Ficus rokko Warb. & Schweinf.

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Ficus rokko

Photo: Bart Wursten
Eastern slopes above upper Nhandar River valley, Mt Gorongosa

Ficus rokko

Photo: Bart Wursten
Eastern slopes above upper Nhandar River valley, Mt Gorongosa

Ficus rokko

Photo: Bart Wursten
Eastern slopes above upper Nhandar River valley, Mt Gorongosa

Ficus rokko

Photo: Bart Wursten
Eastern slopes above upper Nhandar River valley, Mt Gorongosa

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

Synonyms: Ficus thonningii Blume p.p.
Common names: Giant forest fig (English)
Frequency: Local and occasional
Status: Native
Large evergreen tree, up to 40 m high, starting as a hemi-epiphytic strangler but eventually free-standing. Stem often with numerous aerial roots eventually forming supporting pillars. Bark fairly smooth, pale to dark grey, sometimes mottled. Leaves thinly leathery and stiff, elliptic or slightly obovate, 5-12 cm long, dull glossy dark-green above, paler beneath, hairless on both surfaces; lateral veins and midrib raised and yellowish above not raised beneath, finer veins indistinct; apex rounded or finely pointed; margin entire; petiole 14-32 mm long, hairless. Fruit sessile, singly or in pairs in the leaf axils, sometimes below the current leaves, mostly globose, 10-15 mm in diameter, hairless, yellowish-green with small warts, bright red or pinkish when ripe; ostiole not or slightly raised.
Notes: Similar to Ficus burkei and mainly differing in darker, completely hairless leaves, which are broader, widest in the middle and more rounded at both base and apex. It generally becomes a much larger tree with numerous aerial rooks and is more restricted to high rainfall areas of woodland and forest.
Derivation of specific name: rokko: a vernacular name used by the Niam-niam in northeastern DRC, where it was first collected.
Habitat: In montane evergreen forest, riverine forest and occasionally in high rainfall Brachystegia woodland.
Altitude range: (metres)
Flowering time:Figs borne at most times of the year on different specimens.
Worldwide distribution: From Guinea to Angola, DRC, Uganda, Sudan, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe. Also on Sâo Tomé and Cape Verde.
Zimbabwe distribution: E
Growth form(s):
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species
Images last updated: Friday 22 June 2012

Burrows, J.E. & Burrows, S.M. (2003). Figs of Southern and South-Central Africa Umdaus Press, South Africa Pages 150 - 152. (Includes a picture).

Burrows, J.E. & Willis, C.K. (eds) (2005). Plants of the Nyika Plateau Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 31 SABONET, Pretoria Page 215.

Coates Palgrave K. (revised and updated by Meg Coates Palgrave) (2002). Trees of Southern Africa 3rd edition. Struik, South Africa Page 147.

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.

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.


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Other sources of information about Ficus rokko:

Our websites:

Flora of Malawi: Ficus rokko
Flora of Mozambique: Ficus rokko

External websites:

African Plants: A Photo Guide (Senckenberg): Ficus rokko
Biodiversity Explorer (Biodiversity of southern Africa): Ficus rokko
BHL (Biodiversity Heritage Library): Ficus rokko
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Ficus rokko
ePIC (electronic Plant Information Center): Ficus rokko
Flora Zambesiaca web site: Ficus rokko
GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility): Ficus rokko
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
GRIN (Germplasm Resources Information Network): Ficus rokko
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Ficus rokko
Ispot Southern Africa: Ficus rokko
JSTOR Plant Science: Ficus rokko
Kew Herbarium catalogue: Ficus rokko
Mansfeld World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops: Ficus rokko
The Plant List (version 1.1): Ficus rokko
Tropicos: Ficus rokko

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2002-18

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2018). Flora of Zimbabwe: Species information: Ficus rokko., retrieved 23 February 2018

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