Ficus polita Vahl
subsp. polita

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Ficus polita subsp. polita

Lusaka SE, grown from seed collected at Puta, on Lake Mweru; Apr 2013.
Photo: Mike Bingham

Ficus polita subsp. polita

Lusaka SE 13km
Jun 2013
Photo: Mike Bingham

Ficus polita subsp. polita

Sterile figs;
Lusaka SE, grown from seed collected at Puta, on Lake Mweru; Jun 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)

Common names:
Frequency: Local
Status: Native
Small to medium tree, to 15 m tall, trunk surrounded by adventitious roots; bark on branches granular. Leaves oblong to subovate, apex apiculate, base rounded to cordate, with lateral nerves in 3−5 pairs. Figs 1-4 together on short spurs.
Type location:
Notes: No Zambian specimens confirmed yet. The trees from the Lake Mweru area key out to this subspecies: leaves ovate, lateral veins in 5 pairs.
Ficus polita as applied by Berg (in Flora Zambesiaca), is considered by Burrows & Burrows to be a synonym of Ficus modesta F. White. But Berg gives Ficus modesta as a synonym of Ficus ottoniifolia subsp. ulugurensis (Mildbr. & Burret) C.C. Berg.
Derivation of specific name:
Habitat: Deciduous and dry-evergreen forest.
Altitude range: 1200 m (approx)
Flowering time:May - Jul
Worldwide distribution: West Africa to Kenya and KwaZulu-Natal, mostly at low altitudes.
Zambian distribution (Flora Zambesiaca): N
Zambian distribution (Provinces): N,W
Growth form(s): Tree.
Endemic status:
Red data list status: Lower Risk - least concern
Insects associated with this species: Courtella bekiliensis bispinosa (Pollinated by this insect)
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species
Content last updated: Friday 5 July 2013

Berg C.C. & Wiebes J.T. (1992). African fig trees and fig wasps. Koninklijke Nederlandse Akademie van Wetenschappen. Amsterdam

Berg, C.C. (1991). Moraceae Flora Zambesiaca 9(6)

Burrows, J.E. & Burrows, S.M. (2003). Figs of Southern and South-Central Africa Umdaus Press, South Africa Pages 211 - 214. (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 92. As Ficus polita (Includes a picture).

Other sources of information about Ficus polita subsp. polita:

Our websites:

Flora of Mozambique: Ficus polita subsp. polita

External websites:

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

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 polita subsp. polita., retrieved 20 June 2024

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