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Ficus brachypoda (Miq.) Miq.
Ficus platypoda var. minor (Miq.) Miq.  
Common Name: Ficus, Common Rock-fig, Rock Fig, Wild Fig, Small-leaved Rock Fig
Aboriginal Language Names: Alyawarr: tywerrk (Latz 1995) (Blackman and Moore 2004)Anmatyerr: tywerrk (Latz 1995) (Green 2003)Eastern Arrernte: utyerrke (Latz 1995) (Henderson and Dobson 1994)Jaminjung, Ngaliwurru, Nungali: Dinbarli (Jam, Ngal, Nung)Jaru: ngirlimiriKaytetye: tyerrke, tywerrke (Turpin 2012)Mangarrayi, Yangman: WarndagNgarinyman: DinbarliPintupi Luritja: ili, witjirrki, yili (Latz 1995)Pitjantjatjara: ili (Latz 1995) (Goddard 1992)Wagiman: marunWarlpiri: wijirrki (Latz 1995) (Hale 1995)Warray: jurrumbul, jatbengu.Western Arrernte: tywerrke (Latz 1995) tjurrka (Roennfeldt 2005)
Description: Tree or shrub, to 10m tall, monoecious, lithophytic; indumentum on all organs puberulous or pilose, of ascending hyaline hairs with or without weak ferruginous hairs, or with weak ferruginous hairs only, glabrescent; some organs may be entirely glabrous but indumentum always present on some. Twigs 1.5-5.6 mm diam., internodes solid. Petiole 3-40 mm long, 1-3.5 mm wide, periderm persistent. Leaves alternate, ovate, narrowly elliptic, elliptic, lanceolate; apex acute, obtuse; base cordate, rounded, obtuse, cuneate, 19.5-126 mm long, 6.5-69 mm wide, cystoliths indistinct or visible as raised dots on lower leaf surface, waxy gland absent or present at base of midvein at junction with petiole, margin entire, coriaceous; lateral veins 21-68 pairs, intercostals not sunken, basal veins indistinct or distinct. Stipules amplexicaul, 14-76 mm long. Syconia axillary, spheroid, obloid, 4-17.5 mm long, 3.8-17 mm diam., pale yellow, yellow, orange, burnt orange-red, red. Ostiole triradiate, bracts valvate. Peduncle 1-11 mm long, 0.5-1.8 mm diam. Basal bracts usually 3, rarely 2, to 4 mm long, imbricate, caducous. Male florets interspersed with the female and gall florets, sessile or pedicellate, tepals 3 or 4, anthers 1. Female florets embedded in wall of receptacle, sessile, or pedicellate; tepals 3 or 4, stigma simple. Gall florets sessile, subsessile, or pedicellate; tepals 3 or 4. Interfloral bracts present.
Diagnostic Characters: It may be distinguished from F. atricha by its parts being variously hairy.
Similar Taxa: F. atricha.
Whole plant (or habit)
Image: J.L. Purdie
Leaf or Leaves
Image: NT Herbarium
Leaves & flowers &/or fruit
Image: B.Stuckey
Image: NT Herbarium
Image: J.L. Purdie
Image: M. Osterkamp
Notes: Used as a food source and for fibre by various Indigenous groups throughout the Top End (see Liddy, et al., 2006; Linsay, et al., 2001 as F. platypoda; Puruntatameri et al., 2001; Smith et al., 1993 as F. platypoda; Wightman et al., 1992 as F. platypoda; Wiynjorrotj, 2005; Yunupingu et al., 1995 as F. platypoda).Ficus brachypoda is a variable species which at first glance may be mistaken for F. atricha, with which it is sympatric for part of its range. Populations of F. brachypoda from the more xeric areas of its distribution have leaves that are narrower and stiffly coriaceous. Common Rock-fig.


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  • Specimen Icon Specimens
  • Observation Icon Observations
  • Specimen Cultivar Icon Cultivated
Introduced Status: Native to NT
Distribution Notes: It is commonly encountered throughout its distributional range, including the Darwin Region. The only fig species found in central Australia.
Bioregion: Arnhem Coast, Arnhem Plateau, Burt Plain, Central Arnhem, Central Ranges, Channel Country, Daly Basin, Dampierland, Darwin Coastal, Davenport Murchison Ranges, Finke, Great Sandy Desert, Gulf Coastal, Gulf Fall and Uplands, Little Sandy Desert, MacDonnell Ranges, Mitchell Grass Downs, Mount Isa Inlier, Northern Kimberley, Ord Victoria Plain, Pilbara, Pine Creek, Simpson Strzelecki Dunefields, Tanami, Victoria Bonaparte
International: Recorded in Malesia.

Habitat: Ficus brachypoda is a lithophytic species commonly found on outcrops of sandstone, limestone, quartz, granite, and occasionally basalt and laterite.

Ecological Attributes

Flowering: Jan, Mar, Apr, May, Jun, Aug, Sep, Oct, Nov
Fruiting: Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr, May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct, Nov

Other Attributes

Conservation Status (TPWCA): Least Concern
Restricted Range Taxon: N
NT Parks: Alice Springs Desert Park, Anna's Reservoir Conservation Reserve, Arltunga Historical Reserve, Cutta Cutta Caves Nature Park, Dulcie Range National Park, Finke Gorge National Park, Fish River Gorge Block, Giwining / Flora River Nature Park, Iytwelepenty / Davenport Ranges National Park, Joint Geological / Geophysical Reserve, Judbarra / Gregory National Park, Kakadu National Park, Keep River National Park, Keep River National Park Extension (Proposed), Kuyunba Conservation Reserve, Litchfield National Park, Mary River National Park, N'Dhala Gorge Nature Park, Nitmiluk National Park, Rainbow Valley Conservation Reserve, Ruby Gap Nature Park, Tjoritja / West MacDonnell National Park, Trephina Gorge Nature Park, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Watarrka National Park
Flora Description Source: Flora of the Darwin Region


Alyawarr: Food: Water sources. Anmatyerr: Material and Culture: Firewood, Toys; Weapons and Implements: Spears. Eastern Arrernte: Material and Culture: Others. Kaytetye: Food: Fruit flesh. Pintupi Luritja: Food: Fruit flesh. Pitjantjatjara: Food: Fruit flesh, Gum, Others, Plant foods for animals; Material and Culture: Others, Shade or shelter, Toys; Weapons and Implements: Fish-poisons and traps. Warlpiri: Food: Plant foods for animals; Material and Culture: Shade or shelter; Weapons and Implements: Fish-poisons and traps. Western Arrernte: Material and Culture: Shade or shelter.
Ethnobotany Source: Latz, P.K. 1995


Seed Collection: Fruits ripen progressively and can be assumed to be mature when skin colour is red. Place into cloth or paper bags. (Alice Springs Desert Park)
Seed Propagation General: Cover seeds with 2mm of seed raising media or sterilised sand. Prick-out approximately 12-20 weeks after sowing, with general potting media. Protect newly germinated and potted seedlings from high heat and wind. Gradually expose to harsher conditions as the plant grows. (Alice Springs Desert Park).
Cutting Collection: Soft tip-cuttings, from actively growing plants current seasons growth. Store or transport wrapped in wet newspaper and sealed in plastic bag, in refridgerator. (Alice Springs Desert Park)
Cutting Treatment: Trim cuttings to 5-10cm in length, dip in 3000ppm IBA rooting hormone. (Alice Springs Desert Park)
Cutting Propagation General: Intermittent mist and bottom heat. Cutting media 5:3 (perlite:coco-peat). Roots in 4-5 weeks. Strike rate has been excellant. (Alice Springs Desert Park)

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