17 October, 2008

The Curtain Figtree, Yungaburra

Famous FigtreeWhen overseas I can often let people know where I am from, by reference to this tree.
Most people who visit the Atherton Tablelands call in to see this strangler fig. Bring your fish-eye lense if you have one!
The fig fell over after it had killed its host but before it was strong enough to support itself. The result of its being caught by another tree and continuing to produce these aerial roots is the famous curtain. The roots are still growing and more are being added each year. The red tips indicate that this is new growth which has been prompted by recent good rains.

Ficus virens is a deciduous tree which grows from northern New South Wales to Asia. The leafless period is brief and below you can see that new leaves are starting to show in the dawn light. SunriseThe new leaves of figs are wrapped in sheathing stipules which in most species drop to the forest floor as the leaf opens. As the new growth is rapid, a shower of these pink stipules falls onto the path below as in this picture. In a few days the fig is approaching its former glory.


Jenny said...

Hi Alan, yep, we visited that Figree when we had our trip over. I was one of the four ladies who stood you a pint at Yungaburra pub to thank you for your birding help back in Nov 2005. Many thanks for that help! (-: Cheers Jen

Paul said...

hey alan, nice to connect again up @ the markets. I noticed the curtain fig had nice lush new growth on it... didn't realize virens was semi-decid.. thought that was only Ficus superba

loving your blog, very educational/inspirational