The Ficus Palmata, also known as the Indian Laurel Fig, is a tropical tree that is found in India and Sri Lanka. It is a highly versatile plant that has many uses, both culinary and medicinal. In this comprehensive guide, we will discuss all there is to know about the Ficus Palmata!
Origins: Ficus palmata is a species in the genus Ficus that contains more than 850 members. The genus is native to tropical and warm temperate regions of the world, with the most diversity found in Australasia, Southeast Asia, and sub-Saharan Africa.
Botanical References: The specific epithet, palmata, is derived from the Latin word for “palm” or “hand,” referring to the shape of the leaves.
Stem: The stem is erect, slender, and unbranched. It can grow up to 65 ft in height.
Range: Ficus palmata is found in tropical and subtropical regions of the world, including parts of Africa, Asia, Australia, and the Pacific Islands.
Habitat: Ficus palmata grows in a variety of habitats, including rainforests, woodlands, savannas, and even mangrove forests.
Leaves: The leaves are simple and alternate. They are oblong-elliptical to ovate in shape with serrated margins. The leaf surface is glabrous or sparsely pubescent. The petiole is short, only 0.16-0.47 in long.
Flowers: The flowers are small and inconspicuous. They are borne in axillary or terminal inflorescences on short peduncles.
Fruit: The fruit is a small, fleshy drupe that is 0.12-0.24 in wide. It is green when immature and turns black when ripe.
Uses: The fruit of ficus palmata is edible. It can be eaten fresh or made into jams and jellies. The leaves can also be used as a wrapping material for steaming foods. In some cultures, the tree is believed to have magical properties.