Saturday, October 25, 2014

Broom Cluster Fig

Want to see a crazy tree?  Done!  Meet the strange broom cluster fig.

Known for its dense, spreading crown, the broom cluster fig tree offers popular puddles of cool shade for animals and people alike, from the northern-most tip of Africa all the way down to the Cape of South Africa.  But the best part of this fast-growing African tree is its crazy look.  Though they seem like warts, these fig clusters not only grow on the tree´s upheld arms- they actually grow on the roots sometimes, too!  

Some indigenous African people have long-held beliefs in the magical powers of this tree, and use it in religious ceremonies and celebrations. Its notoriously soft white wood is often used for making drums, and its inner-bark is a popular rope-making material. The milky sap is also known to treat throat ailments and boils.  But everyone´s favorite?  

Its fruit!  The figs are ripe and ready when they turn an orangish-red!

So many figs, but no fig newtons.  Sigh....