Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Ficus destruens F.Muell. ex C.T.White

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Figs [vot vouchered]. © G. Sankowsky
Figs, side views and cross section. © W. T. Cooper
Leaves and figs [vot vouchered]. © G. Sankowsky
Leaves and figs [vot vouchered]. © G. Sankowsky
Leaves and figs. © CSIRO
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
Male flowers. © CSIRO
Female flowers(?). © CSIRO
Male flowers, anthers opening on one suture. © CSIRO
Cotyledon and 1st leaf stage, epigeal germination. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO
Illustration of fig and branch. © A. Field

White, C.T. (1933) Contributions from the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University 4: 16. Type: Gadagarra, Atherton Tableland, alt. 800 m., S. F. Kajewski 1087, 8 Jun. 1929; holo: BRI.

Common name

Fig, Boonjee; Fig, Rusty; Strangler Fig; Fig; Fig, Strangler; Rusty Fig; Boonjee Fig


A strangling fig.


Younger leaf blades rusty on the underside. Petioles and twigs produce a milky exudate. Stipules pink, about 2-5 cm long, hairy on the outer surface. Leafy twigs hairy. Leaf blades about 9-18 x 2-6 cm.


Tepals glabrous. Male flowers dispersed among the fruitlets in the ripe fig. Bracts at the base of the fig, three. No lateral bracts on the outside of the fig body.


Figs with a short thick peduncle, figs +/- globular, about 15 x 12 mm. Orifice a bilabiate slit, closed within the body of the fig by inflexed, but not interlocking, apical and internal bracts.


Cotyledons +/- orbicular, about 3-4 mm long. At the tenth leaf stage: leaf blade lanceolate or ovate, apex acute, margin crenate, with about 2-7 teeth each side, +/- glabrous on the upper surface. Stipules narrowly triangular, sheathing the terminal bud, sometimes with a few reddish hairs. Taproot thickened. Seed germination time 14 to 75 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Endemic to Queensland, occurs in CYP, NEQ and CEQ. Altitudinal range from sea level to 1000 m. Grows in well developed upland and mountain rain forest but sometimes extends outside the rain forest and grows as an epiphyte in eucalypt forest.

Natural History & Notes

Fruit eaten by several species of birds. Cooper & Cooper (1994).

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