Ficus natalensis and Ficus thonningii

Moderator: lion queen

Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Feb 19, 2010 4:20 pm

Ficus natalensis and Ficus thonningii

Unread post by Kelz »

How do you tell the difference between a Ficus natalensis and a Ficus thonningii? Also if possible could you provide photos.
User avatar
lee lewis
Posts: 156
Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2006 1:08 pm
Location: Durban, South Africa

Re: Ficus natalensis and Ficus thonningii

Unread post by lee lewis »

Unfortunately I do not have pictures, but will quote from the book "Trees of Southern Africa" by Keith Coates Palgrave.

Ficus natalensis, also known as the Coastal Strangler Fig

Very variable in size and habit, from small to medium-sized tree up to almost 20 m in height and densely leafy, often a strangler, occuring in a variety of habitats. Bark: grey, smoothinsh, often with thin aerial roots hanging down from the branches. Leaves:spirally arranged but tending to be alternate or even sub-opposite, very variable, oblong to narrowly obovate, generally rather small, 2,5 - 10 X 1 - 4,5 cm, dark green, thinly leathery, hairless, single midrib not quite reaching the apex and without a distinct pair of lateral veins at the base; apex broadly tapering to rounded or almost truncate (squared off); base tapering; margin entire; petiole up to 2 cm long. Figs: in pairs in the axils of or just below the leaves, small, about 1 cm in diameter, on a short stalk, hairless, reddish oranges (Mar. - Jan.)

Ficus burkei, also known as Common Wild Fig (included under the F. thonningii Blume complex by C.C.Berg

A medium-sized, spreading tree, 15 - 18 m high, can be twice as wide, often with at least some to many aerial roots; occurring in woodland and wooded grassland, often on termite mounds, on hill slopes and the edge of slightly damper areas. Bark: dark grey to almost khaki. Leaves: elliptic, with more or less parallel sides, 3 - 12 X 1,5 - 6 cm, smooth or velvety, with a single midrib going right to the apex and without a distinct pair of lateral veins at the base, the lateral veins joining up and forming a submarginal vein, net-veining distinct; apex tapering to abruptly tapering; base rounded to square or narrowly lobed; margin entire; petiole 0,7 - 4 cm long, variable in length on the same twig; stipules often present. Figs: without stalks, in pairs in the leaf axils, small, up to 1 cm in diameter, green with white spots, dull red when mature (can be found on some trees most times of the year).
"To be playing a part, no matter how small, in the conservation of our dwindling wildlife is an experience I shall always cherish." - Stuart Hilcove

Posts: 60
Joined: Sat Sep 05, 2009 10:00 pm
Location: Durbs-by-the-sea

Re: Ficus natalensis and Ficus thonningii

Unread post by hfglen »

... and according to John Burrows in Figs of southern Africa, the real F. thonningii only occurs in West Africa.
Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana. (Groucho Marx)