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1 June 2007 A GUIDE TO THE FIG TREES OF WESTERN TANZANIA WITH SPECIAL EMPHASIS ON GOMBE AND MAHALE NATIONAL PARKS
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Abstract

An overview is given of the vegetation of the Gombe and Mahale National Parks in western Tanzania. The paper then focuses on the 24 fig trees of this area and after a brief overview of the natural history, keys are provided to identify the species. Each species is briefly treated with a short description, local names, habitat and specimen citations, as well as conservation assessments.

INTRODUCTION

Western Tanzania is situated at a meeting point of two main phytochoria: the Guineo-Congolian and the Zambezian Centres of Endemism (White, 1983). This results in a high diversity of Ficus and other plant species. Due to a varied topography there are several different types of vegetation in this area.

Many animals, including primates, eat Ficus parts, especially the so-called fruits, the figs. The fact that fig trees are often enormous, producing large amounts of fruits, and that they have staggered fruiting seasons make these plants very important in the diet of many animals. To help field identification of fig tree species in Western Tanzania we have produced this guide.

WESTERN TANZANIA: AN INTRODUCTION TO THE NATIONAL PARKS OF GOMBE AND MAHALE

Gombe and Mahale National Parks lie in the western part of Tanzania (figure 1). They are among the few areas in Africa which harbour that rare and endangered species of ape, the eastern chimpanzee Pan troglodytes schweinfurthii (Giglioli, 1872). This primate probably occurs here due to the high plant diversity coupled to the presence of different vegetation types.

Figure 1.

Location of Gombe National Park (northern black square) and Mahale National Park (southern black square) within Tanzania; dotted lines are national borders.

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In Gombe National Park intensive studies have been carried out on chimpanzees (van Lawick-Goodall, 1968; Wrangham 1975, 1977). Literature on vegetation is much scarcer, and consists mainly of a forest survey and checklist (Clutton-Brock & Gillett, 1979). In Mahale Mountains National Park chimpanzees have also been studied in depth (Nishida, 1968, 1990); literature on vegetation is almost non-existent, although over 600 plant species have been recorded (Nishida & Uehara, 1983; Wakibara, pers. comm., own observations).

As to climate, the dry season usually runs from May to October, with the rains coming in November and lasting until April. Annual rainfall in Gombe National Park was 1450–1710 mm over the years 1968–1970 (Clutton-Brock & Gillett, 1979). Annual rainfall in Mahale Mountains National Park varied between 1419 mm at Bilenge (mean of 1978–1982) to 1835 mm (mean of 1973–88) at Kansyana Camp (Moore, 1998; Turner, 2000).

Gombe National Park was established in 1967 with a coverage area of about 32 km2 and is one of the smallest national parks in Tanzania. It is located on the eastern shore of Lake Tanganyika, in Kigoma Region, at 4°40′S, 29°38′E, some 15 km north of the town of Kigoma. From the shingle beach of the lake shore the ground rises steeply, with the lower slopes mostly denuded and covered with grassland and sparse woodland. The middle slopes carry dense forest, though the steep ridges can be almost bare. The upper slopes are covered with grassland and woodland; the escarpment crest has giant heath (Erica) and Protea vegetation (Clutton-Brock & Gillett, 1979). Elevation ranges from 773 m above sea level at the lake to over 1500 m along the escarpment. The whole park is divided by a series of steep ridges, separated by 15 valleys, some of them dry and some with water running all year from the top of the escarpment to the lake (east to west).

The vegetation types found in the park are classified into six major types:

  • Evergreen riverine forest

  • Deciduous forest

  • Thicket vine and tangle

  • Miombo woodland

  • Montane grassland

  • Ridge top grassland

The evergreen riverine forest is found in the valley bottoms, starting as a narrow strip near the top of the escarpment and becoming wider nearer the lakeshore. The most visible constituents are tall trees up to 30 m high. Common trees species include Ficus vallischoudae, F. thonningii, Elaeis guineensis Jacq., Albizia glaberrima (Schumach. & Thonn.) Benth., Pseudospondias microcarpa (A.Rich.) Engl., Trichilia prieuriana A.Juss., T. dregeana Sond., Anthocleista grandiflora Gilg, Newtonia buchananii (Baker) Gilbert & Boutique, Myrianthus arboreus P.Beauv. and Pycnanthus angolensis (Welw.) Exell. Common shrubs of the understorey include Monanthotaxis poggei Engl. & Diels, Whitfieldia elongata C.B.Clarke, Ficus asperifolia, F. ottoniifolia and Leea guineensis G.Don. Valleys that support the main riverine forests are Mitumba, Mkenke and Nyasanga.

Deciduous forest is found on the floors and slopes of drier valleys. Common tree species include Pycnanthus angolensis, Pterygota mildbraedii Engl., Sterculia tragacantha Lindl., Synsepalum cerasiferum (Welw.) T.D.Penn., Lecaniodiscus fraxinifolius Baker and Albizia glaberrima. This vegetation type is common in Upper Rutanga, Upper Mkenke, Kahama and Linda Valleys.

Thicket vine and tangle is a vegetation type found on the boundaries between woodland and forest. Dominant plant species are vines and trees. In some areas the understorey becomes very thick and difficult to pass through. Common climbers and vines are Saba comorensis (Bojer) Pichon, Dictyophleba lucida (K.Schum.) Pierre, Dioscorea schimperana Kunth, D. hirtiflora Benth., Adenia rumicifolia Engl., A. gracilis Harms, Cayratia gracilis (Guill. & Perr.) Suess., Cissus rubiginosa Planch., C. faucicola Wild & R.B.Drumm., Cyphostemma adenocaule Wild & R.B.Drumm., Sabicea orientalis Wernham, Clerodendrum schweinfurthii Guerke, C. scandens P.Beauv., Dalbergia malangensis E.C.Sousa and Ampelocissus cavicaulis Planch. Common tangle species are Keetia gueinzii (Sond.) Bridson, K. hispidum (Benth.) Bridson, Mussaenda arcuata Poir. and Grewia platyclada K.Schum. Trees and shrubs include Albizia glaberrima, Parinari curatellifolia Benth., Bridelia cathartica G.Bertol. and Oxyanthus speciosus DC. This vegetation type is common in almost all valleys, especially on hillsides.

Miombo woodland is common on the ridge tops and upper slopes. It has a low canopy and few species of grass and herbs in the understorey. Common tree species are Brachystegia microphylla Harms, B. longifolia Benth., B. bussei Harms, Dalbergia nitidula Baker, Afzelia quanzensis Welw., Diplorhynchus condylocarpon (Muell.Arg.) Pichon, Uapaca kirkiana Muell.Arg., U. nitida Muell.Arg., U. sansibarica Pax, Terminalia mollis Teijsm. & Binn., Pericopsis angolensis (Baker) Meeuwen and Schrebera trichoclada Welw. Common shrubs are Maprounea africana Muell.Arg., Dichrostachys cinerea (L.) Wight & Arn., Rothmannia engleriana (K.Schum.) Keay and Multidentia crassa (Hiern) Bridson & Verdc. Common grass species are Loudetia simplex (Nees) C.E.Hubb., Panicum maximum Jacq. and Hyparrhenia filipendula (Krauss) Stapf.

The park also has two types of grassland vegetation: the montane grassland, and ridge top grassland with scattered trees.

Common grass species in the montane grassland are Loudetia arundinacea Steud., Pennisetum polystachyon (L.) Schult., Eragrostis tremula (Lam.) Steud. and Imperata cylindrica (L.) P.Beauv. Common species of the few shrubs and herbs in this vegetation type are Protea micans Welw. subsp. suffruticosa (Beard) Chisumpa & Brummitt, Securidaca longipedunculata Fresen., Clematis scabiosifolia DC. and Aspilia africana (Pers.) C.D.Adams. This vegetation type is found at the top of the escarpment between 1400–1500 m above sea level.

The ridge top grassland with scattered trees is dominated by the grass species of Hyparrhenia filipendula, Loudetia simplex, Pennisetum purpureum Schumach., Setaria homonyma (Steud.) Chiov., Imperata cylindrica and Eleusine indica (L.) Gaertn. Common scattered trees are Ficus mucuso, Gardenia ternifolia Schumach. & Thonn. and Pavetta schumanniana K.Schum.

This vegetation type is common on some of the dry ridges and their lower slopes.

Mahale Mountains National Park was established in 1985 with a total area of 1577 km2 and is located some 150 kilometres south of Gombe National Park on the shores of Lake Tanganyika, Kigoma Region, roughly at 06°15′S, 29°55′E. There is a series of NW to SE-oriented mountain ridges and peaks; the main peak is Mount Nkungwe at 2460 m. The mountains are intersected by many valleys, some with permanent streams (Turner, 2000). The lowest elevation is at 773 m above sea level at the lake.

The Mahale Mountains support vegetation which is rich in species and varied in community types. The vegetation can tentatively be divided into the following types (extracted and adapted from  http://jinrui.zool.kyoto-u.ac.jp/ChimpHome/mahaleE.html, Lovett 1994, Vollesen & Bidgood 1997, Turner 2000, Wakibara & Mnaya 2002).

Forest types (mainly on the Western slopes):

  • Low-altitude forest: Xylopia-Pycnanthus semi-evergreen forest, 780–1300 m

  • Forest with Anthocleista - Blighia - Bridelia - Cassipourea - Celtis - Diospyros - Ficalhoa - Kigelia - Lecaniodiscus - Newtonia - Pseudospondias - Pterygota - Rothmannia - Sterculia – Syzygium, common, 1100–1400 m

  • Gallery forest dominated by Ficus vallischoudae

  • Erythrophleum or Croton sylvaticus Hochst. or Senna secondary forest

  • Montane forest with Croton megalocarpus Hutch. and Parinari, 1300–1800 m

  • Julbernardia seretii (De Wild.) Troupin forest at higher levels

  • Montane forest with Afrocarpus, Myrsine and Nuxia (patches)

  • Montane bamboo ‘forest’ (Sinarundinaria)

Woodland types:

  • Brachystegia boehmii Taub./B. spiciformis Benth. woodland, the most common vegetation type in the park, 900–1800 m

  • Combretum-Uapaca woodland with Annona and Diplorhynchus

Wooded grassland types:

  • Acacia wooded grassland with Imperata and Pennisetum, at low altitudes

  • Terminalia mollis Teijsm. & Binn.,Pterocarpus tinctorius Welw. fire-degraded wooded grassland, at low altitudes

  • Terminalia mollis, Dombeya rotundifolia Planch., Hyparrhenia fire-degraded wooded grassland, above 1800 m

  • Dombeya-Erythrina wooded grassland, above 1800 m

Bushland types:

  • Montane bushland

  • Protea-Ricinodendron montane bushland or bushed grassland

Grassland types:

  • Riverine grassland in valleys

  • Montane grassland

  • swamp and marsh grassland, mbuga grassland

In addition, other types of various secondary stages caused chiefly by human disturbance are scattered throughout the park especially in some of the forest types.

No checklists of plant species of Mahale Mountain National Park have been published, and there are no detailed vegetation descriptions.

NATURAL HISTORY OF FIG TREES IN GENERAL

Ficus species (in our area) are shrubs or trees, with alternate leaves (rarely sub-opposite) and with white latex in most parts. An account of all species in East Africa is given in Berg & Hijman (1989). The root system of most Ficus species is extensive, and the crown is often large and dense; when competition for water or light arises, Ficus will often out-compete other species.

Many Ficus species start life as epiphytes, when fig seeds have been excreted by birds or mammals on branches of other trees. The young Ficus will send down roots along the trunk of the host tree, and when these reach the ground, the roots and branches of the Ficus will start to grow rapidly, and will soon out compete the host by both root competition and heavy shade cast by the dense crown. Because the trunk of the host is enveloped by the Ficus roots the death of the host is usually attributed to ‘strangling’.

Not all Ficus species start life as epiphytes, and it is not clear whether there are any obligatory epiphytes. Some species seem to be obligate terrestrials (e.g. F. amadiensis, F. exasperata, F. glumosa, F. ingens, F. sycomorus, F. vallischoudae), and some of these (F. glumosa, F. ingens) can grow in dry localities such as on large rocks; again, the extensive root system will enable the tree to find water even in such a site.

The flowers and fruits are on the inside of a hollow globe, the fig, with a small opening at the top to allow pollination. The intricate system of Ficus pollination is described briefly in Beentje (1988). Here we will restrict ourselves to explaining that the fig is not a real fruit but a fleshy envelope with the flowers, and later the fruits, on the hollow inside – accessible by a tiny slit or hole at the top, the ostiole. Each species of Ficus usually has its own dedicated species of fig-wasp, which breeds in the figs and also cross-pollinates them. The way the pollination-pollinator interaction is set up results in all Ficus species having staggered flowering seasons (‘inter-tree asynchrony’); the fig-wasps need to find another flowering tree within days of their emergence. Therefore, within a species, there is no specific flowering season, and at any given time, some trees may be bare of figs, some may have unripe figs, and some may have ripe ones. Figs are therefore available all year round, and most species fruit in very large numbers. These factors make figs a reliable food source for fruit-eating animals.

Mammals eating figs, observed in East Africa in general, include several species of fruit-bat (Megachiroptera, Pteropodidae), monkeys (Cercopithecus spp.), chimpanzee, tree hyrax Dendrohyrax arboreus (A. Smith 1827), several squirrel species (Sciuridae spp.), potto Perodicticus potto Müller 1766, bushbabies (Galagidae) and humans, and possibly genet Genetta genetta (Linnaeus 1758), African civet Civettictis civetta (Schreber 1776) and several species of mongoose (Herpestidae). Fallen fruit are eaten by bushbuck Tragelaphus scriptus (Pallas, 1766), duikers (Cephalophini), suni Neotragus moschatus (Von Dueben, 1846), bush pig Potamochoerus larvatus (F. Cuvier, 1822) and small rodents. Birds eating figs include hornbills (Tockus and Bycanistes spp.), turacos (Tauraco and Corythaeola spp.), pigeons (Treron spp.), parrots (Poicephalus spp.), lovebirds (Agapornis spp.), barbets (Tricholaema and Trachyphonus spp.), mousebirds (Colius and Urocolius spp.), orioles (Oriolus spp.), starlings (Cinnyricinclus spp.), bulbuls (Pycnonotus spp.), greenbuls (Andropadus and Phyllastrepus spp.) and thrushes (Turdus spp.); fallen fruits are eaten by francolins (Francolinus spp.) and several species of ground-dwelling doves (Streptopelia spp.). Fallen and fermenting figs may attract butterflies and many fly species (G.R. Cunningham van Someren, pers. comm.; Beentje, 1988).

For chimpanzees, figs may form an important part of the diet. In Uganda, during the dry season chimpanzees spent a third of their time eating figs of Ficus sur (Newton-Fisher, 1999). In Mahale Nishida & Uehara reported on fig species consumed by chimpanzees (Nishida & Uehara, 1983 unless otherwise stated), with details on the part eaten:

  • F. asperifolia (as F. urceolaris): fruit on 78 occasions, leaves on 310 occasions

  • F. cyathistipula: fruit on 20 occasions

  • F. exasperata Vahl: fruit on 78 occasions, leaves on 99 occasions

  • F. glumosa: fruit; also (as F. sonderi): fruit on nine occasions

  • F. ingens: fruit on five occasions, leaves

  • F. sur (as F. capensis): fruit on 283 occasions, leaves, wood on three occasions

  • F. thonningii: fruit on nine occasions

  • F. ?thonningii, parts unspecified (Moore, 1994)

  • F. vallischoudae: fruit on 118, leaves on three, wood on one occasions

  • F. congensis”: fruit on 11 occasions, leaves (petiole only) five occasions – the problem with this record is that F. congensis Engl., now a synonym of F. trichopoda Bak.) does not occur in either of the parks, as far as we know. This must be a mistaken identification.

The wood of Ficus species is soft and is excavated for nest holes by woodpeckers and barbets. Several beetles, particularly long-horned Cerambicidae attack the wood. Caterpillars of moths (Arctiidae, Eupterotidae, Lymantridae) feed on the leaves and are in turn fed upon by orioles, cuckoos and cuckoo-shrikes. Caterpillars of fig tree blues, the butterflies Myrina silenus (Fabricius, 1775) and M. dermaptera (Wallengren, 1857) (Lycaenidae) feed on the leaves. Scale insects (Coccidae) often infest foliage as well and are eaten by smaller honeyguides, small warblers and sunbirds (G.R. Cunningham van Someren, pers. comm.; Beentje, 1988)

USES

Because of their soft wood, fig tree logs are easily hollowed out and used as beehives hung in other trees. Fig trees are used as shade trees in cultivated plots and are often left standing when forest is cut, specifically for this purpose – and also because the wood is not very useful. But in many cultures fig trees are also seen as special or even sacred: the sycamore is mentioned several times in the Bible (1 Kings 10:27; 2 Chronicles 1:15; 9:27; Isaiah 9:10; 1 Chronicles 27:28; Psalms 78:47; Amos 7:14; Luke 19:4); it was sacred to several ancient Egyptian gods, especially to Hathor, the goddess of love. Other species are sacred to Hindu and Buddhist faiths. In East Africa F. natalensis and F. thonningii are venerated by several cultural groups, as are F. sur and F. sycomorus.

Another general and widepread use is the use of the bark fibre for rope; in former times, bark cloth was made from fig trees as well.

IDENTIFICATION KEY TO FICUS SPECIES OF WESTERN TANZANIA

Note: the key is illustrated to help with the identification.

1. Leaves truncate at apex or nearly so F. craterostoma

Leaves not truncate 2

2. Leaves sandpapery 3

Leaves smooth or hairy, not rough 8

3. Leaf apex rounded or obtuse F. sycomorus

Leaf apex acute or acuminate 4

4. Leaf base cuneate or narrow and obtuse 5

Leaf base rounded or (sub)cordate 6

5. Leaf apex long-acuminate. F. asperifolia

Leaf apex acute or shortly acuminate F. exasperata

6. Figs on old wood 7

Figs in leaf axils F. variifolia

7. Twigs and leaf-stalk with flaking surface and hairs of different length F. mucoso

Twigs and leaf-stalk with smooth surface and hairs of all the same length F. sur

8. Leaf base cuneate or tapering but obtuse 9

Leaf base broadly rounded or (sub)cordate 16

9. Leaves hairy F. thonningii

Leaves glabrous or nearly so 10

10. Stipules persistent, partly connate, 1–2 cm long F. cyathistipula

Stipules caducous (or if subpersistent free and < 1 cm) 11

11. Ostiole with 3 visible bracts – swamps F. verruculosa

Ostiole without visible bracts 12

12. Figs among the leaves in leaf axils 13

Figs on spurs on old wood 14

13. Basal bracts of fig caducous F. natalensis

Basal bracts persistent F. thonningii

14. Leaf apex acuminate F. ottoniifolia

Leaf apex obtuse 15

15. Leaves minutely hairy beneath F. artocarpoides

Leaves glabrous F. sansibarica

16. Leaf margin toothed or crenulate 17

Leaf margin smooth, entire (though young leaves may be toothed or lobed) 19

17. Figs on spurs on old wood F. sur

Figs among the leaves in leaf axils 18

18. Ripe figs 3–6 cm across F. vallischoudae

Ripe figs ± 2 cm across F. variifolia

19. Stipules persistent, partly connate, 1–2 cm long F. cyathistipula

Stipules caducous (or if subpersistent free and < 1 cm) 20

20. Leaves < 1.5 × as long as wide 21

Leaves > 1.5 × as long as wide 22

21. Figs when mature 20–45 mm across; leaf base often rounded; riverineF. vallischoudae

Figs 5–16 mm across; leaf base cordate; rocky or riverine F. glumosa

22. Figs on spurs on old wood, not among the leaves 23

Figs among the leaves 25

23. Figs on branched leafless branches F. sur

Figs on short spurs or in clusters on thick wood, not in branched systems 24

24. Leaf apex obtuse F. sansibarica

Leaf apex acuminate F. ottoniifolia

25. Figs 2–7 together on spurs in leaf axils or just below the leafy part of the branch F. usambarensis

Figs 1–2 in leaf axils or just below the leafy part of the branch 26

26. Tertiary leaf venation uniformly reticulate 27

Some of the tertiary leaf venation thicker, forming slightly thicker veins at right angles to secondary veins 29

27. Leaf with basal veins faintly branched F. stuhlmannii

Veins unbranched 28

28. Basal bracts of fig 15–20 mm long F. amadiensis

Basal bracts of fig 2–4 mm long F. thonningii

29. Figs at ostiole with 3 visible bracts F. ingens

Only a slit visible 30

30. Leaf base cordate; ripe figs 5–12 mm across F. glumosa

Leaf base rounded or subcordate; ripe figs 12–25 mm across 31

31. Petiole when dry with flaking surface F. lutea

Petiole not flaking 32

32. Ripe figs 1.5–2 cm across 33

Ripe figs 2.5–5 cm across F. ovata

33. Leaves glabrous F. fischeri

Leaves hairy when young, often sandpapery when older F. variifolia

Figure 2.

A. Ficus amadiensis, A1. leaf-upper surface, A2. fig (from S. Bidgood et al. 3518). B. Ficus artocarpoides, B1. fig, B2. leaf-lower surface (from Nishida 8702). C. Ficus asperifolia, leaf-lower surface, with young fig (from Mgago 1015). D. Ficus craterostoma, D1. leaf-upper surface, D2. pair of figs (from Frimodt-Møller et al. NG131). E. Ficus cyathistipula, leaf-lower surface (Newbould & Jefford 2544A). Drawings by J. Williamson.

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COLLECTING FICUS SPECIMENS

To increase our knowledge of the figs of western Tanzania, additional material would be very welcome. Those with a permit for collecting plants in Tanzania are requested to forward their specimens to the herbarium of the University of Dar es Salaam, P.O. Box 35060, Dar es Salaam. Specimens should consist of twigs with both leaves and figs, and should be dried and pressed.

FIG TREE SPECIES OF WESTERN TANZANIA

Note: synonyms are those from East African literature only.

  • Ficus amadiensis De Wild. (figure 2A)

  • Habitat. Possibly in lakeside forest

  • Description. Tree to 15 m; leafy twigs 5–10 mm thick. Leaves leathery, elliptic, ovate or obovate, 7–17 × 3–9 cm, glabrous. Figs in pairs in the leaf axils, sessile, with 15–20 mm long basal bracts; ripe figs round, 12–22 mm across, yellow to red to purple.

  • Specimens seen. Gombe: Kakombe valley, 21 Nov. 1971, Wrangham GF 22 (DSM)

  • Distribution elsewhere. Central and East Africa, usually in wooded grassland or lakeside forest and thicket

  • Synonyms. F. calotropis Lebrun & Toussaint, F. kitubalu Hutch., F. ndola Mildbr.

  • Notes. Ripe figs are edible (Beentje, 1988)

  • Conservation status. Fairly widespread in a common habitat → Least Concern

  • Ficus artocarpoides Warb. (figure 2B)

  • Local names. Kajimonsole (Tongwe, fide Nishida)

  • Habitat. Riverine forest at 800 m, rare.

  • Description. Tree to 15 m high, hemi-epiphytic; leafy twigs 2–4 mm thick. Leaves leathery, oblong to somewhat lanceolate, 6–21 × 2–6 cm, minutely puberulous beneath. Figs up to 5 together on spur shoots to 4 cm long on older wood, fig stalks 15–35 mm long; ripe figs round, 30–40 mm across, greenish yellow to purple.

  • Specimens seen. Mahale: Kasoge, 27 Oct. 1987, Nishida 8702 (K)

  • Distribution elsewhere. West Africa from Ivory Coast to Uganda and North Angola

  • Synonyms. F. kisantuensis Warb.

  • Notes. Figs eaten by chimpanzees (fide Nishida label).

  • Conservation status. Widespread → Least Concern

  • Ficus asperifolia Miq. (figure 2C)

  • Local names. Lusieno ndogo (Kiha, fide Mbago); Lusieno (language not specified, fide Pirozynski)

  • Habitat. Riverine or gallery forest, less often in tall grassland or montane rain-forest; altitude 780–1800 m

  • Description. (Scrambling) shrub 1–6 m, often with whippy branches; leafy branches hairy or glabrous. Leaves asymmetric, elliptic, ovate or obovate, 3–20 × 2–12 cm, apex long-acuminate, sandpapery to the touch or rough-hairy beneath. Figs 1–5 together in leaf axils or just below the leaves; fig stalks to 4 mm long; ripe fig round, 1–2 cm across, yellow, orange or red.

  • Specimens seen. Gombe, Mkenke Valley near Lake, 29 Apr. 1992, Mbago 1015 (K) & Kakombe Valley, 7 Jan. 1964, Pirozynski 181 (K) & 85 (K) & Rutanga Valley, 22 Jan. 1964, Pirozynski 280 (K) & Mkenke Valley, 25 Jan. 1964, Pirozynski 290 (K) & Kasakela Chimp Reserve, 18 Nov. 1962, Verdcourt 3362 (K); Mahale, Katimba, 5 Sep. 1958, Newbould & Jefford 2349 (K) & Sikoke, 29 Sep. 1958, Newbould & Jefford 2760 (K) & Utahya, 2 Aug. 1958, Newbould & Jefford 1301 (K) & Kasangazi-Kunge, 16 July 1958, Mgaza 150 (K) & Kasangazi, 16 July 1958, Mahinde S31 (K) & Kungwe Mountain, Dec. 1956, Procter 635 (K) & between Musenabantu & Pasagulu, 10 Aug. 1959, Harley 9290 (K) & Kasoje, 17 July 1959, Newbould & Jefford 4444 (K)

  • Distribution elsewhere. Widespread in tropical Africa down to North Angola and North Zambia; in Tanzania only known from the West. A species of forest (edges), riverine forest and wooded grassland.

  • Synonyms. F. urceolaris Hiern, F. stortophylla Warb.

  • Notes. Leaves used as sandpaper by humans.

  • Conservation status. Widespread in a common habitat → Least Concern

  • Ficus craterostoma Mildbr. & Burret (figure 2D)

  • Habitat. Not recorded for our area.

  • Description. Shrub or tree to 10 m, hemi-epiphytic; leafy twigs hairy or glabrous. Leaves sometimes almost opposite, obtriangular to obovate, 3–8 × 2–4.5 cm, apex truncate or nearly so, glabrous. Figs in pairs in the leaf axils, sessile; ripe figs round or ellipsoid, 8–12 mm across, yellow or red.

  • Specimens seen. Mahale: Mahale Mountains, May 1972, Kakeya 81 (DSM)

  • Distribution elsewhere. Widespread in tropical Africa, usually in riverine forest; 300–2100 m.

  • Synonyms. F. luteola De Wild., F. pilosula De Wild.

  • Conservation status. Widespread in a common habitat → Least Concern

  • Ficus cyathistipula Warb. (figure 2E)

  • Habitat. Exposed rocky promontory at lake edge, occasional; 810 m

  • Description. Small shrub or tree to 4.5 m (elsewhere to 15 m high), occasionally epiphytic, sometimes with aerial roots; leafy twigs hairy or glabrous, with partly connate persistent stipules. Leaves obovate, 6–22 × 3–8 cm, glabrous. Figs solitary (rarely up to three together) in the leaf axils, on stalks to 1 cm long; ripe figs round or obovoid, 3–5 cm across, pale green to pale yellow.

  • Specimens seen. Mahale: Mahale Mountains, 22 Sep. 1958, Newbould & Jefford 2544b (K); Lumbye, 22 Sep. 1958, Newbould & Jefford 2544a (K)

  • Distribution elsewhere. Widespread in forests in tropical Africa, sometimes on rocks; 700–1800 m.

  • Synonyms. F. rhynchocarpa Mildbr. & Burret

  • Conservation status. Widespread in a common habitat → Least Concern

  • Ficus exasperata Vahl (figure 3A)

  • Local names. Lilwago (Tongwe)

  • Habitat. On rocky shore of exposed promontory or sandy plain near lake shore; ± 810 m,

  • Description. Shrub or tree to 24 m high; bark smooth, pale; bole with plank buttresses; leafy twigs rough-hairy. Leaves elliptic, ovate or obovate, 2.5–16 × 1–12 cm, sandpapery to the touch or rough-hairy. Figs in pairs or solitary in leaf axils or sometimes on older wood; fig stalk 5–10 mm long; ripe figs ± round, 10–25 mm across, yellow, orange to reddish.

  • Specimens seen. Mahale, Sisaba, 22 Sep. 1958, Newbould & Jefford 2553 (K) & Lubulungu, 1958, Newbould & Jefford 2609, 2610 (both K)

  • Distribution elsewhere. Widespread in tropical Africa and South Asia; usually in forest (edges), in rocky sites and along rivers; 0–1850 m.

  • Notes. Newbould & Jefford record that of two adjacent trees of this species one had leaves and no figs, and the other ripe figs and no leaves. This is a common occurance in fig species; see natural history, above.

  • Conservation status. Widespread in a common habitat → Least Concern

  • Figure 3.

    A. Ficus exasperata, A1. leaf-lower surface, A2. figs on stem (from Faulkner 4619). B. Ficus fischeri, leaf-lower surface, with figs (from Ruffo 989). C. Ficus glumosa, leaf-lower surface (from Newbould & Jefford 2434). D. Ficus ingens, D1. leaf-upper surface(from Pirozynski P377), D2. fig (from Mbago 1085). E. Ficus lutea, leaf-upper surface (from Ruffo & Kisena 2771). Drawings by J. Williamson.

    i0012-8317-96-1-1-f03.gif
  • Ficus fischeri Mildbr. & Burret (figure 3B)

  • Description. A tree to 15 m, hemi-epiphytic. Leaves ovate to elliptic, 6–17 × 5–11 cm, glabrous. Figs 1–2 in leaf axils, on stalks 1–2 cm long; figs round, 1.5–2 cm across and yellow-green when fresh.

  • Specimens seen. Not found, though might occur.

  • Distribution elsewhere. Tanzania to Angola and Botswana, in woodland and wooded grassland; 950–1500 m.

  • Conservation status. Widespread in a common habitat → Least Concern

  • Ficus glumosa Delile (figure 3C)

  • Local names. Sisenya (Tongwe; fide Newbould & Jefford 2434); Mku (Kinyanmwezi, fide Pirozynski 600); Umukuyu (Kiha, fide Pirozynski 600); Mkuyu (Swahili, fide Pirozynski 600)

  • Habitat. Rocky sites near shore or in gallery forest, or top of scarp; 760–1110 m; uncommon?

  • Description. Shrub or tree to 12 m, always terrestrial; leafy branches shortly hairy. Leaves elliptic or ovate, sometimes almost round, 2–14 × 2–9 cm, base cordate, hairy (especially on lower leaf surface) to glabrous. Figs in pairs in leaf axils or just below the leafy part, sessile or on tiny stalks; ripe figs round or ellipsoid, 1–2 cm across and orange to pink or red.

  • Specimens seen. Mahale: Mahali Mts, Selambula, 17 Sep. 1958, Newbould & Jefford 2434 (K) & Lumbye, 21 Sep. 1958, Newbould & Jefford 2490 (K) & Sisaba, 22 Sep. 1958, Newbould & Jefford 2560 (K); Gombe: Kanangiye 7 miles N of Kigoma, 22 Mar. 1964, Pirozynski 600 (K)

  • Distribution elsewhere. Widespread in tropical Africa, also in Yemen; on rock and lava flows in wooded grassland or bushland; 500–2000 m.

  • Synonyms. F. sonderi Miq.

  • Conservation status. Widespread in a common habitat → Least Concern

  • Ficus ingens (Miq.) Miq. (figure 3D)

  • Local names. Mlumba (Swahili, Kinyamwezi), Ikivumansolia (Kiha, fide Pirozynski); Mulumba, Jami ya Lusieno (Kiha, fide Mbago)

  • Habitat. On or between rocks near lake or river, or in valley forest, or in riverine forest/woodland ecotone; 810–1060 m

  • Description. Tree 2.4–10 m high (elsewhere to 18 m); roots often spreading over rocks; bark grey or ochre, smooth; leafy twigs shortly hairy. Leaves ovate to elliptic, 5–18 × 2–9 cm, glabrous. Figs in pairs in the leaf axils or just below the leafy part of the branch, on small stalks of up to 5 mm; ripe figs round, 1–2 cm across when fresh, pink, red or purple, at ostiole with 3 visible bracts.

  • Specimens seen. Kigoma District: Zibwesa Point, Lake Tanganyika, 7 July 1958, Juniper & Jefford 36 (K); Mahale: Mahali Mountains, Lumbye, 20 Sep. 1958, Newbould & Jefford 2463 (K) & idem, 21 Sep. 1958, Newbould & Jefford 2491 (K) & Kibweza Point, 12 Sep. 1958, Newbould & Jefford 2203 (K); Gombe: Kasakela Valley, 10 Feb. 1964, Pirozynski 377 (K) & Kakombe Valley, 31 Dec. 1963, Pirozynski 134 (K) & Kanangiye, 27 Mar. 1964, Pirozynski 593 (K); Upper Kakombe, 2 May 1992, Mbago 1085 (K, DSM) & upper Linda Valley, 3 May 1992, Mbago & Knopfler 1086 (K)

  • Distribution elsewhere. Widespread in tropical Africa, also in Yemen; usually on rock outcrops or lava flows between 0–2600 m.

  • Synonyms. F. ingentoides Hutch., F. ingens var. tomentosa Hutch.

  • Conservation status. Widespread in a common habitat → Least Concern

  • Ficus lutea Vahl (figure 3E)

  • Description. Tree to 20 m high, hemi-epiphytic; bark smooth, grey-brown; leafy twigs thick. Leaves elliptic to obovate, 7–25 × 3–15 cm, glabrous above, hairy or glabrous beneath; petiole when dry with flaking surface. Figs 2–4 per leaf axil or below the leafy part of the branch, sessile; ripe figs round, 1–3 cm across and yellow to orange.

  • Specimens seen. Not found, though might occur.

  • Distribution elsewhere. Collected in Mbizi Forest Reserve, Sumbawanga District; widespread from Ethiopia to South Africa, usually in forest or forest remnants between 0–1800 m.

  • Synonyms. F. vogelii (Miq.) Miq., F. quibeba Ficalho, F. subcalcarata Warb. & Schweinf., F. verrucocarpa Warb., F. nekbudu Warb.

  • Notes. Close to Ficus saussureana.

  • Conservation status. Widespread in a common habitat → Least Concern

  • Ficus mucoso Ficalho (figure 4A)

  • Description. Tree to 40 m high, often buttressed. Leaves elliptic to almost round, 6–17 × 4–15 cm, sandpapery above, short-hairy beneath. Figs on old wood, on branched leafless branches to 30 cm long, each fig stalked for 1–2.5 cm, round to obovoid, 2.5–4 cm across and dark orange to red when ripe.

  • Specimens seen. Not found, though might occur.

  • Distribution elsewhere. Uganda; Northeast Tanzania; extending to West Africa and Angola, in rain-forest between 300–1200 m.

  • Conservation status. Widespread in a fairly common habitat → Least Concern

  • Figure 4.

    A. Ficus mucoso, A1. leaf-lower surface, A2. figs (from Archbold 2783). B. Ficus natalensis, leaf-lower surface (from Newbould & Jefford 2497). C. Ficus ottoniifolia, leaf-lower surface (from Mbago 1123). D Ficus ovata, lear-lower surface (from Pirozynski -.74). E. Ficus sansibarica, leaf-lower surface (from Mbago 1041). Drawings by J. Williamson.

    i0012-8317-96-1-1-f04.gif
  • Ficus natalensis Hochst. (figure 4B)

  • Habitat. In rock crevices near mouth of ravine; 900 m

  • Description. Small shrub, elsewhere a tree to 20 m high, hemi-epiphytic; leafy twigs glabrous or hairy. Leaves elliptic to obovate, 3–10 × 1–4.5 cm, glabrous. Figs in pairs in the leaf axils or just below the leafy part of the branch, stalk 0.2–1 cm long; ripe figs round or ellipsoid, 1.5–2 cm across, yellow, orange or red when ripe.

  • Specimens seen. Mahale: Mahale Mountains, Lumbye, 21 Sep. 1958, Newbould & Jefford 2497 (K)

  • Distribution elsewhere. Widespread in most of tropical Africa, in forest and woodland between 0–2200 m.

  • Synonyms. F. volkensii Warb.

  • Notes. Much resembles F. thonningii.

  • Conservation status. Widespread in a common habitat → Least Concern

  • Ficus ottoniifolia (Miq.) Miq. (figure 4C)

  • Local names. Kirukia (Kiha, fide Mbago)

  • Habitat. Riverine forest or tall closed forest; 900–1100 m

  • Description. Shrub, liana or tree to 15 m high, terrestrial or hemi-epiphytic, with aerial roots, bark pale grey; leafy twigs hairy or glabrous. Leaves ovate, elliptic or obovate, 6–20 × 3–7 cm, apex acuminate, glabrous. Figs on older wood, several together on spurs to 1.5 cm long, stalks 0.8–2.5 cm long; ripe figs round or ellipsoid, 1.5–2.5 cm across and pale orange or brown.

  • Specimens seen. Gombe: Kabusindi Hills, 7 Apr. 1992, Mbago 1123 (K); Nyasanga Valley, 9 June 1970, Clutton-Brock 670 (K); Mahale: Kasoje, 24 Sep. 1958, Newbould & Jefford 2621 (K); Mount Livandabe (Lubahsi), 5 June 1997, Bidgood, Sitoni, Vollesen & Whitehouse 4315 (K)

  • Distribution elsewhere. Fairly widespread in tropical Africa, generally in moist forest between 0–1500 m.

  • Synonyms. F. lucanda Ficalho, F. scheffleri Mildbr. & Burret, F. ulugurensis Mildbr. & Burret

  • Notes. Our material belongs to subspecies lucanda (Ficalho) C.C.Berg.

  • Conservation status. Widespread in a common habitat → Least Concern

  • Ficus ovata Vahl (figure 4D)

  • Local names. Kirukia kihololo, Jami ya mkuyu (Kiha, fide Mbago)

  • Habitat. Among rocks or in thicket (where common) at lake shore, or woodland on hill-slope; 750–900 m

  • Description. Tree to 15 m high, terrestrial or hemi-epiphytic and strangling; bole may be fluted and buttressed; sometimes a shrub or liana; leafy twigs thick, usually hairy. Leaves ovate to elliptic, 10–35 × 6–25 cm, glabrous or hairy. Figs solitary or less often in pairs in leaf axils or on older wood, on stalks to 1 cm long; figs ovoid or ellipsoid, 2.5–5 cm across and greenish when ripe.

  • Specimens seen. Gombe: Kakombe Valley, 24 Dec. 1963, Pirozynski 74 (K); Linda Valley, 3 May 1992, Mbago 1091 (K); between Kasakela & Peak Ridge, 4 May 1992, Mbago 1095 (K); Mahale: Mahale Mountains, Kasoje, 24 Sep. 1958, Newbould & Jefford 2621 (K) & same, 25 Sep. 1958, Newbould & Jefford 2634 (K) & Mkoloka, 19 Sep. 1958, Jefford & Newbould 2501 (K)

  • Distribution elsewhere. Widespread in tropical Africa, along rivers or lakes, in woodland or wooded grassland; 750–2100 m.

  • Synonyms. F. brachypoda Hutch., F. ovata var. octomelifolia (Warb.) Mildbr. & Burret

  • Conservation status. Widespread in a common habitat → Least Concern

  • Ficus sansibarica Warb. (figure 4E)

  • Local names. Jamu ya lusieno (Kiha, fide Mbago); Mtobogolo nr. 3 (fide Mbago)

  • Habitat. In bush or forest on rocky sites near lake or rivers; 900–1300 m

  • Description. Tree to 20 m high, hemi-epiphytic and strangling; leafy twigs glabrous or nearly so. Leaves ovate or elliptic, 4–13 × 2–6 cm, glabrous. Figs on older wood, several together on spurs 2–15 cm long, stalks 1–2.5 cm long; ripe figs round, 2–6 cm and green or purplish when ripe.

  • Specimens seen. Gombe: Kakombe Beach, over Michael's house, 6 Apr. 1970, Clutton-Brock 80 (K); Kakombe Beach ridge, 24 Aug. 1969, Clutton-Brock 252 (K); upper Lutanga, 8 May 1992, Mbago 1133 (K); Kakombe Valley, 30 Apr. 1992, Mbago 1041 (K)

  • Distribution elsewhere. widespread over most of tropical Africa, in evergreen forest between 0–1200 m.

  • Notes. Our material probably belongs to subspecies macrosperma (Mildbr. & Burrett) C.C.Berg, due to the long spurs.

  • Conservation status. Widespread in a common habitat → Least Concern

  • Ficus scassellatii Pamp. (figure 5A)

  • Local names. Kajimonsole (Tongwe, fide Uchara)

  • Habitat. Forest; 900 m.

  • Description. Tree to 50 m high, hemi-epiphytic; leafy twigs thick, glabrous or nearly so. Leaves elliptic to obovate, 6–28 × 3–8 cm, glabrous. Figs 1–2 in leaf axils, sessile or on stalks to 1.5 cm long; ripe figs round to ellipsoid, 3–4.5 cm across, greenish.

  • Specimens seen. Mahale: Mahale Mts, Nkala 2, July 1972, Uehara 518K

  • Distribution elsewhere. Central and East Africa, in forest between 0–1800 m.

  • Synonyms. F. kirkii Hutch.

  • Conservation status. Widespread in a common habitat → Least Concern

  • Figure 5.

    A. Ficus scassellatii, leaf-lower surface, with fig (from Frimod -Møller, et al. NG123). B. Ficus stuhlmannii, B1. leaf-lower surface, B2. fig (from Greenway 2466). C. Ficus sur, leaf-lower surface (from Newbould & Jefford 2326). D. Ficus sycomorus, D1. leaf-lower surface (from Ruffo & Kisena 2770), D2. fig (from Silungwe s.n.). E. Ficus thonningii, leaf-lower surface, with fig (from Jefford, Juniper & Newbould 2205). Drawings by J. Williamson.

    i0012-8317-96-1-1-f05.gif
  • Ficus stuhlmannii Warb. (figure 5B)

  • Description. Tree to 10 m high, terrestrial or hemi-epiphytic. Leaves ovate, elliptic or obovate, 2–18 × 1–9 cm, hairy, especially beneath; basal veins faintly branched. Figs in pairs in leaf axils, sessile or nearly so; ripe figs round to ellipsoid, 1.5–2 cm across and pink to purple when ripe.

  • Specimens seen. Not found, though might occur.

  • Distribution elsewhere. Widespread in East, Central and southern Africa, in wooded grassland, along rivers and lakes, often on rock outcrops; 0–1800 m.

  • Conservation status. Widespread in a common habitat → Least Concern

  • Ficus sur Forssk. (figure 5C)

  • Habitat. Major constituent of valley bottom marsh, also on rocky ground near river and in gallery forest in miombo woodland, 750–1700 m

  • Description. Tree, 7–15 m high (elsewhere to 25 m), sometimes with buttresses, sometimes hemi-epiphytic; bark smooth, pink to grey, flaking and peeling to show dark green; leafy twigs hairy. Leaves elliptic to ovate, 5–20 × 3–13 cm, with toothed margin, sometimes sandpapery above, hairy or glabrous beneath. Figs on small bosses or hanging leafless branches to 50 cm long on bare trunk and main branches, stalked for 0.3–2 cm; ripe figs round to obovoid, 2–4 cm across, orange to red and often hairy.

  • Specimens seen. Mahale: Mahale Mountains, Utahya, 6 Sep. 1958, Newbould & Jefford 2352 (K) & Kabesi, 4 Sep. 1958, Newbould & Jefford 2326 (K) & Lumbye River mouth, 20 Sep. 1958, Newbould & Jefford 2522 (K); Mahale Peninsula, between Pasagulu & Musenabantu, 9 Aug. 1959, Harley 9261 (K) & NW slopes of Musenabantu, 12 Aug. 1959, Harley 9313 (K)

  • Distribution elsewhere. East Africa southwards to South Africa and northwards to Yemen, in forest and wooded grassland; 0–2300 m.

  • Synonyms. F. capensis Thunb., F. mallotocarpa Warb.

  • Notes. Fruit said to be edible (Newbould & Jefford 2326)

  • Conservation status. Widespread in a common habitat → Least Concern

  • Ficus sycomorus L. (figure 5D)

  • Local names. Mkuyu (Kiha, fide Mbago); Ikuku (fide Uehara)

  • Habitat. Riverine forest or sandy lake shore; 774–1000 m

  • Description. Tree up to 10 m tall, elsewhere sometimes to 30 m; buttresses sometimes present; leafy twigs with minute hairs. Leaves ovate, elliptic or obovate, 2.5–20 × 2–16 cm, apex rounded or obtuse, usually sandpapery above, rough- to soft-hairy underneath. Figs in 1–2 in leaf axils or just below the leaves, or on leafless branches on old wood, on stalks 3–25 mm long; ripe fig obovoid or round, 1.5–5 cm across, yellow to red.

  • Specimens seen. Gombe, Mkenke Valley near lake shore, 21 May 1991, Mbago 692 (DSM); Mahale, Kasiha, Kasoje, 14 Nov. 1983, Uehara 709, 710, 711 (all K)

  • Distribution elsewhere. Widespread in Africa and Madagascar; a species of forest edges, lakesides, riversides, in dry country in moist sites at foot of hills; 0–2200 m.

  • Synonyms. F. gnaphalocarpa (Miq.) A.Rich.

  • Conservation status. Widespread in a common habitat → Least Concern

  • Ficus thonningii Blume (figure 5E)

  • Local names. Mtobogolo/Mjigojigo (Kiha, fide Mbago); Kajimonsole (Mahale, fide Takahata)

  • Habitat. Riverine forest or on cliff near lake-shore, occasional; 780–810 m

  • Description. Shrub or tree to 20 m high, terrestrial or hemi-epiphytic; leafy twigs minutely hairy or glabrous. Leaves elliptic, lanceolate or oblanceolate, 3–12 × 1–6 cm, glabrous or shortly hairy. Figs in pairs in the leaf axils or just below the leafy part of the branch, sessile or stalked for up to 1 cm; ripe figs round or ellipsoid, 0.5–1.5 cm across, yellow or red, hairy or glabrous.

  • Specimens seen. Gombe: Kakombe Valley, 30 Apr. 1992, Mbago 1042 (K); Mahale: Mahale Mountains, Kibweza Point, 12 Sep. 1958, Newbould & Jefford 2204 (K), & same, Newbould & Jefford 2205 (K) & Kasoje, 14 Sep. 1981, Takahata 438 (K)

  • Distribution elsewhere. Widespread in tropical Africa, in forest, woodland, bushland, wooded grassland; 350–2500 m.

  • Synonyms. F. burkei (Miq.) Miq., F. chlamydodora Warb., F. cyphocarpa Mildbr., F. dekdekana (Miq.) A.Rich., F. dekdekana var. angustifolia Peter, F. eriocarpa Warb., F. hochstetteri (Miq.) A.Rich., F. neurocarpa Lebrun & Toussaint, F. mammigera R.E.Fries, F. persicifolia Warb., F. petersii Warb., F. rhodesica Mildbr. & Burret, F. thonningii var. heterophylla Peter

  • Notes. Closely resembles F. natalensis.

  • Conservation status. Widespread in a common habitat → Least Concern

  • Ficus usambarensis Warb. (figure 6A)

  • Local names. Kitakata (Kiha, fide Wrangham G7111)

  • Habitat. Secondary woodland dominated by Anthocleista; 990 m

  • Description. Tree to 15 m; leafy twigs thick, hairy or glabrous. Leaves lanceolate, 9–15 × 4–6 cm, glabrous. Figs 2–7 together on small spurs in the leaf axils or just below the leafy part of the branch, on stalks 1–2 cm long; ripe figs round, 0.8–1 cm across, colour unknown.

  • Specimens seen. Gombe, Kakambe, 24 Aug. 1973, Wrangham G7111 (K)

  • Distribution elsewhere. Only known from this specimen and several from the Usambara Mountains, Southeast Kenya, Northeast Zambia and North Mozambique, in woodland.

  • Conservation status. Least Concern, though not common anywhere.

  • Figure 6.

    A. Ficus usambarensis, A1. leaf-lower surface, A2. fig (from Wrangham G-7111X1). B. Ficus vallischoudae, B1 leaf-upper surface, B2 fig (from Pirozynski P183). C. Ficus variifolia, leaf-upper surface (from Nishida 8704). D. Ficus verruculosa, leaf-lower surface, with fig (from Lowe s.n.). Drawings by J. Williamson.

    i0012-8317-96-1-1-f06.gif
  • Ficus vallischoudae Delile (figure 6B)

  • Local names. Mkuyu, Umukuyu (Swahili); Mtobogoro (Kiha)

  • Habitat. Riverine or lakeshore forest or in reeds at river mouth, 750–1350 m. Dominant in riverine forest at Kasoje.

  • Description. Shrub 1.5 m (and with figs at this size!) to tree 10–25 m high; buttresses sometimes present; leafy twigs thick, glabrous. Leaves ovate to heart-shaped, 10–26 × 6–24 cm, often with toothed margin, hairy or glabrous, sometimes slightly sandpapery. Figs solitary in leaf axils or just below the leafy part of the branch, on a stalk 0.2–1.2 cm long; ripe figs round or obovoid, 3–6 cm across, yellowgreen turning orange and pink with darker stripes.

  • Specimens seen. Gombe: Kakombe Valley, 7 Jan. 1964, Pirozynski 183 (K); Kakombe Valley, 2 Mar. 1964, Pirozynski 479 (K); Mahale: Mahale Mountains, Mkololea, 19 Sep. 1958, Newbould & Jefford 2513 (K)& Lumbye, 21 Sep. 1958, Newbould & Jefford 2492 (K) & Lumbye R mouth, 6 Sep. 1958, Newbould & Jefford 2521 (K)& Lubulungu, 23 Sep. 1958, Newbould & Jefford 2611 (K) & Sisaba, 22 Sep. 1958, Newbould & Jefford 2554 (K) & Kabesi, 3 Sep. 1958, Newbould & Jefford 2181 (K) & Kungwe Mountain, Kasoje, 16 July 1959, Newbould & Harley 4381 (K)

  • Distribution elsewhere. Widespread in tropical Africa, in riverine or lakeside forest between 450–1800 m.

  • Synonyms. F. vallischoudae var. pubescens Peter

  • Notes. Ripe figs said to be edible (Newbould & Jefford 2513)

  • Conservation status. Widespread in a common habitat → Least Concern

  • Ficus variifolia Warb. (figure 6C)

  • Local names. Lusieno (Kiha, fide Mbago); Lwago Lugosi (language not specified, fide Nishida)

  • Habitat. Forest, where it may be very common, also riverine forest; 800–900 m.

  • Description. Shrub or tree to 12 m (elsewhere to 35 m) high, buttressed; leafy twigs hairy or glabrous. Leaves elliptic or ovate, 5–20 × 2–12 cm, with toothed margin, hairy when young becoming glabrous or sandpapery. Figs solitary or in pairs in leaf axils, on a stalk 0.3–1 cm long; ripe figs round or obovoid, 2 cm across, yellow.

  • Specimens seen. Gombe: Kahama Valley, square 51, 27 June 1969, Clutton-Brock 163 (K); Mkenke Valley 500 m from Lake shore, 29 Apr. 1992, Mbago 1019 (K); Mahale: Mahale Mountains, 10 Dec. 1987, Nishida 8704 (K)

  • Distribution elsewhere. West Africa, South Sudan, Uganda, Angola, in forest; a pioneer of cleared areas; 900–1200 m.

  • Synonyms. F. sciarophylla Warb.

  • Conservation status. Widespread in a common habitat → Least Concern

  • Ficus verruculosa Warb. (figure 6D)

  • Description. Shrub or tree to 7 m high. Leaves lanceolate, 3–10 × 1–4 cm, glabrous. Figs in pairs in leaf axils or below the leafy part; ripe figs round or ellipsoid, 0.5–2 cm across, red or purple, the ostiole with 3 visible bracts.

  • Specimens seen. Not found but might just occur

  • Distribution elsewhere. Widespread in tropical Africa and found in the Malagarasi swamp not too far from our area; usually in water like swamps and streams; 800–1850 m.

  • Conservation status. Widespread in a common habitat → Least Concern

  • Note: on  http://weber.ucsd.edu/~jmoore/apesites/Gombe/Gombeflora.html the following species are said to occur in Gombe as well, but we have seen no vouchers:

    • Ficus congensis Engl., a synonym of F. trichopoda Baker, a species not yet found at either Gombe or Mahale, or in W Tanzania at all

    • Ficus depauperata Sim, a synonym of F. lingua De Wild. & T.Durand, a species not yet found at either Gombe or Mahale, or in W Tanzania at all

    • Ficus polita (Miq.) Vahl, a species not yet found at either Gombe or Mahale, or in W Tanzania at all.; possibly confused with F. fischeri.

    Acknowledgments

    We would like to thank James Wakibara for access to the rare literature on Mahale National Park, Mike Lock and two anonymous reviewers for suggestions to improve the text, and Juliet Williamson for the fine drawings.

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    Appendices

    INDEX TO COMMON AND VERNACULAR NAMES

    • Ikuku Ficus sycomorus

    • Jamu ya lusieno Ficus sansibarica

    • Kajimonsole Ficus scassellatii or Ficus artocarpoides

    • Kirukia Ficus ottoniifolia

    • Kitakata Ficus usambarensis

    • Lilwago Ficus exasperata

    • Lusieno ndogo Ficus asperifolia

    • Lusieno Ficus asperifolia or Ficus variifolia

    • Lwago Lugosi Ficus variifolia

    • Mjigojigo Ficus thonningii

    • Mku Ficus glumosa

    • Mkuyu Ficus glumosa or Ficus sycomorus or Ficus vallischoudae

    • Mtobogolo ‘nr. 3’ Ficus sansibarica

    • Mtobogolo Ficus thonningii

    • Mtobogoro Ficus vallischoudae

    • Mulumba Ficus ingens

    • Sisenya Ficus glumosa

    • Umukuyu Ficus glumosa or Ficus vallischoudae

    INDEX OF SCIENTIFIC NAMES

    • F. amadiensis De Wild.

    • F. artocarpoides Warb.

    • F. asperifolia Miq.

    • F. brachylepis Hiern = F. sansibarica

    • F. brachypoda Hutch. = F. ovata

    • F. burkei (Miq.) Miq. = F. thonningii

    • F. calotropis Lebrun & Toussaint = F. amadiensis

    • F. capensis Thunb. = F. sur

    • F. chlamydodora Warb. = F. thonningii

    • F. congensis Engl. = F. trichopoda Baker

    • F. craterostoma Mildbr. & Burret

    • F. cyathistipula Warb.

    • F. cyphocarpa Mildbr. = F. thonningii

    • F. daressalaamii Hutch. = Ficus stuhlmannii

    • F. dekdekana (Miq.) A. Rich. = F. thonningii

    • F. dekdekana (Miq.) A. Rich. var. angustifolia Peter = F. thonningii

    • F. depauperata Sim. = F. lingua De Wild. & Th. Durand

    • F. eriocarpa Warb. = F. thonningii

    • F. exasperata Vahl

    • F. fischeri Mildbr. & Burret

    • F. glumosa Delile

    • F. gnaphalocarpa (Miq.) A. Rich. = F. sycomorus

    • F. hochstetteri (Miq.) A. Rich. = F. thonningii

    • F. ingens (Miq.) Miq.

    • F. ingens var. tomentosa Hutch. = F. ingens

    • F. ingentoides Hutch. = F. ingens

    • F. kirkii Hutch. = F. scassellatii

    • F. kisantuensisWarb. = F. artocarpoides

    • F. kitubalu Hutch. = F. amadiensis

    • F. lingua De Wild. & T. Durand (mentioned, not described)

    • F. lucanda Ficalho = F. ottoniifolia

    • F. lutea Vahl

    • F. luteola De Wild. = F. craterostoma

    • F. macrosperma (Mildbr. & Burret) Warb. = F. sansibarica

    • F. mallotocarpa Warb. = F. sur

    • F. mammigera R.E. Fries = F. thonningii

    • F. mucoso Ficalho

    • F. natalensis Hochst.

    • F. ndola Mildbr. = F. amadiensis

    • F. nekbudu Warb. = F. lutea

    • F. neurocarpa Lebrun & Toussaint = F. thonningii

    • F. ottoniifolia (Miq.) Miq. subsp. lucanda (Ficalho) C. C. Berg

    • F. ovata Vahl

    • F. ovata var. octomelifolia (Warb.) Mildbr. & Burret = F. ovata

    • F. persicifolia Warb. = F. thonningii

    • F. petersii Warb. = F. thonningii

    • F. pilosula De Wild. = F. craterostoma

    • F. polita (Miq.) Vahl. (mentioned, not described)

    • F. quibeba Ficalho = F. lutea

    • F. rhodesica Mildbr. & Burret = F. thonningii

    • F. rhynchocarpa Mildbr. & Burret = F. cyathistipula

    • F. sansibarica Warb. subsp. sansibarica

    • F. scheffleri Mildbr. & Burret = F. ottoniifolia

    • F. sciarophylla Warb. = F. variifolia

    • F. sonderi Miq. = F. glumosa

    • F. stortophylla Warb. = F. asperifolia

    • F. stuhlmannii Warb

    • F. subcalcarata Warb. & Schweinf. = F. lutea

    • F. sur Forssk.

    • F. sycomorus L.

    • F. thonningii Blume

    • F. thonningii var. heterophylla Peter = F. thonningii

    • F. trichopoda Bak. (mentioned, not described)

    • F. ulugurensis Mildbr. & Burret = F. ottoniifolia

    • F. urceolaris Hiern = F. asperifolia

    • F. usambarensis Warb.

    • F. vallischoudae Delile

    • F. vallischoudae var. pubescens Peter = F. vallischoudae

    • F. variifolia Warb.

    • F. verrucocarpa Warb. = F. lutea Vahl

    • F. verruculosa Warb.

    • F. vogelii (MIq.) Miq. = F. lutea Vahl

    • F. volkensii Warb. = F. natalensis

    Henk J. Beentje and Frank M. Mbago "A GUIDE TO THE FIG TREES OF WESTERN TANZANIA WITH SPECIAL EMPHASIS ON GOMBE AND MAHALE NATIONAL PARKS," Journal of East African Natural History 96(1), 1-26, (1 June 2007). https://doi.org/10.2982/0012-8317(2007)96[1:AGTTFT]2.0.CO;2
    Published: 1 June 2007
    JOURNAL ARTICLE
    26 PAGES


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