Ficus natalensis Hochst.
subsp. natalensis

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Ficus natalensis subsp. natalensis

Lusaka SE
Grown from seed collected from Kitwe
Apr 2013
Photo: Mike Bingham

Ficus natalensis subsp. natalensis

Lusaka SE
Grown from seed collected from Kitwe
Apr 2013
Photo: Mike Bingham

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Species details: Click on each item to see an explanation of that item (Note: opens a new window)

Synonyms: Ficus natalensis Hochst. var. pedunculata Sim
Urostigma natalense (Hochst.) Miq.
Common names: Kanyanguni (Bemba) Mutaba (Bemba) Natal fig (English: Zambia)
Frequency: Occasional
Status: Native
Tree to 20 m tall. Aerial roots few or abundant. Leaves alternate or subopposite; lamina 3-9 × 1-4 cm, coriaceous, often obovate but sometimes elliptic or oblong-elliptic, dark green above, paler beneath, glabrous; apex rounded to acute or shortly acuminate; base cuneate; petiole 7 - 30 mm long. Fruit axillary, 10-20 mm in diameter, glabrous, spherical or pear-shaped, becoming pink or bright red when ripe; ostiole flat or faintly raised; basal disk 0; peduncle 3-12 mm long.
Type location:
South Africa
Notes: Distribution according to Burrows & Burrows: N Zambia; east coastal with an extension to Harare & Bulawayo.
Wasp pollinators: Elisabethiella socotrensis Mayr, Alfonsiella longiscapa Joseph and possibly others.
Derivation of specific name: natalensis: of Natal
Habitat: Gallery forest, termite mounds.
Altitude range:
Flowering time:
Worldwide distribution: Senegal, Gabon, DRC, Sudan, Angola, Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Mozambique, Zambia, Zimbabwe and South Africa (KwaZulu-Natal and Limpopo)
Zambian distribution (Flora Zambesiaca): N,W
Zambian distribution (Provinces): Nw,Cb,Lp
Growth form(s): Tree.
Endemic status:
Red data list status: Lower Risk - least concern
Insects associated with this species: Nephele accentifera (Food plant)
Elisabethiella socotrensis (Pollinated by this insect)
Alfonsiella longiscapa (Pollinated by this insect)
Asota speciosa (Larval foodplant)
Glyphodes stolalis (Larval food plant)
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 66 - 67.

Burrows, J.E. & Burrows, S.M. (2003). Figs of Southern and South-Central Africa Umdaus Press, South Africa Pages 176 - 181. (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 89. (Includes a picture).

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

Coates Palgrave, K. (revised and updated by Meg Coates Palgrave) (2002). Trees of Southern Africa 3rd edition. Struik, South Africa Page 145.

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

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 124.

Wursten, B., Timberlake, J. & Darbyshire, I. (2017). The Chimanimani Mountains: an updated checklist. Kirkia 19(1) Page 95.

Other sources of information about Ficus natalensis subsp. natalensis:

Our websites:

Flora of Botswana: Ficus natalensis subsp. natalensis
Flora of Malawi: Ficus natalensis subsp. natalensis
Flora of Mozambique: Ficus natalensis subsp. natalensis
Flora of Zimbabwe: Ficus natalensis subsp. natalensis

External websites:

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

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 natalensis subsp. natalensis., retrieved 28 September 2023

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