Ficus obliqua (Moraceae)

Ficus obliqua

The common name of this attractive and elegant fig, the Small leaved fig is not really accurate and pretty uninformative for getting to know it.

Figs are in a class of their own, and it is not difficult to tune into their distinctiveness, sometimes to the point that one may recognize many species just by sight. To describe this distinctiveness is another thing altogether.

I suppose that as Australian fig trees go, Ficus obliqua does have relatively small leaves (~5-12cm) but it is by no means the smallest. However, this fig tree can get rather huge, with large buttressed trunks and reputably attaining a height of up to ~60m (according to Wiki), occurring as rain forest emergents. In open areas it can also spread out widely. I would certainly love to be in the presence of such giants.

Most times I have seen it as a medium sized tree maybe up to about 10m, but also as a shrub a few meters high on rocky areas by the coast and also inland.

I know nothing of this tree’s native use here but in Fiji the tree was held as sacred and there is a tradition of medicinal use for this tree for a range of ailments. Ficus obliqua is also a popular bonsai plant.


About David Tng

I am David Tng, a hedonistic botanizer who pursues plants with a fervour. I chase the opportunity to delve into various aspects of the study of plants. I have spent untold hours staring at mosses and allied plants, taking picture of pollen, culturing orchids in clean cabinets, counting tree rings, monitoring plant flowering times, etc. I am currently engrossed in the study of plant ecology (a grand excuse to see 'anything I can). Sometimes I think of myself as a shadow taxonomist, a sentimental ecologist, and a spiritual environmentalist - but at the very root of it all, a "plant whisperer"!
This entry was posted in Habitat - Coastal forest, Habitat - Rain forest, Habitat - Rocky Habitats, Lifeform - Trees & Shrubs, Medicinal Plants, Moraceae (Fig family), Sacred Trees, Traditional Plant Use, Useful plants and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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