Ficus capreifolia Delile

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Ficus capreifolia

Kabompo Gorge, Kanyikezhi Dambo; Dec 2009.
Photo: Mike Bingham

Ficus capreifolia

Kabompo Gorge, Kanyikezhi Dambo; Dec 2009.
Photo: Mike Bingham

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Synonyms: Ficus palustris Sim
Common names: Mukuyu (Bemba) Mukuyu (Kaonde) Mukuyu (Lunda) Mukuyu (Lozi) Mukuyu (Nyanja) Nsambe (Nyanja) Sikuluwi (Lozi)
Frequency: Locally common
Status: Native
Shrub or small evergreen tree, suckering from the base to form dense thickets. Bark smooth, grey; latex watery. Leaves mostly opposite, but sometimes alternate to sub-opposite or in whorls of three, narrowly elliptic to lanceolate, up to 18 cm long, very harsh and rough to the touch on both surfaces; veins raised below; margin entire or rarely with irregular teeth or even lobed. Figs single in the leaf axils, obovoid or pear-shaped, 2-4.5 cm long, green with a harshly rough surface, pinkish when ripe.
Type location:
Notes: Leaves of this species are often infested with distinct galls caused by the gall mite Neserella capreifoliae in the family Eriophyidae.
The sometimes opposite or whorled leaves are unusual in the genus Ficus. Whether this taxon is distinct from Ficus asperifolia and Ficus pygmaea requires further clarification.
Derivation of specific name: capreifolia: with leaves like the Goat Willow, Salix caprea. The specific name is sometimes incorrectly spelled capreaefolia.
Habitat: River banks and floodplains.
Altitude range: Up to 1600 m
Flowering time:
Worldwide distribution: From Senegal to the Somali Republic and southwards to KwaZulu-Natal and Namibia.
Zambian distribution (Flora Zambesiaca): B,N,W,E,S
Zambian distribution (Provinces): Nw,N,E,S,W
Growth form(s): Shrub over 2 m.
Endemic status:
Red data list status: Lower Risk - least concern
Insects associated with this species: Nephele accentifera (Food plant)
Kradibia gastroi afrum (Pollinated by this insect)
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species
Content last updated: Friday 5 July 2013

Berg, C.C. (1991). Moraceae Flora Zambesiaca 9(6) Pages 48 - 50.

Burrows, J.E. & Burrows, S.M. (2003). Figs of Southern and South-Central Africa Umdaus Press, South Africa Pages 55 - 58. (Includes a picture).

Burrows, J.E., Burrows, S.M., Lötter, M.C. & Schmidt, E. (2018). Trees and Shrubs Mozambique Publishing Print Matters (Pty), Cape Town. Page 79. (Includes a picture).

Chapano, C. & Mamuto, M. (2003). Plants of the Chimanimani District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 27.

Coates Palgrave, K. (revised and updated by Meg Coates Palgrave) (2002). Trees of Southern Africa 3rd edition. Struik, South Africa Pages 139 - 140.

Drummond, R.B. (1975). A list of trees, shrubs and woody climbers indigenous or naturalised in Rhodesia. Kirkia 10(1) Page 234.

Mapaura, A. & Timberlake, J. (eds) (2004). A checklist of Zimbabwean vascular plants Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 33 Sabonet, Pretoria and Harare Page 63.

Setshogo, M.P. (2005). Preliminary checklist of the plants of Botswana. Sabonet Report no. 37. Sabonet, Pretoria and Gaborone Page 88.

Smith-Meyer, M.K.P. & Ueckermann, E,A. (1989). African Eriophyoidae: A new Genus Neserella and Cecidodectes Nalepa (Acari: Eriophyidae) from Trema orientalis (L.) Blume Phytophylactica 21 Pages 412 - 413. Protologue of gall mite Neserella capreifoliae

Other sources of information about Ficus capreifolia:

Our websites:

Flora of Botswana: Ficus capreifolia
Flora of Malawi: Ficus capreifolia
Flora of Mozambique: Ficus capreifolia
Flora of Zimbabwe: Ficus capreifolia

External websites:

African Plants: A Photo Guide (Senckenberg): Ficus capreifolia
African Plant Database: Ficus capreifolia
BHL (Biodiversity Heritage Library): Ficus capreifolia
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Ficus capreifolia
GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility): Ficus capreifolia
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
iNaturalist: Ficus capreifolia
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Ficus capreifolia
JSTOR Plant Science: Ficus capreifolia
Mansfeld World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops: Ficus capreifolia
Plants of the World Online: Ficus capreifolia
Tropicos: Ficus capreifolia
Wikipedia: Ficus capreifolia

Copyright: Mike Bingham, Annette Willemen, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Mark Hyde, 2011-23

Bingham, M.G., Willemen, A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. and Hyde, M.A. (2023). Flora of Zambia: Species information: Ficus capreifolia., retrieved 3 December 2023

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