Ficus fistulosa Reinw. ex Blume

Etymology Genus From the Latin name for the fig (Ficus species)
Species Hollow; likely referring to the hollow young twigs
Family Moraceae
Synonyms Covellia subopposita Miq., Ficus condensa King, Ficus harlandii Benth.
Common Names Common Yellow Stem-Fig
Status Native: Common
Form Tree
Native Distribution India, South China, and Malesia


Ficus fistulosa is a very common fig tree in secondary forests. It can be easily recognised by two characters. First, the shape of the leaves, being elongated and broader at the ends. Second, it is only one of the two native Ficus tree species that produce figs on their trunks and branches; the other being Ficus variegata (Ng et al., 2005). The young twigs are also hollow.

Interesting Facts:

The fig-wasps responsible for pollination of the Common Yellow Stem-Fig is Ceratosolen hewitti (Galil, 1973).

Messy form of the Common Yellow Stem-Fig in Bidadari Cemetery.

The typical and diagnostic leaf shape.

Venation of the leaf.

Cauliflory; the production of figs on the trunk.

Cross-section of twig showing its hollow interior.


Galil J. (1973) Pollination in dioecious figs. Pollination in Ficus fistulosa by Ceratosolen hewitti. Gardens' Bulletin Singapore, 26: 303-311.
Ng BC. A Ng, B Lee, AL Chuah, SG Goh, JTK Lai, GC Tan & V D'Rozario. (2005) A Guide to the Fabulous Figs of Singapore. Singapore Science Centre, Singapore. 152 pp.

Author: Jake
Posted: 2013-12-01 / Modified: 2018-12-21