Characteristics of Sandpaper Fig Tree (Ficus coronata) in the Wild

Ficus coronata
Sandpaper Fig or Creek Sandpaper Fig (Ficus coronata) is a species of fig tree native to Australia. The tree is found along the east coast from Mackay in Central Queensland, through New South Wales, and into Victoria near Mallacoota.

Sandpaper Fig grows along the banks of rivers and gullies in rainforests and open forests. The name “Sandpaper Fig” comes from its leaves which are rough like sandpaper, just like most other sandpaper trees including the Sandpaper White Fig (Ficus exasperata).

Ficus coronata was first described by the Italian Marquese di Spigno in 1818. Its Latin name coronata means “crowned”, referring to a ring of feathers around the apex of the fruit. Ficus stephanocarpa (also meaning ‘crowned fruit’) as described by German botanist Otto Warburg is a synonym.

 

Characteristics of Sandpaper Fig Leaf

Ficus coronata Leaf
Source: flickr.com/Margaret Donald

The leaves are ovate or elliptical, 5-15 cm long by 2-5 cm wide, and very rough like sandpaper on the top.

 

Characteristics of Sandpaper Fig Fruit

Ficus coronata Fruit
Source: flickr.com/Flora & Fauna of the Mid North Coast of NSW

The fruit is oval, about 1.5 cm long, and covered with thick hairs.

The fruit is edible and delicious, the fruit is also consumed by Aboriginal people.

 

Characteristics of Sandpaper Fig Tree

Ficus coronata Tree
Source: flickr.com/tommmyG

Sandpaper Fig grows as an upright shrub or tree that can reach a height of 5-15 meters with a width of up to 5 meters. The trunk is dark brown and mature trees have aerial roots that are wrapped around each other and are very strong.

This tree serves as food for Caterpillars, Butterflies, Birds, and other animals in Australia.

In addition, Sandpaper Fig Trees are also often used as Bonsai subjects in Australia and neighboring countries such as Indonesia. They have unique foliage and the trees are not very big. Also, this tree is suitable to be planted in the yard of the house as an
ornamental tree or a shade tree.

 

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