Large-leaved Rock Fig

Ficus abutilifolia

Seen growing on rocky outcrops and cliffs from northern Kwazulu-Natal through Mpumalanga and Limpopo to North West Province (and beyond our borders as far afield as Guinea in the west and Somalia in the north-east), the Large-leaved Rock Fig is an easily noticed and impressive tree not necessarily for its size but because it is capable of flourishing in apparently precarious locations and of splitting rocks with its roots. These trees seldom grow taller than 5m, though their roots can stretch up to 60m deep!

In keeping with many other kinds of fig, the Large-leaved Rock Fig is pollinated by wasps. Ripe fruit are much sought after by frugivorous birds, bats and primates (humans included!), and antelope and wild pigs are very fond of figs that have fallen to the ground. Though their use in a garden is limited due to the strong and expansive roots, these trees work excellently as bonsai.

25 thoughts on “Large-leaved Rock Fig

    1. de Wets Wild Post author

      It’s incredible to see these trees not clinging to life but actually thriving despite their precarious perches. Again we stand in awe at how perfect His Creation is.


      1. de Wets Wild Post author

        I can imagine in places like Mapungubwe with a high concentration of elephants that can have an especially serious impact on those growing within reach, Joep. Luckily some are in such difficult to reach places that they probably act as a “reservoir” from where fruit and seed can be spread to start a next generation.


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