Ficus septica (PROSEA)

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Plant Resources of South-East Asia
Introduction
List of species


Ficus septica Burm.f.


Protologue: Fl. ind.: 226 (1768).

Synonyms

Ficus hauili Blanco (1837), Ficus casearia F. v. Mueller ex Benth. (1873), Ficus kaukauensis Hayata (1918).

Vernacular names

  • Indonesia: awar-awar (general), ki ciyat (Sundanese), tagalolo (Sulawesi, Ternate)
  • Papua New Guinea: omia (Kurereda, Northern Province), manibwohebwahe (Wagawaga, Milne Bay), bahuerueru (Vanapa, Central Province)
  • Philippines: hauili (Filipino), kauili (Tagalog), sio (Bikol).

Distribution

The Ryukyu Islands, Taiwan, throughout Malesia except for Peninsular Malaysia, the Solomon Islands to Vanuatu and northern Australia (Queensland).

Uses

In the Moluccas and New Guinea, the roots are chewed as an antidote, the latex of the leaves and fruits is used to produce purging, and the fruits are also emetic. In Papua New Guinea, the leaves are applied to cure colds, coughs, fever and fungal and bacterial diseases, whereas root scrapings or leaves have been mixed with water and drunk to cure dysentery or diarrhoea. The crushed root, mixed with coconut water, is drunk daily to treat urinary tract infections. In the Philippines, the leaves are applied for rheumatism and used as a sudorific to treat headache. The roots are used as a poultice in boils and a decoction is prescribed as diuretic. The latex is used to cure certain varieties of herpes, and wounds caused by poisonous fish. In Java, the dried leaves were formerly used as a substitute for opium or mixed with it.

Observations

A small to medium-sized tree up to 25 m tall, bark surface pale grey or white; leaves alternate or decussate, elliptical, ovate or oblong, 10-28 cm × 4-13.5 cm, base cordate to cuneate, apex acuminate, margin entire, with 6-12 pairs of lateral veins, glabrous, stipules 1-4 cm long; figs axillary or cauliflorous, paired, obovoid to depressed subglobose, to 15 mm in diameter, ripening white to yellowish; male flowers with 1 stamen, female flowers with united tepals. F. septica is found in secondary rain forest and scrub vegetation on various soil types, up to 1800 m altitude.

Selected sources

137, 140, 202, 248, 281, 430, 580, 597, 603, 604, 606, 856, 1178.

Authors

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