Ficus burkei (Miq.) Miq.

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Ficus burkei

Photo: Petra Ballings
Val D'Or

Ficus burkei

Photo: Petra Ballings
Val D'Or

Ficus burkei

Photo: Bart Wursten
Cleveland Dam, Harare

Ficus burkei

Photo: Bart Wursten
Small Bridge Dam

Ficus burkei

Photo: Bart Wursten
Calderwood Park, Peterhouse School

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Species details: Click on each item to see an explanation of that item (Note: opens a new window)

Synonyms: Ficus rhodesiaca Mildbr. & Burret
Ficus thonningii Blume p.p.
Common names: Burke's fig (English) Common wild fig (English)
Status: Native
Medium to large evergreen or briefly deciduous tree, terrestrial or starting as a strangler. Bark smoothish, pale to dark grey, sometimes with vertical lines of lenticels; latex present. Leaves alternate or whorled, elliptic or obovate, 4.5-12 cm long, rather stiff and somewhat leathery, mid- to dark green above, dull and paler below, usually hairless or finely hairy; midrib prominent, sometimes yellowish; apex usually acute; margin entire. Figs borne singly or in pairs in the leaf axils, sessile or pedunculate, rarely on bare twigs, subspherical, 10-20 mm in diameter, densely hairy to almost hairless, yellowish or rarely pink when ripe.
Derivation of specific name: burkei: named after Joseph Burke (1812-1873), British naturalist and collector of plants and animals
Habitat: In miombo woodland, often on termitaria
Altitude range:
Flowering time:Jan - Dec
Worldwide distribution: Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Eswatini and South Africa except for the drier West and Cape
Malawi distribution: N,C,S
Growth form(s): Tree.
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species: Nephele accentifera (Food plant)
Elisabethiella stuckenbergi (Pollinated by this insect)
Alfonsiella brongersmai (Pollinated by this insect)
Alfonsiella longiscapa (Pollinated by this insect)
Asota speciosa (Larval foodplant)
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species
Content last updated: Friday 9 October 2015

Burrows, J.E. & Burrows, S.M. (2003). Figs of Southern and South-Central Africa Umdaus Press, South Africa Pages 165 - 172. (Includes a picture).

Burrows, J.E. & Willis, C.K. (eds) (2005). Plants of the Nyika Plateau Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 31 SABONET, Pretoria Page 215. as Ficus burkei zimbabweensis

Burrows, J.E., Burrows, S.M., Lötter, M.C. & Schmidt, E. (2018). Trees and Shrubs Mozambique Publishing Print Matters (Pty), Cape Town. Page 88. (Includes a picture).

Chapano, C. & Mamuto, M. (2003). Plants of the Chimanimani District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 27. As Ficus rhodesiaca

Chapano, C. & Mugarisanwa, N.H. (2003). Plants of the Matobo District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 17.

Coates Palgrave, K. (revised and updated by Meg Coates Palgrave) (2002). Trees of Southern Africa 3rd edition. Struik, South Africa Page 138. (Includes a picture).

Coates Palgrave, K. et al. (1956). Trees of Central Africa National Publications Trust, Salisbury. Pages 280 - 282. as Ficus rhodesiaca (Includes a picture).

Coates Palgrave, M. (1989). Guide to the trees and shrubs of the Mukuvisi Woodlands ?publisher. Page 6. as Ficus thonnningii

Curtis, B.A. & Mannheimer, C.A. (2005). Tree Atlas of Namibia National Botanic Research Institute, Windhoek Pages 52 - 53. (Includes a picture).

Drummond, R.B. (1975). A list of trees, shrubs and woody climbers indigenous or naturalised in Rhodesia. Kirkia 10(1) Page 234.

Drummond, R.B. (1981). Common Trees of the Central Watershed Woodlands of Zimbabwe. Natural Resources Board, Harare. Pages 20 - 21. (Includes a picture).

Mannheimer, C. & Curtis B. (2009). Le Roux and Müller's Field Guide to the Trees and Shrubs of Namibia Macmillan Education, Windhoek, Namibia. Pages 18 - 19.

Mapaura, A. & Timberlake, J. (eds) (2004). A checklist of Zimbabwean vascular plants Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 33 Sabonet, Pretoria and Harare Page 63.

Roodt, V. (1998). Trees and Shrubs of the Okavango Delta Shell Field Guide Series: Part I Shell Oil Botswana, Gaberone. Pages 24 - 25. as Ficus thonningii (Includes a picture).

Setshogo, M.P. (2005). Preliminary checklist of the plants of Botswana. Sabonet Report no. 37. Sabonet, Pretoria and Gaborone Page 88.

Steedman, E.C. (1933). Some Trees, Shrubs and Lianes of Southern Rhodesia. Page 4. Ficus rhodesiaca (Includes a picture).

Timberlake, J.R. & Childes, S.L. (2004). Biodiversity of the Four Corners Area: Technical Reviews Volume Two (Chapter 5-15) Appendix 5-1: Plant Checklist Occasional Publications in Biodiversity 15 Page 219.

Other sources of information about Ficus burkei:

Our websites:

Flora of Botswana: Ficus burkei
Flora of Caprivi: Ficus burkei
Flora of Mozambique: Ficus burkei
Flora of Zambia: Ficus burkei
Flora of Zimbabwe: Ficus burkei
Flora of Zimbabwe: cultivated Ficus burkei

External websites:

African Plants: A Photo Guide (Senckenberg): Ficus burkei
African Plant Database: Ficus burkei
BHL (Biodiversity Heritage Library): Ficus burkei
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Ficus burkei
GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility): Ficus burkei
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
iNaturalist: Ficus burkei
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Ficus burkei
JSTOR Plant Science: Ficus burkei
Mansfeld World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops: Ficus burkei
Plants of the World Online: Ficus burkei
Tropicos: Ficus burkei
Wikipedia: Ficus burkei

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2014-24

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2024). Flora of Malawi: Species information: Ficus burkei., retrieved 17 April 2024

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