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Ficus hispida

Family

Moraceae

Botanical Name

Ficus hispida L.f.

Linnaeus, C. von filius (1782) Supplementum Plantarum: 442. Type: Habitat in Java. Thunberg..

Synonyms

Covellia hispida (L.f.) Miq., Hooker's London Journal of Botany 7: 462(1848), Type: ?. Ficus hispida L.f. var. hispida, The Gardens' Bulletin Singapore 18: 53(1960), Type: ?. Ficus oppositifolia Roxb., Pl. Coromandel 2: 14(1798), Type: India, Coromandel Coast, W. Roxburgh. Covellia oppositifolia (Roxb.) Gasp., Richerche sulla natura del caprifico 8: 85(1845), Type: ?.

Common name

Hairy Fig; Fig, Hairy; Fig Tree; Fig; Boombil

Stem

Not a strangling fig. Bark exudate pale brown or turning pink and then pale brown on exposure.

Leaves

Leaf blades about 15-35 x 6-20 cm, rough and sandpapery on both the upper and lower surfaces. Petiole and twigs produce a watery milky yellow exudate. Flat glands usually visible on the underside of the leaf blade in the forks of the lateral veins and the midrib. Oil dots visible with a lens. Stipules about 0.6-1 cm long, slightly hairy and tapering to a point at the apex.

Flowers

Perianth entire, without any lobes. Male flowers produced around the ostiole. Style hairy on the upper half, stigma swollen, minutely papillose. Bracts at the base of the fig, three. Lateral bracts usually present on the outside of the fig body.

Fruit

Figs pedunculate, depressed globular to almost discoid, about 15-30 x 25-35 mm. Orifice closed by interlocking apical and internal bracts.

Seedlings

Cotyledons orbicular, about 2-3 mm diam. At the tenth leaf stage: leaf blade ovate to obovate, apex acuminate, base obtuse, margin crenate, teeth mainly along upper 2/3 of the leaf blade; both the upper and lower surfaces scabrous; oil dots small, numerous, visible with a lens from the underside of the leaf blade; stipules sheathing the terminal bud, narrowly triangular, persistent, midrib hairy.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in WA, NT, CYP, NEQ and southwards as far as coastal central Queensland. Altitudinal range from sea level to 800 m. Grows in well developed lowland rain forest, gallery forest and upland rain forest. Also occurs in Asia and Malesia. This species provides a good supply of food for feral pigs on parts of Cape York Peninsula and as the figs are produced down to ground level the pigs can easily command the lower part of the crop.

Natural History

Fruit eaten by Double-eyed Fig-parrots. Cooper & Cooper (1994).

This species may have medicinal properties. (http://squid2.laughingsquid.net/hosts/herbweb.com /herbage/A11247.htm)

WA

X

NT

X

CYP

X

NEQ

X

Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)

X

Tree

X

RFK Code

513