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The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

Red-leaved Fig

Afrikaans name: Rooiblaarvy

Leaves and fruit of the Red-leaved Rock Fig

Red-leaved Fig

Photo © Steven Herbert

Ficus ingens

The Red-leaved Fig varies in size from little more than a shrub to a sizeable tree of 13 metres or more. In Gauteng it tends to be smaller than in the areas at lower altitude. The crown of larger trees can be 30 metres wide.

It is found along the eastern region of South Africa from the Eastern Cape to Limpopo. It also occurs in Gauteng and the North West province.

The bark of this tree is quite smooth and greyish in colour. New leaves are reddish in colour which give rise to its common name. Mature leaves are pale green. The figs grow in pairs and are up to 2 cm in diameter.

The Red-leaved Fig is a great choice for gardens in suitable areas but it is only recommended for larger gardens because of its powerful root system. Do not plant it near your house, pool or any other structure as they could damage them. They make good bonsai specimens.


Leaves of the Red-leaved Fig

Photo © Steven Herbert


References and further reading

Everyone's Guide to Trees of South Africa - Author: Keith, Paul and Meg Coates Palgrave - Year Published: 1989 - Page: 22

Field Guide to the Cradle of Humankind - Author: B. Hilton-Barber & Prof. L. R. Berger - Year Published: 2004 - Page: 197

Field Guide to the Trees of the Kruger National Park - Author: Piet van Wyk - Year Published: 2008 - Page: 28

The Complete Field Guide to Trees of Natal, Zululand and Transkei - Author: Elsa Pooley - Year Published: 1994 - Page: 74

Trees of Southern Africa - 3rd edition - Author: Keith Coates Palgrave - Year Published: 2002 - Page: 143

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