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

Ficus sycomorus subsp. sycomorus

Photo: Mark Hyde
Near Celebration Centre, Borrowdale Road, Harare

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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) Sycomore fig (English)
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: 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
Mozambique distribution: N,Z,T,MS,GI,M
Growth form(s):
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species
Content 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).

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.

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 Zambia: Ficus sycomorus subsp. sycomorus
Flora of Zimbabwe: Ficus sycomorus subsp. sycomorus

External websites:

African Plants: A Photo Guide (Senckenberg): Ficus sycomorus
African Plant Database: 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
iNaturalist: Ficus sycomorus
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Ficus sycomorus
JSTOR Plant Science: Ficus sycomorus
Kew Herbarium catalogue: Ficus sycomorus
Mansfeld World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops: Ficus sycomorus
Plants of the World Online: Ficus sycomorus
Tropicos: Ficus sycomorus
Wikipedia: Ficus sycomorus

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave 2007-22

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2022). Flora of Mozambique: Species information: Ficus sycomorus subsp. sycomorus., retrieved 9 December 2022

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