Sandpaper Fig

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Ficus opposita

Family : Moraceae

The Sandpaper Fig grows to 8 metres in height and may be bushy or straggly, depending on its growing conditions. It will often have a rounded crown and will loose leaves in the drier times.

Leaves are dark green, broad and stiff. These feel like sandpaper and can be used for sandpapering surfaces. Leaves vary considerably in their roughness. The bark is dark and deeply furrowed.

The Sandpaper Fig has separate male and female trees. The flowers are very small and enclosed inside the globular fruit. Female fruit turn a deep red or black when ripe, often dripping a clear sweet nectar. Birds such as Bowerbirds and Fig Birds love this fruit which contains numerous tiny seeds.

This plant is versatile and grows in most soils tolerating sand, salt and full sun. It is relatively fast growing and tolerates heavy pruning.


Traditional Owner Values

Manbarra Traditional Owners - The Sandpaper Fig is used as a medicine for healing skin rashes. It’s other purpose is to sand down boomerang.

Quick Facts

Flowers July to February
Fruit July to February
Coastal Zone Hind Dune
Fauna Habitat Birds and Insects
Growth Habit Tree
Typical Height 4m - 8m
Soils Most Soils
Amount of Sun Full Sun, Partial Sun or Shade
Amount of Water Dry or Moderately Wet Areas
Salt Tolerance Moderately Tolerant


NQ Dry Tropics gratefully acknowledges the contribution of the Coastal Dry Tropics Landcare Group Incorporated (CTDLI) to the development of this page's information.

Related information

Sandpaper Fig © NQ Dry Tropics

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