All info on this page comes from Clément
Duret´s two year study of this species in the wild.
This member of the Urticaceae family was
first described Savigny in 1798, then renamed by Charles
1844. Obetia ficifolia is endemic to Réunion and Rodriguez
islands. On Réunion Island the species grows mainly in the lee regions
at low and middle altitude, generally on rock-cliffs, on basalt
rampart-formations, and in ravines. It is distributed over areas
principally in the north, north-west and south, south-east of the
island, at altitudes between 15 and 800 metres above sea level. The adult
specimen can grow to between three and five meters in height and its
trunk may attain a diameter of thirty to forty centimetres or more. Thyrsoid inflorescences are generally well-developed, and capable of
forming large tufts between leaves. The unisexual white flowers are
minute. Can be reproduced by seeds and cuttings.
The genera name puzzles me. Could be
from obesus; 'swollen' or from Obeah; a form of folk
magic, medicine or witchcraft originating in Africa? It was published by
in Voyage autour de Monde éxécuté pendant les Années 1836 et 1837 sur la
Corvette la Bonite . . . Botanique 1844 - which I fail to understand.
The genera name means 'fig