Moreton Bay Fig
Native to (or naturalized in) Oregon:
- Large broadleaf evergreen tree, to 100 ft (30 m) high in cultivation, nearly 200 ft (60 m) tall in the wild, often with a wide spreading crown. The trunk becomes massive with snake-like buttresses. Leaves are simple, ovate-elliptical or oblong-elliptical, alternate, blade leathery, hairless and smooth, glossy dark-green above, brownish below, 10-23 cm long and 7-12 cm wide, base rounded and the apex blunt pointed; exude a milky sap when broken. Flowers are very small and produced inside small spherical, greenish, hollow receptacles (enlarged end of a pedicel, a synconium) that are borne near branch tips. Fruit are globular, 2.5 cm in diameter, with cream-white spots, turning purple when ripe, produced nearly year round.
- Full sun
- Hardy to USDA Zone 9 It is native to most of the eastern coast of Australia, from the north coast of Queensland to the south coast of New South Wales.
- In some instances it can be a “strangler fig”. In this case seed germination occurs in the canopy of a host tree and the resulting seedling lives as an epiphyte until its roots establish contact with the ground. These then thicken into supplementary trunks, which may strangle the host, and ultimately the tree can become freestanding.
- Like all figs, the Moreton Bay fig is has an obligate mutualism with a specific fig wasp (Pleistodontes froggatti). . Figs are only pollinated by fig wasps and fig wasps can only reproduce in fig flowers.
- The Moreton Bay fig has been widely used in public spaces in tropical and frost-free areas. It is commonly cultivated in Hawaii and in northern New Zealand. In both places, it has now naturalized, having acquired its pollinating wasp. One planting of Moreton Bay figs in Allerton Gardens, Kauai, Hawaii became famous when dinosaur eggs were discovered among its buttresses in the film Jurassic Park.
- Moreton Bay: a bay on the east coast of Australia near Brisbane, Queensland.
- Australian Banyan: the original banyan, the species Ficus benghalensis (Indian Banyan), can grow into a giant tree covering a wide area. Over time, the name became applied to all strangler figs, including Ficus macrophylla, which is native to Australia, hence Australian Banyan.
- macrophylla: large leaves