|DESCRIPTION: It is a semi-deciduous spreading savannah tree, usually reaching 18-22 m but can become up to 45 m, occasionally buttressed. Bark on older stems, grey-green, fairly smooth, with scattered grey scales and pale brown patches where scales have fallen off. Leaves broadly ovate or elliptic, 2.5-21 x 2-16 cm. Fig up to 3.5 x 5 cm. USE: Fruits and leaves are edible and also used as fodder. Wood is used as timber and as firewood and charcoal. Inner part of the root used as weaving fibre, and a strong rope can be made from the inner bark. The bark is used for the treatment of scrofula, coughs, and throat and chest diseases. The milky latex is used for treatment of dysentery and chest diseases, or is applied to inflamed areas, while ringworm is treated with the bark and milky latex. Leaves are said to be effective against jaundice and as an antidote for snakebite, while the roots have laxative and anthelmintic properties. It can be used for sand-dune fixation and riverbank stabilization, shade in market places and as an ornamental. Shed leaves form a valuable litter improving the nutrient status, infiltration rate and water-holding capacity of the soil. Usually intercropped with bananas as an understorey. GROWING PERIOD: Perennial. COMMON NAMES: sycamore fig, wild fig. FURTHER INF: A common savannah tree that grows in high water table areas. Often found along watercourses such as streams and rivers, swamps and waterholes. It is sensitive to frost but can withstand some cold. It is found in afro-mountain forests, especially along edges and in clearings, riverine forests, riparian woodland, secondary evergreen bushland. Often left as single trees in farmland and occasionally seen as single trees on rocky outcrops. Prefers deep, well-drained loam to clay soil rich in nutrients. Sandy soils with a shallow groundwater level may also be suitable.