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Herbs & Plants

Ficus carica

Botanical Name: Ficus carica
Family:    Moraceae
Tribe:    Ficeae
Genus:    Ficus
Subgenus:Ficus
Species:    F. carica
Kingdom:    Plantae
Order:    Rosales

Common Name : Common fig  or simply  Fig

Habitat: Ficus carica is  native to the Middle East and western Asia, it has been sought out and cultivated since ancient times, and is now widely grown throughout the temperate world, both for its fruit and as an ornamental plant.

Description:
Ficus carica is a gynodioecious (functionally dioecious),deciduous tree or large shrub, growing to a height of  10.00 to 20.00 feet and Spread  10.00 to 20.00 feet with smooth white bark. Its fragrant leaves are 12–25 centimetres (4.7–9.8 in) long and 10–18 centimetres (3.9–7.1 in) across, and deeply lobed with three or five lobes. The complex inflorescence consists of a hollow fleshy structure called the syconium, which is lined with numerous unisexual flowers. The flower itself is not visible outwardly, as it blooms inside the infructescence. Although commonly referred to as a fruit, the fig is actually the infructescence or scion of the tree, known as a false fruit or multiple fruit, in which the flowers and seeds are borne. It is a hollow-ended stem containing many flowers. The small orifice (ostiole) visible on the middle of the fruit is a narrow passage, which allows the specialized fig wasp Blastophaga psenes to enter the fruit and pollinate the flower, whereafter the fruit grows seeds.  Fig pollination and fig fruit.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Bloom Time: Seasonal bloomer
Bloom Description: Green
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Flower: Insignificant
Fruit: Showy, Edible

The edible fruit consists of the mature syconium containing numerous one-seeded fruits (druplets). The fruit is 3–5 centimetres (1.2–2.0 in) long, with a green skin, sometimes ripening towards purple or brown. Ficus carica has milky sap (laticifer). The sap of the fig’s green parts is an irritant to human skin.

Cultivation:
The common fig is grown for its edible fruit throughout the temperate world. It is also grown as an ornamental tree, and the cultivar ‘Brown Turkey’ has gained the Royal Horticultural Society‘s Award of Garden Merit.

Figs can be found in continental climates with hot summers as far north as Hungary and Moravia, and can be harvested up to four times per year. Thousands of cultivars, most named, have been developed as human migration brought the fig to many places outside its natural range.

Two crops of figs are potentially produced each year. The first or breba crop develops in the spring on last year’s shoot growth. In contrast, the main fig crop develops on the current year’s shoot growth and ripens in the late summer or fall. The main crop is generally superior in both quantity and quality to the breba crop. However, some cultivars produce good breba crops (e.g., ‘Black Mission’, ‘Croisic’, and ‘Ventura’).

There are basically three types of edible figs:
*Persistent (or common) figs have all female flowers that do not need pollination for fruiting; the fruit can develop through parthenocarpic means. This is a popular horticulture fig for home gardeners. Dottato (Kadota), Black Mission, Brown Turkey, Brunswick, and Celeste are some representative cultivars.

*Caducous (or Smyrna) figs require cross pollination by the fig wasp with pollen from caprifigs for the fruit to mature. If not pollinated the immature fruits drop. Some cultivars are Smyrne (Lob Incir in Turkey) – (Calimyrna in the Great Central Valley USA), Marabout, Inchàrio, and Zidi.

*Intermediate (or San Pedro) figs set an unpollinated breba crop, but need pollination for the later main crop. Examples are Lampeira, King, and San Pedro.
The fig likes dry sunny sites, the soil dry or drained. Excessive growth has to be limited to promote the fruiting. It thrives in both sandy and rocky soil. As the sun is really important it is better to avoid shades. Some varieties are more adapted to harsh and wet climates.

Propagation:
Figs plants are easy to propagate through several methods. Propagation using seeds is not the preferred method since vegetative methods exist that are quicker and more reliable, that is, they do not yield the inedible caprifigs. However, those desiring to can plant seeds of dried figs with moist sphagnum moss or other media in a zip lock bag and expect germination in a few weeks to several months. The tiny plants can be transplanted out little by little once the leaves open, and despite the tiny initial size can grow to 1 foot (30 cm) or more within one year from planting seeds.

Edible Uses:
Figs can be eaten fresh or dried, and used in jam-making. Most commercial production is in dried or otherwise processed forms, since the ripe fruit does not transport well, and once picked does not keep well. The widely produced fig newton or fig roll is a biscuit (cookie) with a filling made from figs.

Nutrition value and phytochemicals:
Dried figs are a rich source (> 20% of the Daily Value, DV) of dietary fiber and the essential mineral, manganese, while vitamin K and numerous other minerals are in moderate content (USDA, right table).

Figs contain diverse phytochemicals, including polyphenols such as gallic acid, chlorogenic acid, syringic acid, (+)-catechin, (?)-epicatechin and rutin

Medicinal Uses:
Ficus carica L. (Moraceae), its wide variety of chemical constituents, its use in traditional medicine as remedies for many health problems, and its biological activities. The plant has been used traditionally to treat various ailments such as gastric problems, inflammation, and cancer. Phytochemical studies on the leaves and fruits of the plant have shown that they are rich in phenolics, organic acids, and volatile compounds. However, there is little information on the phytochemicals present in the stem and root. Reports on the biological activities of the plant are mainly on its crude extracts which have been proven to possess many biological activities. Some of the most interesting therapeutic effects include anticancer, hepatoprotective, hypoglycemic, hypolipidemic, and antimicrobial activities. Thus, studies related to identification of the bioactive compounds and correlating them to their biological activities are very useful for further research to explore the potential of F. carica as a source of therapeutic agents.

Figs are used for their mild, laxative action, and are employed in the preparation of laxative confections and syrups, usually with senna and carminatives. It is considered that the laxative property resides in the saccharine juice of the fresh fruit and in the dried fruit is probably due to the indigestible seeds and skin. The three preparations of Fig of the British Pharmacopoeia are Syrup of Figs, a mild laxative, suitable for administration to children; Aromatie Syrup of Figs, Elixir of Figs, or Sweet Essence of Figs, an excellent laxative for children and delicate persons, is compounded of compound tincture of rhubarb, liquid extract of senna, compound spirit of orange, liquid extract of cascara and Syrup of Figs. The Compound Syrup of Figs is a stronger preparation, composed of liquid extract of senna, syrup of rhubarb and Syrup of Figs, and is more suitable for adults.

Figs are demulcent as well as nutritive. Demulcent decoctions are prepared from them and employed in the treatment of catarrhal affections of the nose and throat.

Roasted and split into two portions, the soft pulpy interior of Figs may be applied as emolient poultices to gumboils, dental abscesses and other circumscribed maturating tumours. They were used by Hezekiah as a remedy for boils 2,400 years ago (Isaiah xxxviii. 21).

The milky juice of the freshly-broken stalk of a Fig has been found to remove warts on the body. When applied, a slightly inflamed area appears round the wart, which then shrivels and falls off. The milky juice of the stems and leaves is very acrid and has been used in some countries for raising blisters.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_fig
http://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/PlantFinder/PlantFinderDetails.aspx?kempercode=c944
http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2013/974256/
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/f/figcom12.html

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Herbs & Plants

Dumur (Ficus racemosa)

Botanical Name :Ficus racemosa
Family: Moraceae
Genus: Ficus
Species: F. racemosa
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Rosales

syn.: Ficus glomerata

Common Names:Cluster Fig Tree, Indian Fig Tree or Goolar (Gular) Fig]

Names in regional languages:-
Attikka in Sinhala
Atti in Kannada
Medi Pandu in Telugu
Malaiyin munivan in Tamil
Aththi in Tamil
Aththi in Malayalam.
Umbar)  or Oudumbar in Marathi.
Dumur in Bengali
Dumri in Nepal

Habitat :Ficus racemosa grows Moist areas, beside rivers and streams, occasionally in streams; 100-1700 m. S Guangxi, Guizhou, Yunnan  This tree is found in India, Indonesia, Myanmar, Nepal, New Guinea, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam; Australia.

Description:
Ficus racemosa Trees are  25-30 m tall, d.b.h. 60-90 cm; monoecious. Bark grayish brown, smooth. Branchlets, young leaf blades, and figs with bent hairs or densely covered with white soft pubescence. Branchlets brown. Stipules ovate-lanceolate, 1.5-2 cm, membranous, pubescent. Leaves alternate; petiole 2-3 cm; leaf blade elliptic-obovate, elliptic, or narrowly elliptic, 10-14 × 3-4.5(-7) cm, ± leathery, abaxially pale green, pubescent when young, glabrescent, and ± scabrous, adaxially dark green and glabrous, base cuneate to obtuse, margin entire, apex acuminate to obtuse; basal lateral veins 2, secondary veins 4-8 on each side of midvein. Figs in a tumorlike aggregate on short branchlets of old stem, occasionally axillary on leafy shoot or on older leafless branchlets, paired, reddish orange when mature, pear-shaped, 2-2.5 cm in diam., basally attenuated into a stalk, apical pore navel-like, flat; peduncle ca. 1 cm; involucral bracts triangular-ovate. Male, gall, and female flowers within same fig. Male flowers: near apical pore, sessile; calyx lobes 3 or 4; stamens 2. Gall and female flowers: pedicellate; calyx lobes linear, apex 3- or 4-toothed; style lateral; stigma clavate. Fl. May-Jul.

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Edible Uses:
In India particularly in Bengal the fruits are eaten as vegitable.

Medicinal Uses:
Ficus racemosa Linn. (Moraceae) is a popular medicinal plant in India, which has long been used in Ayurveda, the ancient system of Indian medicine, for various diseases/disorders including diabetes, liver disorders, diarrhea, inflammatory conditions, hemorrhoids, respiratory, and urinary diseases. F. racemosa is pharmacologically studied for various activities including antidiabetic, antipyretic, anti-inflammatory, antitussive, hepatoprotective, and antimicrobial activities. A wide range of phytochemical constituents have been identified and isolated from various parts of F. racemosa. In this review, a comprehensive account of its traditional uses, phytochemical constituents, and pharmacological effects is presented in view of the many recent findings of importance on this plant.

The bark of Audumbar/Oudumbar tree is said to have healing power. In countries like India, the bark is rubbed on a stone with water to make a paste and the paste is applied over the skin which is afflicted by boils or mosquito bites. Allow the paste to dry on the skin and reapply after a few hours. For people whose skin is especially sensitive to insect bites; this is a very simple.

Other Uses:
In ancient times both Hindu and Buddhist ascetics on their way to Taxila, (Original name is Taksha Sila) travelling through vast areas of Indian forests used to consume the fruit during their travels. One challenge to vegetarians were the many fig wasps that one finds when opening a gular fig. One way to get rid of them was to break the figs into halves or quarters, discard most of the seeds and then place the figs into the midday sun for an hour. Gular fruit are almost never sold commercially because of this problem.Fruits are very good food to birds.

The Ovambo people call the fruit of the Cluster Fig eenghwiyu and use it to distill Ombike, their traditional liquor.

Disclaimer:
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ficus_racemosa
http://www.efloras.org/florataxon.aspx?flora_id=2&taxon_id=242322427
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20645741

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Herbs & Plants

Ficus pumila

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Botanical Name : Ficus pumila
Family: Moraceae
Genus: Ficus
Species: F. pumila
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Rosales

Synonyms: [Ficus repens]
Common Name:Creeping Fig, Climbing Fig, Creeping Ficus

Habitat :Ficus pumila is native to East Asia.

Description:
Ficus pumila (Creeping Fig) – An evergreen  vine that can attach itself to almost any kind of material for a seemingly endless distance. Juvenile dainty heart-shaped leaves develop into 2 to 4 inch long leathery leaves with age.
….click & see the pictures
Creeping fig is an enthusiastic climber able to scramble up vertical surfaces 3 and 4 stories tall with the aid of a powerful adhesive. This vine coats surfaces with a tracery of fine stems that are densely covered with small heart shaped leaves that are 1 inch long by about .75 in (2 cm) wide, they are held closely to the surface creating a mat of foliage that extends barely 1 in (2.5 cm) from the surface. These are the juvenile leaves. Once the vine has reach the top of its support if will begin to form horizontal branches on which adult foliage is borne. Adult leaves are held alternately in two rows along these branches. They are more leathery than the juveniles, and are dark green, and about 3 in (7.6 cm) long by 2 in (5 cm) wide. The fruit is a fig. These are borne only on the horizontal stems, they are pale green in color and about 3 in (7.6 cm) long by 2.5 in (6.4 cm) wide.
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It is a root-clinging, evergreen perennial. It clings by aerial roots along the stem and has leaves that are small, bright green and heart-shaped. Creeping Fig will grow in moderate shade or sun. This variety has solid green leaves, this is a great plant if you have a wall that is bare. The Creeping Fig will cling to surfaces allowing one to hide an unsightly wall or to just soften the architecture. This plant also works well as an indoor potted plant, as long as it has a sunny spot to sit in.

Hardiness: USDA Zones 8-11

Uses:
As the common names would suggest, it has a creeping habit and is often used as a houseplant. It is hardy and fast growing and requires little in the way of care as long as the soil is not allowed to dry out between waterings. There are several cultivars, including a variegated and crinkled leaf form.
click & see
In warmer climates it can be grown outdoors, but it can become invasive and cover landscape features if not contained. It should not be allowed to climb houses or wooden structures, as the woody tendrils can damage buildings.

Other than its use as a decorative plant, the fruit of F. pumila var. awkeotsang is also used in cuisine. In Taiwan, its fruit is turned inside out and dried. The seeds are scraped off and a gel is extracted from their surface with water and allowed to set and form a jelly known in Taiwan as aiyu jelly (or aiyuzi) and in Singapore as ice jelly …..CLICK  &  SEE  PICTURE OF FRUIT

Medicinal Uses:
The leaves are used for carbuncle, dysentery, hematuria, piles; dried leaves and stems for boils, rheumatism, sore throat.  Stem: latex used for skin disease; stem or fruit peel for backache, cancer, hernia, piles, swellings, and tuberculosis of the testicles.  Decoction of the fruit for hernia.  Rot is used for bladder inflammation and dysuria.  The plant is regarded as aphrodisiac, or at least strengthening to the male power, used for spermatorrhea, as a lactagogue; eating the plant is said to curb heart pain, anticancer.

Disclaimer:
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://www.magnoliagardensnursery.com/productdescrip/Ficus_Green.html
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_C.htm
http://www.calflora.net/floraofbermuda/ficus_pumila.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ficus_pumila
http://www.floridata.com/ref/f/ficu_pum.cfm

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Herbs & Plants

Rubber Plant

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Botanical Name : Ficus elastica
Family: Moraceae
Tribe: Ficeae
Genus: Ficus
Subgenus: Urostigma
Species: F. elastica
Kingdom: Plantae
Division:
Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Urticales

Common Names : Balete (Tag.)  ,Indian rubber tree (Engl.)   ,Rubber tree ,Rubber plant   ,Assam rubber (Engl.)

Habitat : Native to northeast India and southern Indonesia.

Description:
Glabrous spreading tree, with numerous adventitious roots from the trunk and branches.
Leaves are large and smooth, leathery and shiny, slenderly acuminate and entirem with prominent midribs. The stipules are usually red, often as long as the leaves.

 

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It is a fat bush in the banyan group of figs, growing to 30–40 metres (98–130 ft) (rarely up to 60 metres / 200 feet) tall, with a stout trunk up to 2 metres (6.6 ft) diameter. The trunk develops aerial and buttressing roots to anchor it in the soil and help support heavy branches. It has broad shiny oval leaves 10–35 centimetres (3.9–14 in) long and 5–15 centimetres (2.0–5.9 in) broad; leaf size is largest on young plants (occasionally to 45 centimetres / 18 inches long), much smaller on old trees (typically 10 centimetres / 3.9 inches long). The leaves develop inside a sheath at the apical meristem, which grows larger as the new leaf develops. When it is mature, it unfurls and the sheath drops off the plant. Inside the new leaf, another immature leaf is waiting to develop.

As with other members of the genus Ficus, the flowers require a particular species of fig wasp to pollinate it in a co-evolved relationship. Because of this relationship, the rubber plant does not produce highly colourful or fragrant flowers to attract other pollinators. The fruit is a small yellow-green oval fig 1 centimetre (0.39 in) long, barely edible; it will only contain viable seed where the relevant fig wasp species is present.

In parts of India, people guide the roots of the tree over chasms to eventually form living bridges.

Cultivation:
In cultivation, it prefers bright sunlight but not hot temperatures. It has a high tolerance for drought, but prefers humidity and thrives in wet, tropical conditions. When grown as an ornamental plant hybrids derived from Ficus elastica Robusta with broader, stiffer and more upright leaves are commonly used instead of the wild form. Many such forms exist, often with variegated leaves.

The figs of F. elasticaMost cultivated plants are produced by asexual propagation. This can be done by planting cuttings or air layering. The latter method requires the propagator to cut a slit in the plant’s stem. The wound, which oozes with the plant’s latex sap, is packed with rooting hormone and wrapped tightly with moist sphagnum moss. The whole structure is wrapped in plastic and left for a few months. When it is unwrapped, new roots have developed from the plant’s auxiliary buds. The stem is severed and the new plant is potted on its own.

Chemical constituents and characteristics:
The latex contains caoutchouc, 10-30 per cent; a bitter substance; albuminoid. The wax contains cerotic acid.

Medicinal Uses:
Parts used:  Rootlets and bark.

Folkloric
* Skin eruptions and dermatitis: Boil one cup of chopped bark in 1/2 gallon of water for 10 mins; use decoction to wash involved areas, twice daily.
* Decoction of aerial rootlets used for wounds, cuts and sores.
* Bark is astringent and used as styptics for wounds.
* Decoction of latex for parasitic worms (trichuris trichura).
* In northern Cameroon, used as fertility enhancement.
*Plant that Detoxify the Air
* Of the ficus plants tested, the rubber plant is the best for removing chemical toxins from the indoor environment, especially formaldehyde.

Studies:-
• Antiinflammatory: Study showed marked inhibition of experimentally induced inflammation, similar to those achieved with indomethacin, an effect attributed to the presence of flavonoids.
• Hypoallergenicity: (1) Ficus elastica has been suggested as a possible source of natural rubber latex without the allergenicity of latex protein from Hevea basiliensis. (2) Prelim studies showed that natural rubber from Ficus elastica do not cause allergic reactions in hypersenstivie humans
• Antimicrobial / Constituents: Study isolated four known compounds from the leaves of F elastica – emodin, sucrose, morin and rutrin. Results showed antimicrobial activity against B cereus and Pseudomoas aeruginosa. No Antifungal activity was observed.

Other Uses:
Ficus elastica or rubber plant  is grown around the world as an ornamental plant, outside in frost-free climates from the tropical to the Mediterranean and inside in colder climates as a houseplant. Although it is grown in Hawai?i, the species of fig wasp required to allow it to spread naturally is not present.

It can yield a milky white latex also known as sap, which has been used in some cases to make rubber, but it should not be confused with the Pará rubber tree, the main commercial source of latex for rubber making. This sap is also an irritant to the eyes and skin and can be fatal if taken internally.

Superstition: An occasional folkloric advice against having it as a decorative bonsai  inside the house as it is believed to invite ghosts.

Disclaimer:
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ficus_elastica
http://www.stuartxchange.com/Balete.html

Categories
Herbs & Plants

Artocarpus lacucha

Botanical Name::Artocarpus lacucha
Family: Moraceae
Kingdom:Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Rosids
Order: Rosales
Genus: Artocarpus
Species: A. lacucha
Synonyms:
Antiaris fretessii Teijsm. & Binn., Artocarpus acuminatissima Merr., Artocarpus cumingiana Trecul, Artocarpus cumingiana var. stenophylla Diels, Artocarpus dadah Miq., Artocarpus dadah var. pubescens Miq., Artocarpus dasyphylla var. flava J.J.Sm., Artocarpus ficifolia W.T.Wang, Artocarpus fretessii Teijsm. & Binn., Artocarpus inconstantissima (Miq.) Miq., Artocarpus lakoocha Roxb., Artocarpus lakoocha var. malayana King, Artocarpus leytensis Elmer, Artocarpus mollis Miq., Artocarpus ovatus Blanco, Artocarpus paloensis Elmer, Artocarpus peltatus Merr., Artocarpus refracta Becc., Artocarpus reniformis Becc., Artocarpus rufescens Miq., Artocarpus vrieseanus var. papillosus F.M.Jarrett, Artocarpus vrieseanus var. refractus (Becc.) F.M.Jarrett, Artocarpus tampang Miq., Artocarpus yunnanensis Hu, Ficus inconstantissima Miq., Ficus tampang Miq., Metrosideros spuria Rumph., Prainea rumphiana Becc.


Common Name
: Bahot, Barhal, Dephal, Monkey Jack, Dahu, Lakoocha, Esuluhuli, Wotomba, Jeuto, Irapala, Kammaregu, Lakuchamu.

Monkey fruit, Monkey Jack or Barhar (Hindi: Badahar,Bengali:Daua/Banta)

Local names in Borneo:
Anjarubi, Asam, Beruni, Beto, Burinik, Dadah, Dadak, Darak, Dudak, Tampan, Tampang, Tampang wangi.

Habitat
:From India and Bhutan and southern China to New Guinea and the Solomon Islands. In Borneo collected throughout the island.


Description

Mid-canopy tree up to 37 m tall and 57 cm dbh. Stem with white sap. Stipules ca. 4 mm long, hairy. Leaves alternate, simple, penni-veined, hairy below. Flowers ca. 1 mm diameter, yellowish, flowers fused into a globose flower body. Fruits ca. 45 mm diameter, yellow-brown, fleshy, slightly warty syncarp with many seeds in pinkish-red flesh.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES
Edible uses:

The fruits are edible.


Medicinal Uses:

The sap and juice of the bark is applied externally to boils, pimples, cuts and wounds.The root is astringent and is also used as a purgative
The macerated bark is used as a poultice for treating skin ailments. The bark is used to treat headache.

Other Uses:
Agroforestry Uses:
The tree is an important component of traditional agroforestry systems, being integrated into mixed cropping systems with other crops.

A fibre obtained from the inner bark is used for cordage.

A yellow colouring matter is obtained from the wood and roots. It is used for dyeing textiles

A sticky latex is present in all parts of the tree and has many uses.

The yellow wood is durable, hard and suitable for polishing. It is resistant to termites. It is used for timber, heavy construction, furniture and boat building.
The wood is an important local source of fuel. The wood is used for construction.

Propagation:
Seed – it has a very short viability and so is best sown as soon as it is ripe. The seedcoat is very thin – the seeds need to be handled carefully to avoid damaging them. Sow seeds in a nursery seedbed, or sow 2 seeds per individual container – any surplus seedlings can be moved to another pot. The seed germinates best at a temperature of 24 – 27°c. The seed germinates quite quickly and, when 2 – 3 weeks old, are robust enough to withstand full sun and rain. Seedlings are planted out when about 20 – 25cm tall.
Root cuttings.
Air layering.

Disclaimer:
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.


Resources:

http://www.asianplant.net/Moraceae/Artocarpus_lacucha.htm
http://vaniindia.org.whbus12.onlyfordemo.com/herbal/plantdir.asp
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Lakoocha_tree.JPEG

http://tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Artocarpus+lacucha