Sandpaper tree

Scientific Name :
Ficus exasperata Vahl
Synonym(s) :
Ficus asperrima Roxb.
Local/Common name(s) :
Therakam, Sandpaper tree
Family :
Moraceae
Habit :
Tree
Flowering/Fruiting Time :
February-April
Habitat :
Moist deciduous forests, also in the plains
Endemic :
No
Status (IUCN) :
Least concern (LC)
Distribution :
East Africa, Arabia, India and Sri Lanka
Nativity :
Indigenous
Uses :
Description (Morphology) :

Deciduous trees, to 18 m high; bark 5-6 mm thick, greenish-white, smooth, punctiform lenticellate, fibrous; exudation watery; all parts coarsely and harshly scabrid with stout white hairs. Leaves simple, laxly alternate spiral to opposite or subdistichous, elliptic, ovate, oblong-lanceolate, or obovate, apex acute to shortly acuminate, basal acute, round or cuneate, margin denticulate or sinuate-crenate to serrate, scabrid on both surfaces, with out, coriaceous; 3-ribbed from base, glands at nerve axils, lateral nerves 3-6 pairs, pinnate, prominent, intercostae scalariform; stipules short, paired, lateral, cauducous; petiole 1-6.5 cm long, slender, not articulated. Leaves of saplings and coppice shoots often lobed. Flowers unisexual; inflorescence a syconia, axillary, solitary, harshly scabrid; peduncle to 1.5 cm with 2-3 small scattered, lateral bracts, sometimes more or less aggregated into a collar, body subglobose or ellipsoid with scattered small lateral bracts, apical bracts projecting 1-2 mm; internal bristles copious, white, shorter than flowers; flowers of 4 kinds; male flowers sessile, ostiolar, in 1-2 rings; tepals 3-6, oblong-spathulate, white hairy; stamen 1;filament 0.5 mm; anther oblong, parallel; female flowers sessile; tepals 4-7, linear-spathulate, white hairy; ovary superior, obovoid; style filiform, lateral, puberulous, stigma clavate; gall flowers sessile to pedicellate tepals 4-6, lanceolate, white hairy, ovary white, sessile, style terminal, puberulous, stigma dilated. Syconium yellow or purple when ripe; achene oblong, slightly keeled, reticulate.

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