Ficus citrifolia Mill.

First published in Gard. Dict., ed. 8.: n.° 10 (1768), nom. cons.
This species is accepted
The native range of this species is S. Florida to Tropical America. It is a tree and grows primarily in the wet tropical biome. It is used as a medicine and for food.


Biogeografic region: Amazonia, Andean, Caribbean, Pacific. Elevation range: 0–2400 m a.s.l. Native to Colombia. Colombian departments: Amazonas, Antioquia, Atlántico, Bolívar, Caldas, Caquetá, Cauca, Chocó, Cundinamarca, Huila, La Guajira, Magdalena, Norte de Santander, Putumayo, Santander, Sucre, Tolima, Valle del Cauca, Vaupés.
Small tree, Tree, Hemiepiphyte.
IUCN Red List Assessment (2021): LC.
Habitat according IUCN Habitats Classification: forest and woodland, savanna, shrubland, wetlands (inland), artificial - terrestrial.

Bernal, R., Gradstein, S.R. & Celis, M. (eds.). 2015. Catálogo de plantas y líquenes de Colombia. Instituto de Ciencias Naturales, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Bogotá.

Nativa en Colombia; Alt. 0 - 2400 m.; Amazonia, Andes, Llanura del Caribe, Pacífico, Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, Valle del Cauca, Valle del Magdalena.
Morphology General Habit
Arbolito, árbol, hemiepífita
No Evaluada

Bernal, R., G. Galeano, A. Rodríguez, H. Sarmiento y M. Gutiérrez. 2017. Nombres Comunes de las Plantas de Colombia.

abrazapalo, caucho, copé, higuerón, higuito, matapalo, palo de leche

Extinction risk predictions for the world's flowering plants to support their conservation (2024). Bachman, S.P., Brown, M.J.M., Leão, T.C.C., Lughadha, E.N., Walker, B.E.

Predicted extinction risk: not threatened. Confidence: confident

IUCN Red List of Threatened Species

LC - least concern

George R. Proctor (2012). Flora of the Cayman Isands (Second Edition). Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

Morphology General Habit
A much-branched glabrous tree up to 15 m tall, or shrub-like in exposed situations, often with dense masses of aerial roots hanging from the branches; when these roots reach the ground they thicken to form supplementary trunks or rib-like extensions of the main trunk
Morphology Leaves
Leaves ovate to elliptic, long-petiolate, 5–10 cm long, 2–5 cm broad, more or less acute at apex, truncate or subcordate (rarely acutish) at base of blade, the upper surface dotted with numerous minute elevated papillae (cystoliths)
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Ripe figs yellow, sometimes red-spotted, globose, 7–12 mm in diameter, on slender peduncles usually 5–10 mm long, rarely longer.
Cayman Islands. Florida, the West Indies and parts of C. America.
Common, most frequent in rocky woodlands, coastal thickets and along the base of cliffs; occasionally cultivated.
The island of Barbados is supposed to have been named for this tree, whose abundant aerial roots often give it a ‘bearded’ appearance.


Use Food
Used for food.
Use Materials
Used as material.
Use Medicines
Medical uses.


  • Angiosperm Extinction Risk Predictions v1

    • Angiosperm Threat Predictions
  • Catálogo de Plantas y Líquenes de Colombia

  • Colombian resources for Plants made Accessible

    • ColPlantA 2021. Published on the Internet at
  • Flora of the Cayman Islands

    • Flora of the Cayman Islands
  • Herbarium Catalogue Specimens

    • Digital Image © Board of Trustees, RBG Kew
  • IUCN Categories

    • IUCN Red List of Threatened Species
  • Kew Backbone Distributions

    • The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Vascular Plants 2024. Published on the Internet at and
    • © Copyright 2023 World Checklist of Vascular Plants.
  • Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone

    • The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Vascular Plants 2024. Published on the Internet at and
    • © Copyright 2023 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Vascular Plants.
  • Kew Science Photographs

    • Copyright applied to individual images
  • Universidad Nacional de Colombia

    • ColPlantA database
  • Useful Plants and Fungi of Colombia