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Uses of genus Ficus (Moraceae) in Buganda region, central Uganda


  • The author declares no conflicts of interest



The initial survey aimed at assessing uses of figs in Buganda region was conducted from October 1990 to November 1991, and a follow-up was made in 2005. A total of twelve districts were surveyed, inhabited by four major tribes with the Baganda being the majority. Oral interviews were used to collect data and respondents were either shown a freshly collected specimen or accompanied the researcher to the field. Data collected included vernacular names, uses, when medicinal part used and application. Fourteen of the 32 Ficus species recorded were used by the people. The major uses were live fencing and source of bark cloth or olubugo (Luganda) mostly from planted F. natalensis Hochst. Bark cloth adorns cultural sites, ceremonies and shrines, and is used in burying the dead and as bedding material. Its wide array of handcrafts can be seen in curios and local markets, many of these and bark cloth sheets are exported mostly to Europe. The vernacular names of species in four major languages in the region mostly related to use or simply fig trees.