Ficus lutea Vahl

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Ficus lutea

Photo: Bart Wursten
In car park, Great Zimbabwe

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Synonyms: Ficus subcalcarata Warb. & Schweinf.
Ficus utilis Sim
Ficus vogelii (Miq.) Miq.
Common names: Giant-leaved fig (English) Mupauwa (Shona) Mutowetowe (Ndau)
Frequency: Occasional
Status: Native
Large, spreading, briefly deciduous tree, usually starting as a strangler but often freestanding when older. Leaves elliptic to obovate, 14-43 cm long, thickly leathery, glossy green and hairless above, paler beneath with a few hairs on midrib and veins; veins often conspicuously yellow; base mostly rounded; margin entire, flat or slightly rolled under; petiole 3-13 cm long, silky hairy when young. Fruits sessile, usually in pairs in the leaf axils or on the old wood below the leaves, subglobose, 15-30 mm in diameter, densely hairy when young, yellow, reddish or brownish when ripe.
Derivation of specific name: lutea: golden-yellow, reference unclear, perhaps referring to the bright yellow venation or the leaves turning yellow in deciduous situations.
Habitat: In a variety of habitats, such as deciduous woodland, wooded grassland and forest.
Altitude range: (metres) Up to 1000 m
Flowering time:
Worldwide distribution: Widespread in tropical Africa, South Africa, Cape Verde Islands, Madagascar, Comores and Seychelles.
Zimbabwe distribution: N,C,E,S
Growth form(s): Tree.
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species: Allotriozoon heterandromorphum (Pollinated by this insect)
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species
Images last updated: Sunday 20 May 2012

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) Pages 261 - 262.

Berg, C.C. (1991). Moraceae Flora Zambesiaca 9(6) Pages 63 - 64.

Burrows, J.E. & Burrows, S.M. (2003). Figs of Southern and South-Central Africa Umdaus Press, South Africa Pages 97 - 100. (Includes a picture).

Coates Palgrave K. (revised and updated by Meg Coates Palgrave) (2002). Trees of Southern Africa 3rd edition. Struik, South Africa Page 144.

Da Silva, M.C., Izidine, S. & Amude, A.B. (2004). A preliminary checklist of the vascular plants of Mozambique. Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 30 Sabonet, Pretoria Page 89.

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

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.

Phiri, P.S.M. (2005). A Checklist of Zambian Vascular Plants Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 32 Page 80.

Schmidt, E., Lötter, M. & McCleland, W. (2002). Trees and shrubs of Mpumalanga and Kruger National Park Jacana, Johannesburg, South Africa Pages 78 - 80. (Includes a picture).

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

Van Wyk, B. & Van Wyk, P. (1997). Field Guide to Trees of Southern Africa. Struik, South Africa Pages 76 - 77. (Includes a picture).

White, F., Dowsett-Lemaire, F. & Chapman, J.D. (2001). Evergreen forest flora of Malawi Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew Page 386.


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Other sources of information about Ficus lutea:

Our websites:

Flora of Malawi: Ficus lutea
Flora of Mozambique: Ficus lutea
Flora of Mozambique: cultivated Ficus lutea
Flora of Zambia: Ficus lutea
Flora of Zimbabwe: cultivated Ficus lutea

External websites:

African Plant Database: Ficus lutea
Biodiversity Explorer (Biodiversity of southern Africa): Ficus lutea
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Ficus lutea
ePIC (electronic Plant Information Center): Ficus lutea
Flora Zambesiaca web site: Ficus lutea
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
GRIN (Germplasm Resources Information Network) taxonomy for plants report for Ficus lutea
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Ficus lutea
Ispot Southern Africa : Ficus lutea
JSTOR Plant Science: Ficus lutea
Kew Herbarium catalogue: Ficus lutea
Tropicos: Ficus lutea
West African Plants database: Ficus lutea

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2002-16

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2016). Flora of Zimbabwe: Species information: Ficus lutea., retrieved 25 October 2016

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