Characteristics of Awar-Awar Tree (Ficus septica) in the Wild

Ficus septica
Awar-Awar are shrubs or trees from the Moraceae family that live in the lowlands from Northeast India to Northern Australia, and throughout Malesia. It lives on the edge of vegetation, often found growing in degraded environments.

The awar-awar tree was first described by the Dutch botanist, Nicolaas Laurens Burman, in 1768. Two centuries later, EJH Corner listed three new varieties namely Ficus septica var. septica, Ficus septica var. cauliflora, and Ficus septica var. salicifolia.

Then Cornelis Christiaan Berg in the latest edition of Flora Malesiana combines all these varieties in one name, Ficus septica.


Characteristics of Awar-Awar Leaf Leaf

Ficus septica Leaf
Source :

Large leaves, alternating or facing, with 2-5 cm long stems. Each leaf has a length of 25-30 cm and a width of 10-16 cm.


Characteristics of Awar-Awar Fruit

Ficus septica Fruit
Source :

The fruit is a type of fig and grows on the tips of branches, green when young and yellow when ripe.


Characteristics of Awar-Awar Tree

Ficus septica Tree

Awar-awar has the shape of a shrub to a medium tree with a maximum height of 25 meters. The stems have a yellowish-white sap when injured.

Awar-awar trees have habitats up to 1,800 m above sea level in mountainous forests or secondary growth environments. Generally, it grows in places near waters such as rivers or swamps.


In the Philippines, the leaves are used to treat arthritis and stimulate perspiration (sudorifika) to treat headaches.

The root is used to treat burns, and the stew is used as a diuretic drug.

In Papua New Guinea, awar-awar leaves are used to treat colds, coughs, fevers, and diseases caused by bacteria and fungi.

The root is used as an anti-poison when poisoning from eating certain types of fish or crabs and poisoning from eating yam tubers.

The leaves after processing are also used as an opiate mixture.


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