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Family Moraceae
Ficus congesta Roxb.

Scientific names Common names
Covellia congesta (Roxb.) Miq.          Kalfagang (Mindanao)
Ficus caulothyrsa K.Schum. & Lauterb.       Malatibig (Tagalog)
Ficus chalmersii King    Cluster fig (Engl.)
Ficus congesta Roxb.    Red leaf fig (Engl.)
Ficus congesta var. menadana (Miq.) Corner     
Ficus fasciculata F.Muell. ex Benth.     
Ficus fasciculata var. subopposita Benth.     
Ficus menadana Miq.     
Ficus trichostyla Warb.     
Ficus congesta is an accepted species. KEW: Plants of the World Online
Some compilations list Ficus congesta var. congesta as a synonym.

Other vernacular names
AUSTRALIA: Dak-orr-pa (Djabugay), Dagurrba (Ngadjon).

Gen info
- Ficus is a genus of about 850 species of wood trees, vines, shrubs, epiphytes, and hemiepiphytes in the family Moraceae. They are collectively called fig trees or figs.  Fruits of most species are edible. (6)
- Etymology: Red leaf refers to color of new leaves when they first unfurl.

•  Ficus congesta is a non-straggling fig. Seldom exceeding 30 cm dbh. Leaves: Petioles and twigs produce a milky exudate. Leaf blades about 12-25 x 8-13 cm. Oil dots visible on the underside of the leaf blade with the aid of a lens. Stipules about 1-2.5 cm long and hairy on the outside. Bark on the younger rusty, papery, scaly. Bark on the older twigs strong and fibrous when stripped. Flowers: Male flowers: Flowers produced around the ostiole, perianth fused to form an operculum rupturing to expose the anther. Female flowers: Perianth fused into a tube without lobes. Style and stigma bright pinkish red. Bracts at the base of the fig, three. Lateral bracts not present on the outside of the fig body. Fruits: Figs borne on special leafless branches on the stem and also on the leafy twigs. Figs pedunculate, depressed globular, about 15 x 18 mm. Orifice closed by interlocking apical and internal bracts. (3)

• This small rainforest fig, is often found growing along edges, creek banks, or in regrowth after disturbance. Petioles and twigs produce a milky exudate when broken. Leaves are simple and alternate with blades about 12-25 cm long x 8-13 cm wide, with a slightly sandpapery texture. Young leaves are red or a coppery brown, and are usually quite prominent. Stipules about 1-2.5 cm long and hairy on the outside. (4)

• Figs are not actually fruits, but highly modified inflorescences with the tiny flowers contained inside. These syconia or “Figs” are borne on leafy twigs and on special branches along the trunk, often down to ground level, depressed-globular, 15-18 mm diam., ripening yellow and eventually brown. (4)

- Native to the Philippines. (1)
- In forests, often near streams, mostly at low elevation.
- Also native to Bismarck Archipelago, Maluku, New Guinea, Northern Territory, Queensland, Solomon Is., Sulawesi. (2)


- Fruits are edible.
- In southern Mindanao, B'laan tribe use poultice for treatment of wounds, hemorrhoids, rashes, boils, breast cancer; also used for viral infections. (5)
- Fiber: String made from tree for fishing lines and nets. (4)

No studies found.


Novembeer 2023

                                                 PHOTOS / ILLUSTRATIONS
IMAGE SOURCE: Moraceae : Ficus congesta / Figs / Copyright © 2013 by J F Barcelona (contact: barceljf@hotmail.com) [ref. DOL52015] / Non-Commercial Use / image modified / click on image or link to go to source page / Phytoimages.siu.edu
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: Moraceae: Ficus congesta fruit / Copyright © ryanhughes / CC BY NC / Non-commercial use / image modified / click on image or link to go to source page / iNaturalist

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Ficus congesta / Co's Digital Flora of the Philippines
Ficus congesta / KEW: Plants of the World Online
Ficus congesta / EJH Corner / Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants
Ficus congesta / JCU: James Cook University: Australia
Biodiversity of ethnomedicinal plants from the B’laan Tribe in Mount Matutum Protected Landscape, Southern Mindanao, Philippines / Malona V Alinsug, Mark Harold G Estandarte, Eden May N Somodio, Mariel Hade J Sabarita, Custer C Deocaris /  BIODIVERSITAS, 2022; 23(1): pp 554-563 / pISSN: 1412-033X / eISSN: 2085-4722 / DOI: 10.13057/biodiv.d230160

Ficus / Wikipedia

DOI: It is not uncommon for links on studies/sources to change. Copying and pasting the information on the search window or using the DOI (if available) will often redirect to the new link page. (Citing and Using a (DOI) Digital Object Identifier)

                                                            List of Understudied Philippine Medicinal Plants
                                          New plant names needed
The compilation now numbers over 1,400 medicinal plants. While I believe there are hundreds more that can be added to the collection, they are becoming more difficult to find. If you have a plant to suggest for inclusion, native or introduced, please email the info: scientific name (most helpful), local plant name (if known), any known folkloric medicinal use, and, if possible, a photo. Your help will be greatly appreciated.

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