Ficus microcarpa (PROSEA)

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Plant Resources of South-East Asia
List of species

Ficus microcarpa L. f.

Protologue: Suppl. pl.: 442 (1781).


  • Ficus cairnsii Warb. (1905),
  • Ficus retusiformis Lév. & Vaniot (1910),
  • Ficus retusa auct. non L.f.
  • Ficus prolixa Vieill. & Depl.

Vernacular names

  • Chinese banyan, laurel fig, Malayan banyan (En)
  • Indonesia: preh (Javanese)
  • Malaysia: jawi jawi, jejawi (general)
  • Papua New Guinea: magi (Barakau, Central Province)
  • Philippines: baleteng-liitan (Filipino)
  • Thailand: sai khao (Nakhon Si Thammarat), sai rayong (Nakhon Ratchasima), sai yoi bai thu (central)
  • Vietnam: gừa


From Sri Lanka and India to Indo-China, southern China, the Ryukyu Islands, Thailand, and throughout Malesia towards the Solomon Islands, Australia, the Caroline and Marianas Islands, New Caledonia, the Loyalty Islands and Palau.


The root, bark and leaf latex are used medicinally to treat wounds, headache and toothache. The bark and leaf latex is taken internally to treat colic and liver trouble. In the Admiralty Islands, patients with fever or headache perspire in the steam of boiling young leaves. The trees are often planted for shade and in cemeteries.


  • An evergreen, small or medium-sized banyan up to 25 m tall, developing numerous slender aerial roots from the branches, bark surface grey.
  • Leaves usually alternate, often asymmetrical, elliptical-obovate to elliptical-ovate, 3-12 cm × 1.5-9 cm, base cuneate, apex blunt or slightly pointed, margin entire, with 5-9 pairs of veins, usually glabrous, stipules 1-1.5 cm long.
  • Figs monoecious, axillary, paired, sessile, pyriform to subglobose, 8-12 mm in diameter, glabrous, ripening purple to black; male and female flowers sessile, with 3(-4) tepals, male flowers with 1 stamen.

F. microcarpa grows in widely varying locations, from rocky sea coasts to limestone hills, and from swampy ground near the sea to montane forest.

Selected sources

167, 248, 281, 284, 478, 608, 856, 921, 1274, 1289, 1380. medicinals


  • J.P. Rojo, F.C. Pitargue & M.S.M. Sosef