Ficus altissima (PROSEA)

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Plant Resources of South-East Asia
List of species

Ficus altissima Blume

Family: Moraceae

Vernacular names

  • Indonesia: waringin daun besar, waringin cempedak (Moluccas)
  • Philippines: balete (Tagalog), nonok (Bisaya)
  • Thailand: kraang (Central), sai thong (Nakhon Si Thammarat), lung (Chiang Mai).


India (Sikkim eastwards), Burma (Myanmar), northern Thailand, Indo-China, southern China, Indonesia (Sumatra, Java, Sulawesi), the Philippines (Luzon, Mindoro, Mindanao).


The aerial roots are used as rough cordage for binding, e.g. in Indonesia and India. A yellowish, handmade paper, similar to that made from the bast of paper mulberry ( Broussonetia papyrifera (L.) L'Hér. ex Vent.), can be produced from the inner bark, by soaking it in water and then stretching it out carefully. In Indonesia the root bark is made into good-quality fuses. The stems yield low-quality firewood and the young leaves are occasionally eaten as a vegetable.


A strangling fig tree, epiphytic when young, 20-50 m tall. Leaves coriaceous; stipules 4-5 cm long, short-hairy; petiole 3-8 cm long; blade broadly ovate to oblong, 13-25 cm × 4.5-16 cm, base obtuse or rounded, apex shortly acuminate, smooth, with 6-10 pairs of lateral veins. Fruit an axillary syconium, in pairs when young, 2.5-3 cm × 1.5-2 cm, orange or orange-red, with persistent basal bracts. In Java F. altissima is found in forest up to 1000 m altitude.

Selected sources

6, 20, 28, 30, 71, 115, 160.


M. Brink, P.C.M. Jansen & C.H. Bosch