Common Name: Roxburgh fig, elephant ear fig tree
Scientific Name : Ficus auriculata Lour
This roxburgh fig tree is a favourite of our caretaker Bob! I won’t be surprised or disappointed if he cultivates them all around the cabin gardens at Booyong and they pop up everywhere.
As you can see the leaves are large (30-40 cm) and have even been used as plates, which is not a bad idea really (no washing up required) and it conveniently grows right next to the BBQ.
The tree was quite small when we arrived and the leaves were red and have turned to green. It’s a perennial evergreen that grows up to 12m high and bears pear shaped clusters of fruit which is edible and used to make jams, juices and curries in India. The plant is native to Asia and the Vietnamese use unripe fruits in their salads. Apparently when juiced with pineapples it’s quite refreshing.
Medicinal qualities include applying latex from the stems to cuts and wounds and roasting the fruit to treat diarrhoea.
As with all native bush foods correct identification is essential.
If you’d like a cutting of this rare plant send us a message, I understand Bob’s our caretaker is happy to trade!