Australian Bush Tucker Bites presents Plentiful Fig (Ficus copiosa).
Grown as a food crop in Papua New Guinea, this plant is also found in Northern Australia. The figs are edible, but bland. It is the leaves that are most often consumed, either raw or cooked.
This fig is unusual in that it can be kept very short and even hedged, making it easy to grow even in smaller gardens. However, in terms of pollination this tree grows best in its native range. It produces two different types of female flower to encourage its single wasp pollinator to visit. The wasp lays eggs on smaller female flowers and then visits other flowers to pollinate. This arrangement is not unusual for fig species but must surely restrict their range.
While humans may show disdain for the fruits, the birds love them!
This post was originally published on Medium as a part of the “Australian Bush Tucker Bites” series which is also available as an eBook introducing 52 bush food plants from around Australia.
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