Characteristics of Nacapul (Ficus insipida) Trees in the Wild

Ficus insipida
Nacapul (Ficus insipida) is a tropical tree in the genus Ara of the family Moraceae that grows in forests along rivers. Its native habitat ranges from Mexico to South America.

The inner bark of Ficus insipida is used by the Bolivians to produce a fibrous fabric used for clothing.

Ficus insipida is used by the Wajacas (shamans) of the Krah tribe in Brazil as a memory enhancer. The latex is also sold in North America and South America as an anthelmintic.

WARNING: Raw latex is toxic, fatal overdose due to its use as traditional medicine is quite common, but remains a popular drug in certain areas.

 
Experiments were carried out on rats, Ficus insipida latex has weak anthelmintic activity, and these mice develop hemorrhagic enteritis, so traditional treatment is not recommended.

 

Characteristics of Nacapul Leaf

Ficus insipida Leaf
Source: inaturalist.org/alexiz

Leaves vary from narrow to elliptical, between 20-25 cm long and 8-11 cm wide.

 

Characteristics of FNacapul Fruit

Ficus insipida Fruit
Source: flickr.com/Andre Benedito

The fruit is greenish-yellow with a diameter of 4-6 cm. Monkeys often eat Ficus insipida fruit that is still on the tree, and the fallen fruit is eaten by Peccaries.

 

Characteristics of Nacapul Tree

Ficus insipida Tree
Source: inaturalist.org/sergiooctaviovalle

Ficus insipida can grow into large trees that range from 10-30 meters in height (rarely 40 meters). Although it is a tree that stands upright when mature, Ficus insipida begins its growth as a vine. When it is young, Ficus insipida attaches itself to a large tree, which eventually suffocates it and takes over life.

Ficus insipida is commonly found growing at an altitude between 0-700 m above sea level and very rarely above 1000 m above sea level. The typical habitat of this species is lowland rainforest and almost always along rivers.

 

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