PNGTreesKey – Ficus mollior F.Muell. ex Benth.


Barry Conn (NSW) & Kipiro Damas (LAE).
Guide to trees of Papua New Guinea
Copyright held by the authors, National Herbarium of New South Wales, and Papua New Guinea National Herbarium

Ficus mollior F.Muell. ex Benth.

Flora Australiensis 173 (1873)

Other Literature: C.C. Berg & E.J.H. Corner, Flora Malesiana, Series 1 363-365 (2005) Fig. 65.

Family: Moraceae

Timber Group: Occasional timber species Tradename: Fig

Field Characters: Small sub-canopy tree (usually up to 10 m high) or Large canopy tree (up to 25 m high); Bole cylindrical or markedly fluted; slightly crooked or straight; buttresses buttresses present; spines spines absent; aerial roots aerial roots absent; stilt roots stilt roots absent; Bark pale brown or pale grey, smooth; Subrhytidome (under-bark) green (olive-green); less than 25 mm thick, 2.0-4.0; bark blaze consisting of one layer; faintly to non-aromatic; outer blaze pink, markings absent, corky; inner blaze pink, markings absent, corky; bark exudate (sap) present, pale yellow or white/milky, flowing, colour not changing on exposure to air, sticky; terminal buds enclosed by leaves.

Indumentum: Complex hairs absent; stinging hairs absent; mature twig indumentum (hairs) present, hairs sparse to dense.

Leaves: Leaves spaced along branches, spiral (leaves occurring singly at a node and arranged spirally up the branchlet) or sub opposite (in pairs, opposite one another on the branchlet), simple (a leaf composed of a single blade); petiole present, not winged, attached to base of leaf blade, not swollen; leaves sometimes equally broad throughout much of length, broadest below middle, sometimes broadest above middle, or broadest at or near middle, (3.0-) 10.0-23.0 cm, (1.0-) 5.0-15.0 cm; symmetric, entire, not dissected or lobed, acuminate or sub acute, venation pinnate, secondary veins open, prominent, intramarginal veins absent; leaves lower surface pale green, upper surface dull green, indumentum (hairs) present or absent (upper surface glabrescent), indumentum (hairs) dense (with brownish hairs, especially on veins of lower surface) or sparse; absent; domatia absent (but with cystoliths present on both surfaces); stipules present, joined, joined across twigs, encircling the twig, leafy, not fringed, large (5-20 mm long), not persistent.

Flowers: Inflorescence axillary (synconia/figs) or on the trunk or branches (synconia/figs cauliflorous on clusters of up to 3 cm long leafless branchlets on the trunk), flowers on an unbranched axis (arranged in a syconium/fig), cones absent; flowers unisexual, unisexual with male and female flowers on the same plant (both male and female flowers arranged within the syconium/fig), stalked (flowers shortly pedicellate; synconium/fig with peduncle up to 15 mm long, rarely to 20 mm) or not stalked (flowers initially sessile or subsessile), flowers with many planes of symmetry (by misinterpretation (synconium/fig), completely asymmetric, or with one plane of symmetry (male and female flowers), 1.0 (c.) mm long, diameter small (up to10 mm diam.) (up to c. 1 mm diam.); perianth present, with all sepals and/or petals (hence tepals) similar (membranous), inner perianth cream-coloured or pale green; 3, some or partly joined (shortly at the base) or free; stamens 1 (male flowers), present, free of the perianth; ovary superior, carpels solitary, locules 1; styles solitary (female flowers) or absent (male flowers), 1.

Fruits: Infrutescence arranged on unbranched axis (arranged in a syconium/fig), fruit 25.0-30.0 mm long, 30.0-35.0 mm diam., red (slightly (synconium/fig pale brown inside) or reddish green, not spiny, fleshy, syconium (fig), indehiscent, achene or syconium (fig); seeds 100 (in each fig/syngonium), barely visible (to 1 mm long) (c. 0.5 mm long), not winged, broad (as wide as long), seed less than 1 mm diam.

Distribution: West Sepik, East Sepik, Madang, Morobe, Western Highlands, Southern Highlands, Gulf, Central, Northern, Milne Bay, Papuan Islands, New Britain, New Ireland & Bougainville.

Ficus mollior
Botanical records
in PNGplants database

Map details