Ficus lutea Vahl

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Ficus lutea

Lusaka SE, grown from seed collected at Tjolo, Malawi; Oct 2008.
Photo: Mike Bingham

Ficus lutea

Lusaka SE, grown from seed collected at Tjolo, Malawi; Oct 2008.
Photo: Mike Bingham

Ficus lutea

Lusaka SE, grown from seed collected in Malawi; Apr 2010.
Photo: Mike Bingham

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Synonyms: Ficus subcalcarata Warb. & Schweinf.
Ficus utilis Sim
Ficus vogelii (Miq.) Miq.
Common names: Giant-leaved fig (English: Zambia)
Frequency: Rare
Status: Native
Large, spreading, briefly deciduous tree, usually starting as a strangler but often freestanding when older. Leaves elliptic to obovate, 14-43 cm long, thickly leathery, glossy green and hairless above, paler beneath with a few hairs on midrib and veins; veins often conspicuously yellow; base mostly rounded; margin entire, flat or slightly rolled under; petiole 3-13 cm long, silky hairy when young. Fruits sessile, usually in pairs in the leaf axils or on the old wood below the leaves, subglobose, 15-30 mm in diameter, densely hairy when young, yellow, reddish or brownish when ripe.
Type location:
Derivation of specific name: lutea: golden-yellow, reference unclear, perhaps referring to the bright yellow venation or the leaves turning yellow in deciduous situations.
Habitat: Gallery forest in Zambia; a variety of habitats, such as deciduous woodland, wooded grassland and forest elsewhere.
Altitude range: Up to 1000 m
Flowering time:
Worldwide distribution: Widespread in tropical Africa, South Africa, Cape Verde Islands, Madagascar, Comores and Seychelles.
Zambian distribution (Flora Zambesiaca): N,W
Zambian distribution (Provinces): Cb,N
Growth form(s): Tree.
Endemic status:
Red data list status: Lower Risk - least concern
Insects associated with this species: Allotriozoon heterandromorphum (Pollinated by this insect)
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species
Content last updated: Thursday 18 July 2013

Berg, C.C. (1990). Annotated checklist of the Ficus species of the African floristic region, with special reference and a key to the taxa of Southern Africa. Kirkia 13(2) Pages 261 - 262.

Berg, C.C. (1991). Moraceae Flora Zambesiaca 9(6) Pages 63 - 64.

Burrows, J.E. & Burrows, S.M. (2003). Figs of Southern and South-Central Africa Umdaus Press, South Africa Pages 97 - 100. (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 83. (Includes a picture).

Coates Palgrave, K. (revised and updated by Meg Coates Palgrave) (2002). Trees of Southern Africa 3rd edition. Struik, South Africa Page 144.

Da Silva, M.C., Izidine, S. & Amude, A.B. (2004). A preliminary checklist of the vascular plants of Mozambique. Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 30 Sabonet, Pretoria Page 89.

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

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.

Phiri, P.S.M. (2005). A Checklist of Zambian Vascular Plants Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 32 Page 80.

Schmidt, E., Lötter, M. & McCleland, W. (2002). Trees and shrubs of Mpumalanga and Kruger National Park Jacana, Johannesburg, South Africa Pages 78 - 80. (Includes a picture).

Strugnell, A.M. (2006). A Checklist of the Spermatophytes of Mount Mulanje, Malawi Scripta Botanica Belgica 34 National Botanic Garden of Belgium Page 124.

Van Wyk, B. & Van Wyk, P. (1997). Field Guide to Trees of Southern Africa. Struik, South Africa Pages 76 - 77. (Includes a picture).

White, F., Dowsett-Lemaire, F. & Chapman, J.D. (2001). Evergreen forest flora of Malawi Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew Page 386.

Other sources of information about Ficus lutea:

Our websites:

Flora of Caprivi: cultivated Ficus lutea
Flora of Malawi: Ficus lutea
Flora of Mozambique: Ficus lutea
Flora of Mozambique: cultivated Ficus lutea
Flora of Zimbabwe: Ficus lutea
Flora of Zimbabwe: cultivated Ficus lutea

External websites:

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

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 lutea., retrieved 13 June 2024

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