Kampala Tree and Palm Directory

Tree Species
Common Name
Tree Description
Tree Uses

English: Forest sandpaperfig, Forest sandpaper tree, Sandpaper tree, Sandpaper leaf tree, White fig treeLuganda: Luwawu Lugwere: Mkende, speri Lusoga:Luwawu, museno Runyankore: Musomoro Runyoro: Musomoro Rutoro: Musomoro.

+ Tree Species

Ficus exasperata

+ Tree Family


+ Ecology

Forest sandpaper fig is indigenous to Uganda. A forest tree widespread in Africa from Senegal south to Mozambique. In Uganda it grows in the wetter forests, on forest edges and in savannah forest mosaics along rivers and in rocky places, often persisting in cleared land. It is left in banana and coffee plantations because of its usefulness. In Kampala, Forest sandpaper fig can be found within Makerere university, National housing & Medical quarters, at Windsor crescent, Archer road, among other places.

+ Description

A forest tree usually about 15 m high (sometimes with shrubby growth) branching at all heights to a spreading deep crown, with buttresses on larger trees.

BARK: smooth pale yellow-green, often with ring marks.

LEAVES: rough like sandpaper on both surfaces, the tip usually pointed and the blade narrowed to a stalk, 1-2 cm. Young leaves and coppice shoots, even lower branches, bear 3-lobed leaves but mature leaves not lobed; leaf edge usually finely toothed, 2.5-12.0 cm long, 3 veins from the base, the 2 laterals reaching beyond the middle of the blade.

FLOWERS: enclosed within figs.

FIGS: rounded, 1.0-2.5 cm across when fresh and red when ripe, surface hairy, on a stalk beside or just below leaves.

+ Uses

Edible: fresh leaf is locally added to oil palm fruits in the milling or pounding stage in order to improve the quality and stability of the oil obtained. http://tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php id=Ficus+exasperata

Medicine: roots, wood ash or charcoal, bark, leaves, fruit, and seeds. http://tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php id=Ficus+exasperata, https://www.prota4u.org/database/protav8.asp g=pe&p=Ficus+exasperata+Vahl

In veterinary medicine, a decoction of the bark is given to cows to hasten expulsion of the after birth.

The stem bark and the leaf are ingredients of arrow-poisons.

A maceration of the leaf is sprayed on crops against insect attack.

The rough leaves are widely used as a sandpaper for polishing wooden, metal or ivory articles, such as kitchen utensils, gourds, sticks, bows, spear shafts, chairs, boards and bracelets.

Agroforestry: can provide shade in banana, coffee or cocoa plantations.

The wood is used for making canoes, house posts, furniture, stools, utensils, containers and drums.

Young branches are used for making pipe (smoking pipe) stems.

The wood is used for fuel and for making charcoal.

An ornamental tree.

+ Propagation

Seeds, wildings, cuttings.

+ Management

Fast growing. Pollarding.

+ Remarks

Can be planted as individual trees or intercropped with coffee or banana for example.

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