The popular name of Ficus auriculata Roxburgh’s Fig follows that of Sir William Roxburgh  (1751-1815) a Scottish surgeon who was appointed Superintendent of the Calcutta Botanical Gardens by the East India Company in 1793.

Roxburgh is popularly known as the ” founding father of Indian botany” as the major author of  two massive botanical works  (1) Plants of the Coast of Coromandel  (3 volumes 1795-1815) with around 400 illustrations  from which the illustration of Ficus auriculata (above) is taken,   and (2) The 3 volumes of Flora Indica ((1795-1820) which is text only.

Experiments carried out on fruiting Ficus auriculata at the Calcutta Botanic Gardens by the then Superintendent George King  and his colleagues described in King (1897) The Species of Ficus of the Indo-Malayan and Chinese Countries  was the first detailed explanation of how  dioecious figs were pollinated  by fig wasps which bred in the figs of male trees  and then flew to female fig trees to pollinate the female figs.