Namaqua Fig Tree

Ficus cordata

The Namaqua Fig is an exceptionally hardy tree occurring in arid, rocky areas from South Africa’s Western Cape northwards to southern Angola. Despite the harshness of their environment, Namaqua Figs can grow to 10m high, bearing fruit in spring and summer that is sought after by primates, frugivorous birds and even lizards. The fruit however are normally heavily infested with insects and not fit for humans to eat. As is the case for many other kinds of fig trees, this species relies on a particular species of wasp, Platyscapa desertorumfor pollination. The bark of the Namaqua Fig is used to tan and dye leather.

The immediate area around the Augrabies Falls is an excellent place to marvel at these rock-splitting trees growing into and even seemingly hanging onto the bare rock and cliff faces.

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