Ficus sycomorus L.
subsp. sycomorus

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Ficus sycomorus subsp. sycomorus

Photo: Bart Wursten
Shashi Wilderness Camp, by Shashi River opposite Tuli Circle

Ficus sycomorus subsp. sycomorus

Photo: Bart Wursten
Shashi Wilderness Camp, by Shashi River opposite Tuli Circle

Ficus sycomorus subsp. sycomorus

Photo: Bart Wursten
Shashi Wilderness Camp, by Shashi River opposite Tuli Circle

Ficus sycomorus subsp. sycomorus

Photo: Bart Wursten
Shashi Wilderness Camp, by Shashi River opposite Tuli Circle

Detailed records: Display species records QDS maps by: Google Maps Point records by Google Maps

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

Synonyms: Ficus cocculifolia Baker
Ficus integrifolia Sim
Common names: Common cluster fig (English) Mukuyu (Shona) Mukuyukono (Shona) Muonde (Shona) Musvunguzu (Shona) Mutsvita (Shona) Sycomore fig (English) Umkhiwa (Ndebele)
Status: Native
Large spreading tree with a short thick trunk. All parts exude a milky latex. Bark very characteristically yellowish, smooth, flaking in irregular patches. Leaves alternate, broadly ovate to almost round, very stiff and often rough to the touch, dull yellowish green; venation prominent below, somewhat 3-veined from the base with 4-8 pairs of lateral veins. Figs borne in large branched clusters from the main stem and larger branches, subspherical, up to 3 cm in diameter, usually densely, finely hairy, yellow, pink or red when ripe.
Notes: See subsp. gnaphalocarpa for differences.
Derivation of specific name: sycomorus: probably a combination of sykon, greek for fig, and morus, the name for mulberry
Habitat: On alluvial soils in riverine situations in lower rainfall areas.
Altitude range: (metres) Up to 1200 m
Flowering time:Sep - Mar
Worldwide distribution: From Syria and Saudi Arabia, throughout most of Africa down to KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Also in Madagascar and the Comores
Zimbabwe distribution: N,W,E,S
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: Thursday 18 June 2009

Burrows, J.E. & Burrows, S.M. (2003). Figs of Southern and South-Central Africa Umdaus Press, South Africa Pages 58 - 63. (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 77. (Includes a picture).

Coates Palgrave K. (revised and updated by Meg Coates Palgrave) (2002). Trees of Southern Africa 3rd edition. Struik, South Africa Page 150.

Curtis, B.A. & Mannheimer, C.A. (2005). Tree Atlas of Namibia National Botanic Research Institute, Windhoek Pages 62 - 63. (Includes a picture).

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

Ellery, K. & W. (1997). Plants of the Okavango Delta, a Field Guide Tsaro Publishers, Durban, South Africa Pages 112 - 113. (Includes a picture).

Kamumvuri, G. (ed.) (2004). Plants of Zimbabwe Report No. 1 National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Pages 21 - 22. As ficus sycomorus (Includes a picture).

Mannheimer, C. & Curtis B. (2009). Le Roux and Müller's Field Guide to the Trees and Shrubs of Namibia Macmillan Education, Windhoek, Namibia. Pages 26 - 27. as subsp.gnaphalocarpa (but see note) (Includes a picture).

Roodt, V. (1998). Trees and Shrubs of the Okavango Delta Shell Field Guide Series: Part I Shell Oil Botswana, Gaberone. Pages 20 - 23. (Includes a picture).

Schmidt, E., Lötter, M. & McCleland, W. (2002). Trees and shrubs of Mpumalanga and Kruger National Park Jacana, Johannesburg, South Africa Pages 84 - 85. (Includes a picture).

Setshogo, M.P. (2005). Preliminary checklist of the plants of Botswana. Sabonet Report no. 37. Sabonet, Pretoria and Gaborone Page 88.

Setshogo, M.P. & Venter, F. (2003). Trees of Botswana: names and distribution SABONET Report No. 18 Southern African Botanical Diversity Network, Pretoria Page 106. (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.

Timberlake, J.R. & Childes, S.L. (2004). Biodiversity of the Four Corners Area: Technical Reviews Volume Two (Chapter 5-15) Appendix 5-1: Plant Checklist Occasional Publications in Biodiversity 15 Page 219.

Van Wyk, B. & Van Wyk, P. (1997). Field Guide to Trees of Southern Africa. Struik, South Africa Pages 80 - 81. (Includes a picture).

Van Wyk, B. & Van Wyk, P. (2013). Field Guide to Trees of Southern Africa (Second edition) Struik, South Africa Pages 90 - 91. (Includes a picture).

White, F. (1962). Forest Flora of Northern Rhodesia Oxford Univ. Press. Page 30.

Other sources of information about Ficus sycomorus subsp. sycomorus:

Our websites:

Flora of Botswana: Ficus sycomorus subsp. sycomorus
Flora of Caprivi: Ficus sycomorus subsp. sycomorus
Flora of Malawi: Ficus sycomorus subsp. sycomorus
Flora of Mozambique: Ficus sycomorus subsp. sycomorus
Flora of Zambia: Ficus sycomorus subsp. sycomorus

External websites:

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

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2002-19

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2019). Flora of Zimbabwe: Species information: Ficus sycomorus subsp. sycomorus., retrieved 19 July 2019

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