Large-leaved rock fig

Ficus abutilifolia

Large-leaved rock fig (Ficus abutilifolia)
A stunning tree that stands out in its preferred habitat of cliff faces and rocky-outcrops. The large-leaved rock fig has a creamy coloured root system and gnarled trunk with smooth flaky bark. Its leaves are heart-shaped and of are the largest of all the figs.

Conservation status : Not protected
Height : Up to 15m but usually no greater than 5m
Foliage : Deciduous
Family : Moraceae

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Two wasp species (Elisabethiella comptoni and Nigeriella fusciceps) are known to be pollinators of the large-leaved rock fig. They enter the fig through a tiny hole at the top, once in they will pollinate the flowers as they lay their eggs.

Until the roots of a large-leaved rock fig have found a source of nutrition it will experience very little growth other than in its roots. However, once the tree finds such a source its growth is accelerated.

Traditionally men will take a decoction of the large-leaved rock fig bark as a strengthening tonic.

The milky white latex of the large-leaved rock fig is used as a traditional remedy for skin warts.

The roots of the large-leaved rock fig can reach depths of 60m as they snake their way through cracks in the rocks to access nutrients from the water and soil below.

The large-leaved rock fig is known as a rock splitter due to its roots expanding in small cracks creating pressure which actually causes the rock to split.

At 15 x 20 cm the large-leaved rock fig has the largest leaves of all fig trees.