FICUS LUTEA

Something Over Tea

The common name for Ficus lutea is Giant-leaved Fig. Some specimens have been measured growing up to 25 m in height with a spreading crown spanning 30 to 45 m in width. This tree was photographed near the reception of the Addo Elephant National Park.

The bark is relatively smooth-textured and dark grey to brown in colour and the tree has large sculptured buttress roots.

The large leaves held towards the ends of the branches exhibit clear yellow veining, while the fleshy yellow fruit is enjoyed by birds, insects, bats and monkeys.

Although the Giant-leaved Fig grows from seed, some seeds may germinate on another tree in which case the roots grow down into the ground. In this manner the tree grows around the host tree, eventually killing it. This has led to it also being called a strangler fig. This specimen is in the camping area of the Addo…

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