Ficus vallis-choudae Delile

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Ficus vallis-choudae

Lusaka SE, grown from seed collected at Chipata, Katopola; Aug 2010.
Photo: Mike Bingham

Ficus vallis-choudae

Lusaka SE, grown from seed collected at Chipata, Katopola; Apr 2013.
Photo: Mike Bingham

Ficus vallis-choudae

Lusaka SE, grown from seed collected at Chipata, Katopola; Apr 2013.
Photo: Mike Bingham

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Synonyms: Ficus schweinfurthii Miq.
Sycomorus schimperiana Miq.
Common names: False cape fig (English: Zambia) Mkuyu (Nyanja) Mtundu (Nyanja)
Frequency: locally frequent
Status: Native
Tree to 20 m tall, terrestrial. Leaves ovate to broadly ovate, upper surface rough to the touch, thin-leathery with conspicuous cream-green venation. Figs solitary in leaf axils, up to 4 cm in diameter, densely velvety, turning yellow to orange when ripe, with faint reddish stripes.
Type location:
Notes: The figs, up to 5 cm. in diameter, are the largest of any Zambian species. Trees or shrubs terrestrial, monoecious (both sexes occurring on the same plant). Figs solitary or paired in the leaf axils, or 1-3 together on leafless branches on old wood, often on the trunk. Basal bracts 3, lateral bracts absent, several ostiolar bracts visible (Subgenus Sycomorus) Like other species of Subgenus Sycomorus , the figs develop over an extended period, not all reaching maturity together, as they do in most Ficus spp. Rarely collected but probably much more common than would seem, as trees are often in sites difficult access, and the leaves out of easy reach.
Derivation of specific name: vallis-choudae: of the Chouda Valley in Ethiopia where the type specimen was collected.
Habitat: In riverine and swamp forest, occasional in evergreen forest.
Altitude range: 600 - 1200 m
Flowering time:
Worldwide distribution: Widespread in subsaharan Africa as far as Angola, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Mozambique.
Zambian distribution (Flora Zambesiaca): N,W,C
Zambian distribution (Provinces): Cb,N,E,C
Growth form(s): Tree.
Endemic status:
Red data list status: Lower Risk - least concern
Insects associated with this species: Ceratosolen megacephalus (Pollinated by this insect)
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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) Page 257.

Berg, C.C. (1991). Moraceae Flora Zambesiaca 9(6) Pages 53 - 54.

Burrows, J.E. & Burrows, S.M. (2003). Figs of Southern and South-Central Africa Umdaus Press, South Africa Pages 71 - 75. (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 78. (Includes a picture).

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

Coates Palgrave, K. (revised and updated by Meg Coates Palgrave) (2002). Trees of Southern Africa 3rd edition. Struik, South Africa Page 152.

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

Golding, J.S. (ed.) (2002). Zimbabwe Plant Red Data List. Southern African Plant Red Data Lists. SABONET 14 Page 166.

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.

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

White, F., Dowsett-Lemaire, F. & Chapman, J.D. (2001). Evergreen forest flora of Malawi Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew Page 393. (Includes a picture).

Other sources of information about Ficus vallis-choudae:

Our websites:

Flora of Malawi: Ficus vallis-choudae
Flora of Mozambique: Ficus vallis-choudae
Flora of Zimbabwe: Ficus vallis-choudae

External websites:

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

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 vallis-choudae., retrieved 23 September 2023

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