Ficus ingens (Miq.) Miq.

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Ficus ingens

Drawing: Patricia Bingham

Ficus ingens

Drawing: Patricia Bingham

Ficus ingens

Lusaka; 1970.
Photo: Mike Bingham

Ficus ingens

Lusaka; Apr 2013.
Photo: Mike Bingham

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Synonyms: Ficus caffra (Miq.) Miq.
Common names: Cilembalemba (Kaonde) Mupata (Bemba) Musole (Ila) Mutata (Lozi) Muteba (Lozi) Red-leaved rock fig (English: Zambia)
Frequency: Occasional
Status: Native
Small or medium-sized to large deciduous tree, terrestrial or as a rock splitter. Leaves ovate, lanceolate, to oblong-lanceolate, 5-17 cm long, mid- to dark green above, paler below, hairless; base mostly truncate or shallowly cordate; margins entire, flat or slightly wavy. Figs pedunculate, single or paired in the leaf axils, or on bare stems below the leaves, spherical to slightly pear-shaped, 10-13 mm in diameter, with or without pale warts, creamy green, purple when ripe.
Type location:
Notes: Monoecious (both sexes on same plant), sap milky. Figs in pairs, or more together, in leaf axils or just below the leaves; basal bracts 3, lateral bracts absent, ostiole circular, with 3 ostiolar bracts visible (Genus Ficus, Subgenus Urostigma).
Derivation of specific name: ingens: huge, "exceeding the usual size"; it is thought to refer to the size of the tree, with specific reference to the famous "Inhabited tree" of Rustenburg, South Africa
Habitat: Rock precipices and outcrops, and termite mounds.
Altitude range:
Flowering time:Nov - Mar
Worldwide distribution: From Senegal to Ethiopia, down to Namibia and the eastern Cape, South Africa. Also in Saudi Arabia.
Zambian distribution (Flora Zambesiaca): N,C,E,S
Zambian distribution (Provinces): Cb,N,E,Lk,S
Growth form(s): Tree.
Endemic status:
Red data list status: Lower Risk - least concern
Insects associated with this species: Platyscapa soraria (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 54 - 55.

Burrows, J.E. & Burrows, S.M. (2003). Figs of Southern and South-Central Africa Umdaus Press, South Africa Pages 91 - 96. (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 84. (Includes a picture).

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

Chapano, C. & Mugarisanwa, N.H. (2003). Plants of the Matobo District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 17. As Ficus ingens ingens

Coates Palgrave, K. (revised and updated by Meg Coates Palgrave) (2002). Trees of Southern Africa 3rd edition. Struik, South Africa Page 143.

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

Drummond, R.B. (1981). Common Trees of the Central Watershed Woodlands of Zimbabwe. Natural Resources Board, Harare. Pages 18 - 19. (Includes a picture).

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.

Strugnell, A.M. (2006). A Checklist of the Spermatophytes of Mount Mulanje, Malawi Scripta Botanica Belgica 34 National Botanic Garden of Belgium Page 123.

Other sources of information about Ficus ingens:

Our websites:

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

External websites:

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

Copyright: Mike Bingham, Annette Willemen, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Mark Hyde, 2011-24

Bingham, M.G., Willemen, A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. and Hyde, M.A. (2024). Flora of Zambia: Species information: Ficus ingens., retrieved 19 April 2024

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