Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Ficus virgata Reinw. ex Blume

Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)
Click/tap on images to enlarge
Figs and leaves. © Stanley Breeden
Figs, side views and transverse section. © W. T. Cooper
Leaves and figs. © B. Gray
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
Cotyledon and 1st leaf stage, epigeal germination. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO
Male flower. © CSIRO
Female flower Note spines on the perianth. © CSIRO
Fig longitudinal section Male fls at the apex near the orifice. © CSIRO

Blume, C.L. von (1825) Bijdragen tot de Flora van Nederlandsch Indie No. 7 : 454. Type: in montosis Gede. Moluccas, C. G. C. Reinwardt 1376; holo; L.

Common name

Fig; Figwood


A strangling fig. Bark exudate rather slow to appear, watery at first but turning pale brown on exposure. Bark rather hard to cut.


One pale green flat gland usually visible on the underside of the leaf blade, in the fork of the first lateral vein and the midrib. Stipules about 0.5-2 cm long. Leaf blades about 10-20 x 4-7 cm. Small oil dots visible with a lens on both the upper and lower surfaces of the leaf blade. Petioles produce a milky exudate.


Bristles present between the flowers. Tepals pubescent abaxially. Male flowers produced around the ostiole. Bracts at the base of the fig, three. Lateral bracts not present on the outside of the fig body.


Figs pedunculate, +/- globular, about 10-12 x 7-13 mm. Orifice closed by interlocking apical and reflexed internal bracts.


Cotyledons oblong to orbicular, about 2-3 mm long. First few pairs of leaves toothed. Oil dots small, visible with a lens. At the tenth leaf stage: leaf blade elliptic to ovate, apex acuminate, base cuneate or oblique, margin dentate, about 4-8 teeth usually present though absent soon after the 10th leaf stage, both the upper and lower surfaces scabrous; petiole hairy; stipules sheathing the terminal bud, about 5-10 mm long, falling early. Seed germination time 16 to 38 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in CYP and NEQ. Altitudinal range from near sea level to 400 m. Grows in well developed rain forest and gallery forest. Also occurs in Asia, Malesia and the SW Pacific islands.

Ficus virgata Reinw. ex Blume var. virgata, The Gardens' Bulletin Singapore 17 : 477(1960). Ficus philippinensis Miq., Hooker's London Journal of Botany 7 : 435(1848), Type: ins Philippinas (Cuming! n. 1937). Ficus pinkiana F.Muell., Southern Science Record 2: 273(1882), Type: Queensland, Trinity-Bay, J. Pink. Ficus esmeralda F.M.Bailey, Queensland Agricultural Journal 1(6): 452(1897), Type: Mourilyan Harbour, W. Mugford, near Esmeralda Plantation. Holo: BRI.
RFK Code
Copyright © CSIRO 2020, all rights reserved.