The Makiling Botanic Gardens (MBG) Plant of the Month (POM) for October 2022 is the Hagimit, scientifically known as Ficus minahassae (Teijsm. & Vriese) Miq. Ficus is a Latin word for fig or fig tree while minahassae came from the Latin word Minahassa, an Indonesian name for the northern arm of the island of Sulawesi east of Borneo. The plant is from the family Moraceae and is native to the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia.
Hagimit is a wide-spreading tree with simple leaves covered with long reddish brown hairs. Its leaves are topically used as antirheumatic. In Mindanao, leaves are roasted and pounded with oil and used to cure boils and bruises! Meanwhile, the plant’s stem is densely covered with numerous and very long branched tubercles that bear the fruits (figs). Additionally, its fruits are sessile (no stalks) and occur in small nearly spherical heads, turning red when ripe. Its fruits are edible!
Hagimit parts have many uses. These include the extracted sap from the root that is used as beverage. Its roots are also boiled and drunk three times a day by lactating mothers to enhance milk production, and is also used for the relief of muscle pains and fatigue! Bark decoction has astringent properties and also can be used for making ropes and wood utensils!
Did you know?
There is a specialized species of wasp that is also highly dependent on this fig species in order to breed?
The hagimit fruit also contains three types of flowers, a male, a long-styled female, and a short-styled female flower, called the gall flower which is contained within its fruit.
To know more about this plant, please watch this video:
Fernando et al. 2004. Flowering Plants and Ferns of Mt. Makiling.AKECU, p99.
Philippine Medicinal Plants. http://www.stuartxchange.org/Hagimit
Useful Tropical Plants. https://tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Ficus+minahassae