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Ficus racemosa - L.

Common Name Cluster Fig
Family Moraceae
USDA hardiness 9-12
Known Hazards The sap is poisonous and should not be ingested, it can also cause skin irritations so wear gloves when pruning and if you get sap on your skin rinse off immediately with water.
Habitats In open, deciduous forest, common along river banks in lowlands[303 ]. Moist areas, beside rivers and streams, occasionally in streams at elevations of 100 - 1,700 metres in southern China[266 ].
Range E. Asia - Southern China, Indian subcontinent, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, New Guinea, Australia.
Edibility Rating    (3 of 5)
Other Uses    (2 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (2 of 5)
Care (info)
Tender Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Ficus racemosa Cluster Fig

Ficus racemosa Cluster Fig
wikimedia.org Vinayaraj


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Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of lolypop
Ficus racemosa is a deciduous Tree growing to 12 m (39ft) by 12 m (39ft) at a fast rate.
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 10. The flowers are pollinated by Wasps.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: mildly acid, neutral and basic (mildly alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map


Covellia glomerata (Roxb.) Miq. Covellia lanceolata (Buch.-Ham. ex Roxb.) Miq. Covellia mollis Miq. Ficus acidula King Ficus chittagonga Miq. Ficus glomerata Roxb. Ficus henrici King Ficus lanceolata Buch.-Ham. ex Roxb. Ficus leucocarpa (Miq.) Miq. Ficus lucescens Blume Ficus mollis (Miq.) Miq. Ficus semicostata F.M.Bailey Ficus trichocarpa glabrescens Engl. Ficus vesca F.Muell. ex Miq.

Plant Habitats

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Fruit  Leaves  Root  Shoots
Edible Uses: Drink

Fruit - raw or cooked[2 , 272 ]. Sweet, but rather insipid[303 ]. They are used in various preserves and side-dishes[303 ]. Unripe fruits are pickled and used in soups[301 ]. The fruit can be dried and ground into a flour then eaten with sugar and milk[2 , 301 ]. The powder from roasted fruits forms a valuable breakfast food[301 ]. In times of scarcity, the unripe fruit is pounded, mixed with flour and made into cakes[2 ]. The fruit is up to 25mm in diameter[266 ]. The leaves are eaten as vegetable[303 ]. Young shoots are eaten raw or cooked[301 ]. The roots can be cut to provide a liquid that can be drunk as water[2 ].

References   More on Edible Uses

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.
Antidiarrhoeal  Antiinflammatory  Astringent  Refrigerant  Tonic

The leaves are used in the treatment of diarrhoea[303 ]. The bark is astringent[601 ]. It is used in the treatment of haematuria, menorrhagia, and haemoptysis[601 ]. The fruit is astringent[601 ]. It is used in the treatment of haematuria, menorrhagia, and haemoptysis[601 ]. The fruit, when filled with sugar, is considered to be very cooling[601 ]. A fluid that exudes from the cut roots of the tree is considered to be a powerful tonic when drunk for several days together[601 ]. The sap is a popular remedy in Bombay, that is applied locally to mumps and other inflammatory glandular enlargements, and is also used in the treatment of gonorrhoea[601 ]. The root is chewed as a treatment for tonsilitis[514 ].

References   More on Medicinal Uses

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Other Uses

Containers  Fodder  Fuel  Furniture  Latex  Paper  Rootstock  Soil stabilization  Tannin  Wood

Agroforestry Uses: The tree is cultivated to provide shade for coffee trees[303 ]. It is used for slope, gully and river bank stabilization because it produces a deep and wide-spreading root system[303 ]. The leaves provide a valuable mulch[303 ]. Other Uses: Used as a rootstock for the common fig, Ficus carica[303 ]. The bark contains tannin[272 ]. The latex is used in the production of water-resistant paper and as plasticizer for Hevea rubber[303 , 317 ]. The straw-coloured wood is coarse-grained, light in weight, soft, and porous. It is not a durable wood, though it lasts well under water, and hence is used for well frames. The wood is used for low-quality purposes and items such as minor construction, cheap furniture, packing cases, mouldings, laundry tubs, fruit crates etc[272 , 601 , 611 , 719 ]. The wood is used as a fuel[272 , 611 ].

Special Uses

Carbon Farming  Food Forest

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

Agroforestry Services: Crop shade  Fodder: Insect  Industrial Crop: Hydrocarbon  Management: Standard  Regional Crop

Ficus species are common and form an important element of lowland rain forest, both as canopy and understorey trees. Most species prefer per-humid forest, but several are found in areas with a monsoon climate and in teak forest, including locations where the soil dries out[303 ]. Succeeds in full sun to partial shade[710 ]. Succeeds in most soils that are reasonably moist but well-drained[710 ]. Cluster fig is resistant to fire[303 ]. Fig trees have a unique form of fertilization, each species relying on a single, highly specialized species of wasp that is itself totaly dependant upon that fig species in order to breed. The trees produce three types of flower; male, a long-styled female and a short-styled female flower, often called the gall flower. All three types of flower are contained within the structure we usually think of as the fruit. The female fig wasp enters a fig and lays its eggs on the short styled female flowers while pollinating the long styled female flowers. Wingless male fig wasps emerge first, inseminate the emerging females and then bore exit tunnels out of the fig for the winged females. Females emerge, collect pollen from the male flowers and fly off in search of figs whose female flowers are receptive. In order to support a population of its pollinator, individuals of a Ficus spp. Must flower asynchronously. A population must exceed a critical minimum size to ensure that at any time of the year at least some plants have overlap of emmission and reception of fig wasps. Without this temporal overlap the short-lived pollinator wasps will go locally extinct[413 ].

Carbon Farming

  • Agroforestry Services: Crop shade  Plants providing crop shade especially trees.
  • Fodder: Insect  Plants grown for useful fodder insects.
  • Industrial Crop: Hydrocarbon  Materials, chemicals and energy include bioplastics, rubber, biomass products gasoline, jet fuel, diesel, butane, propane, biogas. Plants are usually resprouting plants and saps.
  • Management: Standard  Plants grow to their standard height. Harvest fruit, seeds, or other products. Non-Destructive management systems.
  • Regional Crop  These crops have been domesticated and cultivated regionally but have not been adopted elsewhere and are typically not traded globally, Examples in this broad category include perennial cottons and many nuts and staple fruits.

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

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Plant Propagation

Seed - germinates best at a temperature around 20°c[200 ]. Air layering[200 ]. Tip cuttings around 4 - 12cm long, taken from lateral branches[200 ].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Adam, Adumbra, Anai, Arah, Athi, Attikka, Attimara, Batbar, Blue fig, Co dua, Country fig, Cowarah, Crattock, Daduri, Dermi, Dimeri, Dhumbru khausa, Dumri, Dumur, Elo, Goolar, Gular, Jagadumur, Jagana gulo, Jagya dimoru, Jagya dumur, Ju guo rong, Lelka, Loa, Loa dari, Lo, Loh, Lovie thom, Madier, Maduea-uthumpon, Palak, Pale, Pohon ara kalimera, Red river fig, Redwood fig, Stem-fruit fig, Sung, Tak:piang, Tang bule, Thei-chek, Thei thot, Trimbal, Umar, Umber, Umri, Plaksha, Kahimal, Kaim, Keol, Pakar, Pakur, Bassari, Dhedumbara, Gandhaumbara, Pepri, Badijuvvi, Jati, Jovi, Kallal, Kurugatti, Suvi, Basari, Juvvi, Kari-basari, Bakri, Chakkila, Chela.

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Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Africa, Asia, Australia, Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, East Africa, East Timor, Egypt, Ethiopia, Hawaii, Himalayas, India, Indochina, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, North Africa, Northeastern India, Pacific, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, PNG, SE Asia, Sikkim, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, Timor-Leste, USA, Vietnam,

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

None Known

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status : This taxon has not yet been assessed

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
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Ficus caricaFig, Edible fig, Fig CommonTree6.0 6-10 MLMHNDM422
Ficus coronataSandpaper FigTree12.0 8-11  LMHSNM313
Ficus elasticaRubber Plant. India Rubber TreeTree50.0 9-12 FLMHSNM223
Ficus macrophyllaMoreton Bay FigTree35.0 9-11  LMHSNM103
Ficus palmataWild Fig, Punjab figTree9.0 0-0  LMHNDM212
Opuntia ficus-indicaPrickly Pear, Barbary figPerennial5.0 8-11  LMND323
Rubus magnificus Shrub0.0 -  LMHSNM201

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.


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Botanical References

Links / References

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A special thanks to Ken Fern for some of the information used on this page.

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