Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Ficus variegata Blume

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Figs [not vouchered]. © G. Sanksowsky
Fig, side view and cross section. © W. T. Cooper
Figs, side view, bird's eye view and cross section. © W.T. Cooper
Trunk and figs [not vouchered]. © G. Sanksowsky
Habit, trunk, leaves and figs [not vouchered]. © G. Sanksowsky
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, epigeal germination. © CSIRO
Female flowers, stigmas swollen. © CSIRO
Female flowers, stigmas swollen. © CSIRO
Male flowers, anthers 2-celled. © CSIRO

Blume, C.L. von (1825) Bijdragen tot de Flora van Nederlandsch Indie : 459. Type: in sylvis montium Salak, Parang, etc.

Common name

Common Red Stem Fig; Fig; Fig, Variegated; Fig, Green Fruited; Variegated Fig; Green Fruited Fig; Fig, Common Red Stem


Not a strangling fig. Exudate rapid and copious. Lenticels very small.


Leaf blades rather large, about 14-21 x 9-13 cm. Petioles and twigs produce a watery milky exudate. Stipules smooth, about 1-1.5 cm long.


Male flowers produced around the ostiole. In the female flower, the stigma turbinate, +/- tuberculate. Bracts at the base of the fig, three, caducous. Lateral bracts not present on the outside of the fig body.


Figs pedunculate (peduncle slender, about 30-50 mm long) globular, depressed globular or depressed pyriform, about 30 x 30 mm. Orifice closed by interlocking apical bracts and inflexed internal bracts.


Cotyledons orbicular, about 2 mm diam. At the tenth leaf stage: leaf blade ovate, apex acuminate, base obtuse to cordate, margin bluntly serrate, upper surface glabrous or with a few pale hairs along the midrib; oil dots visible with a lens; petiole hairy; stipules elongate-triangular, sheathing the terminal bud. Seed germination time 14 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in CYP and NEQ. Altitudinal range from sea level to 300 m. Grows in well developed rain forest and gallery forest. Also occurs in Asia, Malesia and the SW Pacific islands.

Natural History & Notes

Fruit eaten by Cassowaries and Fig-parrots. Cooper & Cooper (1994).

Ficus variegata Blume var. variegata, The Gardens' Bulletin Singapore 18 : 33(1960). Ficus ehretioides Benth., Flora Australiensis 6: 171(1873), Type: Queensland. Rockingham bay, Dallachy.
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