Moreton Bay figs
Moreton Bay Figs grow up to 50 metres tall in some climates. They are usually branched heavily in the crowns and consist of spreading masses of foliage.
They occur naturally on the eastern coast of Australia from Narooma to Brisbane and can also be found in Papua New Guinea. They do not occur naturally in sandstone so before Europeans arrived, there were none in the Centennial Parklands area.
Moreton Bay figs are identifiable by their large buttresses and purple fruits. They can grow in a variety of sites and occur in sub-tropical, warm-temperate and dry rainforests. They are commonly planted as avenue and shade trees in parks and around farms.
In rainforests Moreton Bay figs often begin life from seeds placed by birds in the bark or branch forks of other trees, their aerial roots gradually surround and strangle their host.
Where can Moreton Bay figs be seen in the Parklands?
Moore Park is well-known for the historic avenue of figs planted in the 1860s by Charles Moore, Director of the Royal Botanic Garden. Fine examples of Port Jackson and Moreton Bay figs run the length of the Park on Anzac Parade.
There are three giant Moreton Bay figs in Queens Park that are estimated to be older than the Park. These three examples are the biggest in the Parklands.
Another striking example of a Moreton Bay fig can be found in Musgrave Avenue. Known as the “mighty buttress tree”, this tree has thick buttress roots as tall as the average man.
The “Dragon Tree” is an enormous Moreton Bay fig on Lang Road slopes, west of Jervois Road. Its branches and substantial root structure twist and turn creating mystical, magical, animal shapes.