Ficus sycomorus L.

First published in Sp. Pl.: 1059 (1753)
This species is accepted
The native range of this species is Africa to Syria. It is a tree and grows primarily in the seasonally dry tropical biome.

Moraceae, C.C. Berg (University of Bergen). Flora of Tropical East Africa. 1989

Morphology General Habit
Tree up to 20(–30) m. tall; trunk short; main branches spreading.
Morphology Twigs
Leafy twigs (1–)2–6 mm. thick, densely minutely puberulous and with much longer white to yellowish hairs especially on the nodes; periderm flaking off when dry.
Morphology Leaves
Lamina chartaceous to coriaceous, ovate to elliptic, obovate or subcircular, (1–)2.5–12(–21) × (0.5–)2–11(–16) cm., apex rounded to obtuse, base cordate to sometimes obtuse, margin subentire, slightly repand or denticulate; upper surface scabrous to scabridulous, sometimes almost smooth, hispidulous to strigillose, on the main veins whitish hirtellous to hirsute, lower surface puberulous to hispidulous, on the main veins partly whitish hirtellous or hirsute; lateral veins 5–10 pairs; petiole (0.5–)1–4(–6) cm. long, 1–3 mm. thick, densely minutely white puberulous and with much longer white to yellowish hairs, with the periderm flaking off when dry; stipules 0.5–2.5 cm. long, white puberulous to tomentose or partly hirtellous to hirsute, caducous.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits Infructescences
Figs solitary or sometimes in pairs in the leaf-axils or just below the leaves, on up to 10 cm. long unbranched leafless branchlets or on up to 20(–35) cm. long branched leafless branchlets on the older branches down to the trunk; peduncle 0.3–2.5 cm. long, 1–3 mm. thick; basal bracts 2–3 mm. long.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Receptacle
Receptacle obovoid to pyriform or subglobose, often stipitate at least when dry, 1.5–5 cm. in diameter when fresh, (1–)1.5–3 cm. when dry, white to yellowish or brownish velutinous or densely tomentose to sparsely puberulous or pubescent, sometimes almost glabrous, yellowish to reddish at maturity.
Habitat
Forest edges, lakesides, riverine, extending into drier country especially where seasonal water collects at foot of hills and scarps, rock outcrops; 0–2200 m.
Distribution
extending to Egypt, Syria, the Arabian Peninsula, the Cape Verde Is., South Africa and Namibia K1 K2 K3 K4 K5 K6 K7 P T1 T2 T3 T4 T5 T6
[FTEA]

M. Thulin et al. Flora of Somalia, Vol. 1-4 [updated 2008] https://plants.jstor.org/collection/FLOS

Morphology General Habit
Large tree up to c. 30 m tall, buttressed, with a trunk up to 3.5 m in diam.; crown spreading
Morphology General Bark
Bark greyish-brown, flaking, often becoming yellowish on older trunks; slash pale brown, yellowish or pinkish; latex milky white
Morphology Branches
Young branches with brown bark, puberulous to pubescent or lanate, often peeling off in scales when dry
Morphology Leaves
Leaves almost in 2 rows; stipules lateral, free, covering buds as scarious lanate to hirsute grey or brown scales, caducous leaving a circular fringe of whitish or brownish hairs; petiole 3–5 cm long, often with scaly peeling outer layer when dry; blade ± leathery, broadly ovate, elliptic or suborbicular, 3–15 x 2–10.5 cm, base rounded to narrowly cordate, margin subentire to crenulate, apex rounded, acute or shortly acuminate, dull, slightly scabrous or smooth above, scabrous or smooth, often pubescent below, with 4–8 pairs of lateral veins
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Figs 1–2 together, either on clusters of leafless branchlets on the trunk or older branches or in the axil of normal leaves, on peduncles up to 1.5 cm long; basal bracts 3, ovate to triangular, 3–4 mm long, puberulous; receptacle pear-shaped, obovoid or subglobose, often ± stipitate, 1.8–2.5(–5) x 1–2 cm, puberulous to tomentose; ostiole prominent, with 3–5 clearly visible triangular ostiolar bracts.
[FSOM]

Moraceae, C. C. Berg. Flora Zambesiaca 9:6. 1991

Morphology General Habit
Tree up to 20(30) m. tall, trunk short, up to c. 2 m. diam., main branches spreading.
Morphology Twigs
Leafy twigs 2–6 mm. thick, densely, minutely puberulous and with much longer, white to yellowish hairs, especially on the nodes; periderm flaking off when dry.
Morphology Leaves
Leaf lamina ovate to elliptic, or obovate to subcircular (1)2.5–12(21) x (0.5)2–11(16) cm., chartaceous to coriaceous, apex rounded to obtuse, base cordate sometimes obtuse, margin subentire, slightly repand or denticulate; superior surface scabrous to scabridulous, sometimes almost smooth or hispidulous to strigillose, the main veins whitish hirtellous to hirsute, inferior surface puberulous to hispidulous, the main veins sparsely whitish hirtellous to hirsute; lateral veins 5–10 pairs; petiole (0.5)1–4(6) cm. long, 1–3 mm. thick, densely, minutely white puberulous and with much longer white to yellowish hairs, with the periderm flaking off when dry; stipules 5–25 mm. long, white puberulous to tomentose or partly hirtellous to hirsute, caducous.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Figs solitary or sometimes in pairs in the leaf axils or just below the leaves on unbranched, leafless branchlets up to 20 cm. long, or on branched, leafless branchlets up to 20(35) cm. long, or borne on the older branches down to the trunk; peduncle 3–25 mm. long, 1–3 mm. thick; basal bracts 2–3 mm. long.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Receptacle
Receptacle obovoid to pyriform or subglobose, often stipitate, at least when dry, 1.5–5 cm. in diam. when fresh, (1)1.5–3 cm. in diam. when dry, velutinous or densely tomentose to sparsely puberulous or pubescent, sometimes almost glabrous, yellowish to reddish at maturity.
[FZ]

Moraceae, Hutchinson and Dalziel. Flora of West Tropical Africa 1:2. 1958

Morphology General Habit
A tree to 60 ft. high, with pale trunk and widespreading crown
Morphology General Indumentum
Pilose branchlets and scabrid leaves
Ecology
Generally by streams in the savannah regions.
[FWTA]

M. Thulin et al. Flora of Somalia, Vol. 1-4 [updated 2008] https://plants.jstor.org/collection/FLOS

Distribution
N3 widespread in tropical Africa, west to Senegal, south to South Africa.
Ecology
Altitude c. 1100 m.
Note
The distribution of the two subspecies of F. sycomorus overlap in Ethiopia and Somalia.
[FSOM]

Common Names

English
Sycamore Fig, Sycomore fig

Sources

  • Flora Zambesiaca

    • Flora Zambesiaca
    • http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0
  • Flora of Somalia

    • Flora of Somalia
    • http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0
  • Flora of Tropical East Africa

    • Flora of Tropical East Africa
    • http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0
  • Flora of West Tropical Africa

    • Flora of West Tropical Africa
    • http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0
  • Herbarium Catalogue Specimens

    • Digital Image © Board of Trustees, RBG Kew http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
  • Kew Backbone Distributions

    • The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Vascular Plants 2023. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and https://powo.science.kew.org/
    • © Copyright 2022 World Checklist of Vascular Plants. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0
  • Kew Living Collection Database

    • Common Names from Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew Living Collection https://www.kew.org/
  • Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone

    • The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Vascular Plants 2023. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and https://powo.science.kew.org/
    • © Copyright 2022 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Vascular Plants. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0
  • Plants and People Africa

    • Common Names from Plants and People Africa http://www.plantsandpeopleafrica.com/