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The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

Swamp Fig

Afrikaans name: Moerasvy

Leaves of the Swamp Fig

Swamp Fig

Photo © Steven Herbert

Ficus trichopoda

As its name suggests this fig tree is found in swamp habitats in coastal regions. It is also known as the Hippo Fig as it is found in habitats that are near where you might find Hippos.

Some specimens grow to a height of around 25 metres but most hardly rach half that height. They are more likely to be shrub or of a medium height. The Swamp Fig sends down aerial roots which can form into new trees.

The abundant figs that this tree produces can put on a colourful show. They start off green, then turn orange before ending up red.

The figs are eaten by many species of mammals and birds. Figs that fall into the water are eaten by Banded Tilapia and Silver Catfish. The bulk of the fruit is on the tree in summer but there are some figs on it all year round.

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References and further reading

Everyone's Guide to Trees of South Africa - Author: Keith, Paul and Meg Coates Palgrave - Year Published: 1989 - Page: 23

The Complete Field Guide to Trees of Natal, Zululand and Transkei - Author: Elsa Pooley - Year Published: 1994 - Page: 72

Trees of Southern Africa - 3rd edition - Author: Keith Coates Palgrave - Year Published: 2002 - Page: 151

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