Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Ficus congesta Roxb. var. congesta

Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)
Click/tap on images to enlarge
Figs. © R.L. Barrett
Figs [not vouchered]. CC-BY J.L. Dowe
Trunk and fruiting branch. © R.L. Barrett
Figs, side view, bird's eye view and cross section. © W.T. Cooper
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO
Cotyledon and 1st leaf stage, epigeal germination. © CSIRO
Cotyledon and 1st leaf stage, epigeal germination. © CSIRO
Male flowers, anthers 2-celled. © CSIRO
Female flowers, perianth cupular, style spiny. © CSIRO
Gall flowers, perianth cupular No hairs among flowers. © CSIRO
Fig long section, most flowers female, male flowers at apex. © CSIRO

Corner, E.J.H. (1960) The Gardens' Bulletin Singapore 18 : 52.

Common name

Red Leaf Fig; Fig, Red Leaf; Fig, Cluster; Fig; Cluster Fig


Not a strangling fig. Seldom exceeding 30 cm dbh.


Petioles and twigs produce a milky exudate. Leaf blades about 12-25 x 8-13 cm. Oil dots visible on the underside of the leaf blade with the aid of a lens. Stipules about 1-2.5 cm long and hairy on the outside. Bark on the younger twigs rusty, papery, scaly. Bark on the older twigs strong and fibrous when stripped.


Male flowers: Flowers produced around the ostiole, perianth fused to form an operculum rupturing to expose the anther. Female flowers: Perianth fused into a tube without lobes. Style and stigma bright pinkish red. Bracts at the base of the fig, three. Lateral bracts not present on the outside of the fig body.


Figs borne on special leafless branches on the stem and also on the leafy twigs. Figs pedunculate, depressed globular, about 15 x 18 mm. Orifice closed by interlocking apical and internal bracts.


Cotyledons +/- orbicular, about 2-3 mm long. At the tenth leaf stage: leaf blade elliptic, base obtuse to auriculate, margin crenate on the upper 2/3 of the leaf blade, upper surface with a few pale hairs. Stipules narrowly triangular, sheathing the terminal bud. Seed germination time 17 to 19 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in WA, NT, CYP, NEQ and CEQ. Altitudinal range from sea level to 1000 m. Grows in rain forest on a variety of sites. This species is favoured by disturbance and is a typical regrowth species along roads, etc. Also occurs in Malesia and some Pacific islands.

Natural History & Notes

Fruit eaten by Cassowaries. Cooper & Cooper (1994).

Ficus congesta Roxb., Flora Indica (ed. Carey) 3: 560(1832), Type: Introduced into the Botanic Garden at Calcutta in 1802, and in 1809. Ficus fasciculata Benth. var. fasciculata, Flora Australiensis 6: 177(1873). Ficus fasciculata var. subopposita Benth., Flora Australiensis 6: 177(1873), Type: Rockingham bay and Mackay river, Dallachy. Ficus setistyla Warb., Repertorium Novarum Specierum Regni Vegetabilis 1 : 77(1905), Type: Queensland: Unter-Russell, leg. Diels no. 8497, 6. Juni. 1902. Ficus trichostyla Warb., Repertorium Novarum Specierum Regni Vegetabilis 1 : 77(1905), Type: Queensland Cairns, leg. Warburg no. 18500. Ficus fasciculata Benth., Flora Australiensis 6: 177(1873), Type: Queensland. Rockhampton, Fitzroy river, Bowman, Thozet, Dallachy.
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