Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Ficus microcarpa L.f.

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Leaves and figs. © CSIRO
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, epigeal germination. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO
Male flowers, anthers 2-celled. © CSIRO
Female flowers. © CSIRO

Linnaeus, C. von filius (1782) Supplementum Plantarum : 442. Type: Habitat in Java. Thunberg. Holo: UPS?.

Common name

Fig, Small Fruited; Small Fruited Fig; Fig; Indian Laurel; Fig, Indian Laurel; Indian Laurel Fig


A strangling fig or banyan with prop roots and flying buttresses. Dead bark khaki or mustard coloured when cut. Bark exudate copious.


Petioles channelled on the upper surface. Leaf bearing twigs flattish-triangular in cross section. Leaf blades about 3-12 x 1.5-9 cm. Small oil dots visible with a lens on both the upper and lower surfaces of the leaf blade.


Tepals glabrous. Male flowers dispersed among the fruitlets of the ripe fig. Bracts at the base of the fig, three. Lateral bracts not present on the outside of the fig body.


Figs sessile, depressed pyriform, about 8-10 x 10-12 mm. Orifice closed by interlocking apical and internal bracts.


Cotyledons +/- orbicular, about 3-4 mm diam. Oil dots, if present, small, visible with a lens. At the tenth leaf stage: leaf blade elliptic or ovate, apex acute to acuminate, base cuneate, margin sinuate, teeth, if present, indistinct, glabrous; oil dots numerous, visible with a lens; petiole and stem glabrous; stipules sheathing the terminal bud, narrowly triangular, glabrous. Seed germination time 18 to 32 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in CYP, NEQ and CEQ. Altitudinal range from sea level to 400 m. Grows in well developed rain forest, drier, more seasonal rain forest and beach forest. Also occurs in SE Asia, Malesia and the SW Pacific islands.

Ficus microcarpa L.f. var. microcarpa, Flora Australia 3: 38(1989). Ficus cairnsii Warb., Repertorium Novarum Specierum Regni Vegetabilis 1 : 73(1905), Type: Queensland: Cairns, leg. L. Diels no. 8425, 30. Mai. 1902. Ficus dictyophleba Miq., Annales Musei Botanici Lugduno-Batavi : 218(1867), Type: Nova-Hollandia, prope prom. Bedford: F. MUELLER. Ficus hillii F.M.Bailey, Queensland Department of Agriculture and Stock Bulletin 9. Botany Bulletin 3: 16(1891), Type: Scrubs of tropical Queensland, Walter Hill. Ficus microcarpa var. hillii (Bailey) Corner, The Gardens' Bulletin Singapore 17: 398(1960). Ficus microcarpa var. latifolia (Miq.) Corner, The Gardens' Bulletin Singapore 17 : 398(1960). Ficus thynneana F.M.Bailey, Queensland Agricultural Journal 1: 231(1897), Type: On the beach at Cairns, and locally known as the Banyan. Ficus thynneana F.M.Bailey var. thynneana, Bibliotheca Botanica 89(4): 563(1928). Ficus thynneana var. minor Domin, Bibliotheca Botanica 89(4): 563(1928), Type: Bei Yarraba als Baumw~yrger (DOMIN I. 1910). Ficus thynneana var. typica Domin, Bibliotheca Botanica 89(4): 563(1928).
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