Characteristics of Variegated Fig Tree (Ficus variegata) in the Wild

Ficus variegata

The variegated fig or common red stem fig (Ficus variegata) is a species of the genus Ficus in the family Moraceae, widely distributed in tropical Asia, the Pacific Islands, and as far south as Australia.

In Vietnam this tree is known as Sung trổ, while in Indonesia it is called Gondang or Kondang.

This species was first described scientifically by Carl Ludwig Blume in 1825. In 1965, EJH Corner updated the species by placing several other Ficuses identical to the Ficus variegata variety.

It is known that there are five varieties recorded, these include:

  • F. variegata var. variegata
  • F. variegata var. chlorocarpa (southern China, Hainan Island, and Thailand)
  • F. variegata var. garciae (Ryukyu Island, Taiwan, and the Philippines)
  • F. variegata var. ilangoides (Luzon and Sabah)
  • F. variegata var. sycomoroides (Philippines and Kalimantan)

Currently, the Variegated fig has been introduced and cultivated as a house ornamental tree in various countries.
 

Characteristics of Variegated Leaves Fig

Ficus variegata Leaf
Photo source: inaturalist.org/people/sogellizer

The leaves are spirally arranged and long-stemmed and have rough leaf blades that are egg-shaped to oval with a pointed tip, and measure 6-35 x 2-15 cm. Young leaves have larger-toothed blades.

In Indonesia, the leaves are used as vegetables and are believed to be able to facilitate breastfeeding in pregnant women for generations.
 

Characteristics of Variegated Fig Fruit

Ficus variegata Fruit
Photo source: inaturalist.org/people/wallacechen

The fruit is long-stemmed, round, green with white stripes and turns red when ripe, up to 5 cm wide, up to 7.5 cm long, and appears in dense clusters on short twigs from the trunk and main branches.

Variegated fig has been observed that only trees taller than 6 meters can produce fruit.

Variegated figs are dioecious, with male and female flowers produced on separate individuals.
 

Characteristics of Variegated Fig Tree

Ficus variegata Tree
The variegated fig has no strangling roots and can reach 30 meters in height. This tree is evergreen when young, when mature it can fall briefly to grow new leaves.

Variegated figs are often found growing under dense forests, in valleys, and on neglected open land at altitudes of 0 to 1,200 m asl.
 

How to Cultivate Variegated Fig

Reproduce or cultivating Variegated figs, it can be done using seeds and grafts.
 

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