Kenya Natural History Guide >>> Plants >>> Moraceae >>> Cape Ficus

Cape Fig

Ficus sur
(Ficus capensis)

Ficus sur, a large fruit-bearing tree, Kenya, photo © by Michael Plagens

Large tree growing at Uhuru Gardens, Nairobi, Kenya, March 2013.

TREE: Mature trees with heavy, spreading branches and reaching 15 meters in height and even broader crown.

FLOWERS: Small greenish flowers go mostly unnoticed and are famously pollinated by minute fig wasps.

LEAVES: Large leaves are broadly elyptcal and exude milky latex when damaged/broken. The margins are shallowly toothed. The splotches on the leaf below might be caused by gall mites, Eriophyidae.
leaf of Ficus sur with gall mites present, Kenya, photo © by Michael Plagens
RANGE: Mid and lower elevations especially on deep soils adjacent to rivers with seasonal flooding. Native to Kenya.

FRUIT: Fruit turn orange when ripe and soon attract many birds and primates to feed. The fruit are borne on half-meter long branchlets that arise directly from the older branches.

UNARMED. No thorns, but latex can be irritating.

Moraceae -- Fig Family

a group of ripening fruit, Ficus sycamorus from Nairobi © Michael Plagens broken petiole exudes milky latex resin, Ficus thonningii from Nairobi © Michael Plagens

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Kenya Natural History

Copyright Michael J. Plagens, Created on 15 November 2011,
updated 24 July 2013