Small-leaved fig (Fijian: Baka ni viti)

Ficus obliqua (Moraceae)

Characteristics

Tree, can grow up to 60 m (!), buttressed trunk, glossy green leaves. Fruit is a “syconium”, meaning that the fruit is an inverted inflorescence with the flowers lining an internal cavity. Pollinated by two species of fig wasps (Pleistodontes greenwoodi, P. xanthocephallus).

Many bird species eat the fruit. Commonly grown as shade tree in parks and is well-suited as indoor-plant or bonsai.

Distribution

Native to Eastern Australia, New Guinea, Indonesia and southwestern Pacific islands

Natural Medical Properties

All parts of the tree has been used in traditional medicine in Fiji.

Did you know?

Ficus obliqua is a so called “strangler fig”. This means, that it starts his life as an epiphyte (living on another plant) when its seed germinates in a crack or a crevice of a host tree. They grow roots down toward the ground and consequently may envelop part of the host tree. In the meantime, the host tree keeps growing and strangles himself within the root-net of the fig tree.

Further reading:

Literature

World Flora Online
WorldChecklist of Selected Plant Families
A working list of all plant species