Ficus racemosa (PROSEA)

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Plant Resources of South-East Asia
List of species

Ficus racemosa L.

Family: Moraceae


  • Ficus glomerata Roxb.
  • Ficus semicostata F.M. Bailey
  • Ficus vesca F. v. Mueller ex Miq.

Vernacular names

  • Cluster fig, blue fig, figwood, red river fig (En)
  • Indonesia: lo, elo (Javanese), loa, lowa (Sundanese), arah (Madurese)
  • Singapore: atteeka
  • Burma: atti, umbar, mayen
  • Cambodia: lovië
  • Laos: dua1 kièng2
  • Thailand: duea kliang (central, northern), duea nam (peninsular), maduea uthumphon (central).
  • Vietnam: sung.


From Ethiopia to India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Burma (Myanmar), Indo-China, southern China, Thailand, Peninsular Malaysia, Sumatra, Java, Borneo, Sulawesi, the Lesser Sunda Islands, New Guinea and northern Australia. Not in the Philippines. In India also cultivated.


The figs, which are rather insipid but sweet, are edible. They are used in various preserves and side-dishes. Leaves are eaten as vegetable and are said to be used against diarrhoea. They are also used as animal fodder and they provide a valuable mulch. In India the tree is also cultivated as host plant for lac insects, shade tree for coffee and a rootstock for Ficus carica L. The latex is used in production of water-resistant paper and as plasticizer for Hevea rubber.


  • Deciduous (in drier areas) cauliflorous tree, 20-30 m tall, buttressed, often with irregular crown.
  • Infructescences in big clusters on branching, leafless twigs on stem and larger branches.
  • Fruit a fig, pyriform to subglobose, 2.5-5 cm in diameter, rose-red when ripe.

In open, deciduous forest, common along river banks in lowlands. Four varieties have been distinguished, mainly based on differences in leaf form and hairiness.

Selected sources

  • Backer, C.A. & Bakhuizen van den Brink, R.C., 1963 1968. Flora of Java. 3 Volumes. Noordhoff, Groningen, the Netherlands.
  • Corner, E.J.H., 1965. Check-list of Ficus in Asia and Australasia with keys to identification. The Gardens' Bulletin Singapore 21: 1-186.
  • Corner, E.J.H., 1988. Wayside trees of Malaya. 3rd ed. 2 Volumes. The Malaysian Nature Society. United Selangor Press, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. 774 pp.
  • Dassanayake, M.D. & Fosberg, F.R. (Editors), 1980-. A revised handbook to the Flora of Ceylon. Vol. 1-6. Published for the Smithsonian Institution and the National Science Foundation, Washington, D.C., by Amerind Publishing Co., Pvt. Ltd., New Delhi.
  • Heyne, K., 1927. De nuttige planten van Nederlandsch Indië [The useful plants of the Dutch East Indies]. 2nd ed. 3 Volumes. Departement van Landbouw, Nijverheid en Handel in Nederlandsch Indië. 1953 pp.
  • Koorders, S.H. & Valeton, Th., 1894 1914. Bijdrage tot de kennis der boomsoorten van Java [Contribution to the knowledge of tree species of Java]. 13 Volumes. G. Kolff & Co., Batavia.
  • Mansfeld, R. & Schultze Motel, J., 1986. Verzeichnis landwirtschaftlicher und gärtnerischer Kuturpflanzen. 2nd ed. 4 Volumes. Springer Verlag, Berlin. 1998 pp.
  • Ochse, J.J., 1927. Indische vruchten [Indonesian fruits]. Volkslectuur, Weltevreden. 330 pp.
  • The Wealth of India, Raw materials (various editors), 1948-1976. 11 Volumes. Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, New Delhi.


P.C.M. Jansen, J. Jukema, L.P.A. Oyen, T.G. van Lingen