Monographs Details: Brosimum alicastrum Sw. subsp. alicastrum
Authority: Berg, Cornelius C. 2001. Moreae, Artocarpeae, and (Moraceae): With introductions to the family and and with additions and corrections to Flora Neotropica Monograph 7. Fl. Neotrop. Monogr. 83: 1-346. (Published by NYBG Press)
Family:Moraceae
Synonyms:Ficus faginea Kunth & C.D.Bouché, Urostigma fagineum Miq.
Discussion:Clouds of pollen are released from staminate inflorescences by touching them or by wind (as personally observed in Florida). The peculiar shape of the anther of this subspecies- the thecae fused, forming a circular structure perpendicular to the filament and dehiscing laterally- can be regarded as an adaptation to wind pollination. The subspecies is (at least regionally) gynodioecious rather than dioecious as revealed in an autecological study in Veracruz (Mexico) by Peters (1983, 1991). Trees produce either pistillate inflorescences or morphologically bisexual ones of which a relatively small number set fruit; with the increase of the size of trees the number of inflorescences setting fruit decreases, and in larger trees almost none of them set fruit. Trees producing morphologically and initially functionally bisexual inflorescences tend to become larger than those producing pistillate inflorescences, a situation promoting transport of pollen by wind.

Use. This subspecies has recently received ample attention in connection with (potential) importance as a food source due to the protein-rich seeds, as a forage tree, and as a timber tree. It is regarded as an element of ancient, extant, and future agroforestry (e.g., Gómez-Pompa et al., 1987; Pardo-Tejeda & Sánchez Muñoz, 1977; Peters, 1983,1991; Peters & Pardo-Tejeda, 1982).