Dalhousiae’s Ficus (കല്ലാൽ)

Scientific Name:Ficus dalhousiae Miq.

Synonyms:Covellia costata Miq. ,
 Ficus costigera Miq.

Systematic Position
Class: Dicotylodonae
Sub Class:   Monochlamydae
Family: Moraceae

Common Names
Pei aal

Description:Trees, to 10 m high, sometimes epiphyte; bark brown, fairly smooth; blaze creamy-pink; exudation milky; aerial roots absent; young shoots softly pubescent. Leaves simple, alternate; stipules to 3 cm long, lateral, ovate-lanceolate, puberulous; petiole 4-10 cm long, stout, not articulated, pubescent; lamina 25-30 x 12-18 cm, ovate or ovate-oblong, base deeply cordate, apex acute or acuminate, margin entire, coriaceous, glabrous above and minutely pubescent beneath; 3-7-ribbed from base, lateral nerves 10-13 pairs, pinnate, prominent; intercostae reticulate, obscure. Flowers unisexual; inflorescence a syconia, in axillary pairs, 1 x 0.8 cm, obovoid, with 3 broad triangular apicular scales, densely pubescent; bracts 3, spreading, broad, triangular, sometimes bifid; peduncle 8 mm long, pubescent; flowers of 4 kinds; male flowers very few, only near the apex of receptacle, sessile, globose; tepals 3, concave, round; stamen 1, connective wide; filament thick, adnate; female flower sessile; perianth gamophyllous; ovary ovoid; style long, lateral; stigma cylindric; gall flowers on thick pedicels, ovary obovoid, smooth; style short. Syconium yellow when ripe. Flowering and fruiting: December-January

Habitat: Moist Deciduous Forests.

Distribution: Endemic to Southern Western Ghats  

Uses:  Fruits used as medicine for constipation during fevers. Root bark used as medicine for asthma. Leaves are antidysenteric and used in liver and skin complaints.