Ficus superba Miq., Ann. Mus. Bot. Lugduno-Batavi 2: 200 (1866)

Species name meaning 'outstanding, or superb'.

Ficus petiolata Reinw. ex Miq.
Ficus tenuipes S.Moore
Urostigma accedens Miq.
Urostigma superbum Miq.


A hemiepiphytic, strangler tree that can grow to 35 metres tall in the best sites, or a smaller spreading tree on exposed rocky slopes. The bark is grey or reddish brown. Rough with scales, cracks and vertical bumps. White sap appears when a branch is cut. Leaves are alternate, simple and entire, 8 to 12 centimetres long and 2 to 5 centimetres wide, oval or elliptical in shape, mostly with a short blunt tip, and rounded at the base or heart shaped. The leaf midrib is sunken on the upper surface and raised below. The mature fig changes to a purplish colour with pink dots, globular in shape, 25 millimetres in diameter.

The habitat is riverine, littoral or the drier forms of rainforest. The figs eaten by a large variety of birds.

The fruit is considered edible for humans, but it is not particularly palatable. A decorative tree with a short deciduous period, it is suitable for parks and large gardens where the generous fruiting attracts birds.

From Southern China and Japan into Indochina all the way to Australia.

Local names
English: Sea fig, Deciduous fig, Ceddar fig.