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Ficus racemosa

Family

Moraceae

Botanical Name

Ficus racemosa L.

Linnaeus, C. von (1753) Species Plantarum 2: 1060. Type: Habitat in India..

Synonyms

Ficus racemosa L. var. racemosa, Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club 73: 323(1946), Type: ?. Ficus vesca Miq., Journal de Botanique Neerlandaise 1: 243(1862), Type: Nova Hollandia borealis, Arnhemsland, in regione Fitzmaurice-river, Oct. 1855: FERD MUELLER, secus Fitzroy-river: THOZET. Ficus semicostata F.M.Bailey, Queensland Agricultural Journal 26: 316(1911), Type: Queensland, Mr. Walter Hill; described from trees planted by him in Brisbane Botanic Gardens. Ficus racemosa var. vesca (Miq.) M.F.Barrett, Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club 73: 323(1946), Type: ?. Ficus glomerata Roxb., Plants of the Coast of Coromandel 2: 13(1799), Type: India, It is a large tree, generally found in and about villages, and or the banks of rivers and water-courses, where the soil is rich and moist.

Common name

Fig, Cluster; Cluster Tree; Figwood; Fig Tree; Cluster Fig

Stem

Not a strangling fig. Deciduous; leafless for a period in August or September. Exudate turns brown or brownish on exposure.

Leaves

Stipules shortly hairy, about 0.5-2 cm long, semi-persistent, remaining attached to the twig after each leaf expands. Petioles and twigs produce a milky exudate. Leaf blades about 6-20 x 4-9 cm. Oil dots sometimes visible with a lens.

Flowers

Tepals glabrous, lobed or lacinate-denticulate in the female flowers, entire in the male. Male flowers produced around the ostiole. Bracts at the base of the fig, three, persistent in ripe fruits. Lateral bracts not present on the outside of the fig body.

Fruit

Figs produced on special shoots from the trunk and main branches. Figs pedunculate, globular or depressed pyriform, about 30-35 x 35-40 mm. Orifice closed by interlocking and inflexed bracts.

Seedlings

Cotyledons orbicular, about 2 mm diam. At the tenth leaf stage: leaf blade ovate, apex acute, base obtuse, margin smooth or crenate, upper surface glabrous; oil dots very small, difficult to see with a lens; petiole with a few scattered hairs; stipules sheathing the terminal bud, about 5-10 mm long, persistent.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in WA, NT, CYP, NEQ and southwards as far as coastal central Queensland. Altitudinal range from sea level to 500 m. Grows in dry rain forest, beach forest and gallery forest sometimes in areas which are otherwise quite dry and not conducive to rain forest development. Also occurs in SE Asia and Malesia.

Natural History

Fruit eaten by several species of birds. Cooper & Cooper (1994).

Food plant for the larval stages of the Two-brand Crow Butterfly. Common & Waterhouse (1981).

This species may have medicinal properties. (http://squid2.laughingsquid.net/hosts/herbweb.com /herbage/A11274.htm)

This tree is an important food source for a variety of birds and animals. Feral pigs are particularly fond of the fruit of this species and will pull branches down to obtain the fruits. Keen pig shooters will nearly always be successful if they wait near or in a fruiting tree of this species around sundown, assuming that they can shoot straight.

WA

X

NT

X

CYP

X

NEQ

X

Tree

X

RFK Code

539