, Image
lutea Vahl[LR-lc]N,WCb,NDescription, Image
natalensis Hochst. subsp. leprieurii (Miq.) C.C.Berg [LR-lc]WNw,CbDescription, Image
natalensis Hochst. subsp. natalensis [LR-lc]N,WNw,Cb,LpDescription, Image
nigropunctata Mildbr. & Burret[LR-lc]N,C,EN,E,C,LkDescription, Image
ottoniifolia (Miq.) Miq. subsp. macrosyce C.C.Berg [LR-lc]B,WNwDescription, Image
ovata Vahl[LR-lc]N,WNw,Cb,Lp,McDescription, Image
persicifolia Welw. ex Warb[DD]W,CNwDescription, Image
petersii Warb.[DD]CCb,CDescription
polita Vahl subsp. brevipedunculata C.C.Berg [LR-nt]N,EMcDescription
polita Vahl subsp. polita [LR-lc]NN,WDescription, Image
psilopoga Welw. ex FicalhoW
pygmaea Welw. ex Hiern[LR-lc]B,N,W,C,SNw,Lp,Mc,C,S,WDescription, Image
salicifolia Vahl[LR-lc]C,E,SE,C,Lk,SDescription
sansibarica Warb. subsp. macrosperma (Mildbr. & Burret) C.C.Berg [LR-lc]B,W,C,SNw,Cb,E,Lk,SDescription, Image
sansibarica Warb. subsp. sansibarica SImage
scassellatii Pamp. subsp. scassellatii [LR-lc]N,EMcDescription, Image
sp1 of Burrow & Burrows 2003: 173N
stuhlmannii Warb.[LR-lc]N,W,C,SCb,N,Lk,SDescription, Image
sur Forssk.B,N,W,C,E,SNw,Lp,Lk,S,WDescription, Image
sycomorus L.[Agg]B,N,W,C,E,SNw,Cb,N,E,C,Lk,S,WDescription, Image
sycomorus L. subsp. sycomorus B,N,W,C,SNw,Lp,Lk,S,WDescription, Image
tettensis Hutch.SSDescription, Image
trichopoda Baker[LR-lc]N,W,CNw,N,CDescription, Image
usambarensis Warb. [LR-nt]NLp,NDescription, Image
vallis-choudae Delile[LR-lc]N,W,CCb,N,E,CDescription, Image
verruculosa Warb.[LR-lc]B,W,C,E,SNw,E,C,Lk,S,WDescription, Image
wakefieldii Hutch. [LR-lc]N,W,CCb,Lp,CDescription, Image

Other sources of information about Ficus:

Our websites:

Flora of Botswana: Ficus
Flora of Caprivi: Ficus
Flora of Malawi: Ficus
Flora of Malawi: cultivated Ficus
Flora of Mozambique: Ficus
Flora of Mozambique: cultivated Ficus
Flora of Zambia: cultivated Ficus
Flora of Zimbabwe: Ficus
Flora of Zimbabwe: cultivated Ficus

External websites:

ePIC (electronic Plant Information Center): Ficus
Flora Zambesiaca web site: Ficus
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
GRIN (Germplasm Resources Information Network) taxonomy for plants report for Ficus
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Ficus
Kew Herbarium catalogue: Ficus

Copyright: Mike Bingham, Annette Willemen, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Mark Hyde, 2011-19

Bingham, M.G., Willemen, A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. and Hyde, M.A. (2019). Flora of Zambia: Genus page: Ficus.
https://www.zambiaflora.com/speciesdata/genus.php?genus_id=471, retrieved 17 November 2019

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