Desert Fig (Ficus brachypoda)
Interchangeably called Desert Fig, Native Fig and Rock Fig is a spreading
shrub or tree up to 8 m in height with smooth pale grey bark, and found growing
on or near rock. Usually a tree of the tropic, this species has adapted to dry
conditions and are found in gorges and other sheltered areas. The roots of the figs
can penetrate half a kilometre into rock crevices in search of moisture. The
broad, evergreen leaves have a skin which is glossy on one side, to reflect the
sun's heat, and thick, to cut down water loss by evaporation.
This species consists of plants with various hair types and was previously
described under F. platypoda and F. obliqua. Those plants found growing in the
arid areas of its range tend to have leaves that are smaller, narrower, thicker
and more leathery.