Real World Gardener BUSH TUCKER Ficus coronata is Plant of the Week

August 7th, 2016

REAL WORLD GARDENER Wed. 5pm 2RRR 88.5fm Sydney, streaming live at www.2rrr.org.au  and Across Australia on the Community Radio Network. www.realworldgardener.com
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PLANT OF THE WEEK

Sandpaper Fig Ficus coronata

Bush tucker plants are one of the hot trends in horticulture and this one is no exception.

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Ficus coronate Sandpaper Fig

What about a tree that has leaves the not only feel like sandpaper, but can be used for sandpapering surfaces.

Let’s find out more about this plant by listening to the podcast.

I'm talking with the plant panel, Karen Smith, editor of Hort Journal www.hortjournal.com.au  and Jeremy Critchley, The Green Gallery wholesale nursery owner. www.thegreengallery.com.au

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Ficus coronata serves as a food plant for the caterpillars of the Queensland butterfly the common- or purple moonbeam. One of many host plants for the larvae of the Common Crow (Euploea core).

Good jam fruit but fussy to prepare because of hairs on skin.

Suited to a shady position in gardens, or medium to brightly lit indoor spaces. Like all figs in garden situations, they attract birds such as species of silvereye and rainforest pigeon.

Of the 1,000 fig species, most are tropical and 70 per cent of the animal life in the rainforest depends on them.

They are a “keystone” species: no figs, no jungle. Birds, bats, monkeys, gibbons, insects – all run on figs.

They are sweet – which means they are high in energy – and the trees can fruit/flower several times a year.

Aboriginal Women: Would use the leaves to "sand" there feet and nails.

Men: Would use the leaves to do the fine sanding of important artefacts and weapons.

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