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Ficus rubiginosa (MORACEAE) Port Jackson Fig, Rusty Fig

Ficus rubiginosa - Port Jackson Fig, Rusty Fig
Photo: Robert Whyte

Ficus obliqua and Ficus platypoda have recently been subsumed by Ficus rubiginosa. A small to large spreading tree, often buttressed; young stems rusty-pubescent commonly scattered in rocky sites on dry hills in open forest or in dry, littoral or rarely subtropical rainforest; coastal areas.

Leaves obovate, ovate or elliptic, mostly 7-10 cm long, 5-6 cm wide, rarely to 20 cm long and 10 cm wide; upper surface glabrous, lower surface mostly hairy and rusty-coloured; petiole usually 1-3 cm long; stipules 1.5-3 cm long, finely hairy or rarely glabrous.

A valuable plant for wildlife and habitat. Like all figs it requires pollination by a particular wasp species to set seed. This actually occurs fairly readily as fig seedlings are a common site in walls, cracks, crevices and buildings in urban areas of cities.

Known as damun ("tam-mun") to the local Eora and Darug inhabitants of the Sydney basin.

Slow growing, reaching 7-15 metres in height when mature, forming a spreading densely shading tree.

May form aerial roots which strike root upon reaching to the ground, forming secondary root systems. This process is known as banyaning

It is pollinated by a symbiotic relationship with a wasp species (Pleistodontes imperialis).

Host plant for Common Crow butterflies.