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Ficus burtt-davyi

   (Family: Moraceae)
Afrikaans: Hotnotstou, Hottentotstou, Rooitou, Veldvy, Veldwildevy English: Burtt Davy's Fig, Scrambling Fig, Veld Fig Xhosa: Uluzi, Umdendekwana Zulu: Uluzi, Umthombe  EDIT
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Plant Type: EDIT  Tree
Special properties:
  Drought Resistant (heavy)
  Frost Tolerant (light)
Rarity Status:
Preferred rainfall: Winter
Preferred position:
Full Sun
Tolerated soil:  
  Sand (coarse texture, drains easily)
Biome: Forest
Flowering time EDIT
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Flower colours
  Elisabethiella baijnaithi Wiebes
Leaf shape EDIT
Leaf margin
Leaf type
Leaf arrangement
Leaf texture Smooth
Bark / Stem type
Leaf size 20 - 100mm
  Leaf info EDIT
  The glossy green leaves are more or less oval in shape and can vary in size from about 2 to 10 cm in length, depending on its habitat.
Fruit colour
Fruit size Length: 10mm   Width: 10mm
  Seed info EDIT
  The fruits are about 10 mm in diameter and are green mottled with white, turning yellowish when ripe.
Description EDIT
Grows as a shrub, climber or small tree.
Without support the stems may reach 1m in diameter, and up to 20m in height.
Bark is thin, smooth, grey and fibrous.
Growing EDIT
Tolerant of drought conditions.

Plant in full sun or light to partial shade in well drained soil, well away from permanent structures, paving and pools.

It can be grown over rocks as an unusual feature in a rock garden, will adapt to a container and is commonly grown as a successful bonsai. It is salt tolerant and can be grown on coastal dunes, where it will seldom grow more than a meter high.

Unless in a container, this plant is not recommended for smaller gardens.
Distribution EDIT
It grows in coastal and inland forests up to 1500m, from the vicinity of Mossel Bay in the Southern Cape to southern Mozambique - the forms growing on coastal dunes in the northern part of its range are salt tolerant and form low thickets on the margins of woodland. In the southern and eastern Cape forests the species becomes a strangler or liane, while when found on rocky outcrops and cliffs it usually develops into a rock-splitter.
History EDIT
The species was named in honour of the botanist Joseph Burtt Davy, who worked in South Africa between 1903 and 1919.
Excellent shade tree.

In earlier times the bark was pounded and woven into sleeping mats.
The bark is also much used by indigenous tribes as rough cordage.
Ecology EDIT
In its epiphytic form this species starts its life in the forks of tree branches, where an accumulation of organic debris aids germination and initial development. It sends down long, thin roots to reach soil and water below. The roots thicken and grow in number with the passage of time, and can eventually enclose the supporting tree, strangling and killing it, leaving the fig to stand alone with no competition for resources.

Depends on the minute Chalcid wasp Elisabethiella baijnathi Wiebes for pollination.
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