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Ficus natalensis natalensis Hochstetter


(Life; Embryophyta (plants); Angiospermae (flowering plants); Eudicotyledons; Order: Rosales; Family: Moraceae; Genus: Ficus; Subgenus: Urostigma; Section: Galoglychia; Subsection: Chlamydodorae)


Ficus natalensis natalensis Hochstetter, 1845





Ficus_natalensis_natalensis Ficus_natalensis_natalensis


Ficus natalensis Simon van Noort




From north-eastern South Africa to Uganda and Kenya.


Pollinators: Elisabethiella allotriozoonoides (Grandi), Elisabethiella socotrensis Mayr, Elisabethiella stuckenbergi Grandi, Alfonsiella brongersmai Wiebes, Alfonsiella longiscapa Joseph & Alfonsiella natalensis Wiebes, 1972. Four of these species: Alfonsiella brongersmai, A. natalensis, A. longiscapa and E. allotriozoonoides have been recorded together in the same fig crop in Uganda (Compton et al., 2009). Elisabethiella socotrensis often develops together  with E. stuckenbergi in the same fig in South Africa (Cornille et al., 2011).


Forest (both wet and dry), and woodland in rocky places, up to an altitude of 2200m.


(after C.C. Berg in Berg & Wiebes 1992):

Biological form

shrub or tree up to 30 m tall, terrestrial or hemi-epiphytic


shape & colour

oblong to obovate, (sub)coriaceous, apex acuminate, base acute, both surface glabrous



2.5-10 x 1-5 cm


lateral veins

6-13 pairs, midrib not reaching the apex of the lamina



0.2-3 cm long, glabrous


0.2-1 cm long, glabrous, caducous



in pairs in the leaf axils or just below the leaves, initially enclosed by bud covers



globose, Æ 1.5-2 cm (fresh), glabrous



0.2-1 cm long


basal bracts

2-2,5 mm long, caducous


Berg, C.C. 1988. New taxa and combinations in Ficus (Moraceae) in Africa. Kew Bulletin 43: 77- 97.

Berg, C.C. 1989. Moraceae. In: R.M. Polhill (ed.) Flora of Tropical East Africa. A.A. Balkema, Rotterdam.

Berg, C.C. 1990. Distribution of African taxa of Ficus (Moraccae). [Proc. 12th AETFAT]. Mitt. inst. Allg. Bot. Hamburg 23: 401-405.

Berg, C.C. 1990. Annotated check-list of the Ficus species of the African floristic region, with special reference and a key to the taxa of southern Africa. Kirkia, 13: 253-291.

Berg, C.C. 1991. Moraceae. In: E. Launert & G.Y. Pope (eds) Flora Zambesiaca 9, 6. Natural History Museum, London.

Berg, C.C. & Hijman, M.E.E. 1989. Chapter 11. Ficus. Flora of Tropical East Africa (ed. R.M. Polhill). 43-86. A.A. Balkema, Rotterdam.

Berg, C.C., Hijman, M.E.E. & Weerdenburg, J.C.A. 1984. Moracées (incl. Cécropiacées). Flore du Gabon 26: 1276.

Berg, C.C., Hijman, M.E.E. & Weerdenburg, J.C.A. 1985. Moracées (incl. Cécropiacées). Flore du Cameroun 28: 1298.

Berg, C.C. & Wiebes, J.T. 1992. African fig trees and fig wasps. Koninklijke Nederlandse Akademie van Wetenschappen. Amsterdam, 1-298 pp.

Bouček Z., A. Watsham & J.T. Wiebes, 1981. The fig wasp fauna of the receptacles of Ficus thonningii (Hymenoptera, Chalcidoidea). Tijdschrift Voor Entomologie, 124(5): 149-233.

Burrows, J. & Burrows, S. 2003. Figs of southern & south-central Africa. Umdaus Press, Hatfield. 379 pp.

Compton, S.G., Grehan, K. & van Noort, S. 2009. A fig crop pollinated by three or more species of agaonid fig wasps. African Entomology 17: 215-222.

Cornille, A., Underhill, J.G., Cruaud, A, Hossaert-McKey, M., Johnson, S. D., Tolley, K.A., Kjellberg, F., van Noort, S., Proffit, M. 2012. Floral volatiles, pollinator sharing and diversification in the fig-wasp mutualism: insights from Ficus natalensis and its two wasp pollinators (South Africa). Proceedings of the Royal Society B 279: 1731-1739


Photographs and distribution map © Simon van Noort (Iziko Museums) or © Jean-Yves Rasplus (INRA).

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Ficus persicifolia Warb.

Web authors Simon van Noort (Iziko South African Museum)

and Jean-Yves Rasplus (INRA, France)

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