The Ficus Natalensis, also known as the Natal Fig, is a fig species that is indigenous to South Africa. It is a small tree or shrub that typically grows to about 10 feet in height and has a thicket-like growth habit. The Ficus Natalensis is notable for its edible fruit, which is enjoyed by both people and animals. In this blog post, we will provide an overview of the Ficus Natalensis, including general information, botanical references, range and habitat, cultivation details, and edible uses!
Origins: Ficus natalensis is a native of tropical Africa, specifically Mozambique, Zimbabwe, and South Africa (i.e., the “type locality”).
Appearance: Ficus natalensis is a small tree or large shrub that typically reaches a height of about 30 ft (or less).
Botanical References: The first formal botanical description of Ficus natalensis was provided by the Dutch physician and botanist Nikolaus Joseph von Jacquin in 1798.
Range: Ficus natalensis occurs naturally in tropical Africa, specifically Mozambique, Zimbabwe, and South Africa.
Habitat: Ficus natalensis grows in a variety of habitats, including woodlands, savannas, and coastal forests.
Height: Ficus natalensis typically reaches a height of about 30 ft (or less).
Leaves: The leaves of Ficus natalensis are simple, entire, and oblong to elliptical in shape. They are dark green in color and have a glossy appearance.
Flowers: Ficus natalensis produces small, greenish-white flowers that are borne in clusters.
Fruit: The fruit of Ficus natalensis is a small, fleshy drupe that is red or purple in color.
Edible Uses: The fruit of Ficus natalensis is edible and can be eaten fresh or made into jams and jellies. The leaves can also be cooked and eaten as greens.
Ficus Natalensis Bonsai Care
Ficus Natalensis, also known as the Natal fig or banyan fig, is a tropical tree native to Africa. It is a very popular subject for bonsai due to its interesting aerial roots and compact growth habit.
Natal figs are not difficult to care for, but they do have some specific requirements that must be met in order to thrive. Here are a few things you need to know about Ficus Natalensis bonsai care:
- Light: Natal figs prefer bright indirect sunlight. They can tolerate some direct sun, but too much will scorch their leaves.
- Water: These trees like to keep their roots moist at all times. Allow the top layer of soil to dry out in between watering.
- Soil: A well-draining potting mix is essential for Ficus Natalensis bonsai. You can use a commercial bonsai mix or make your own with equal parts akadama, pumice, and lava rock.
- Fertilizer: Feed your Natal fig every two weeks during the growing season with a balanced fertilizer diluted to half strength.