Ficus opposita

Ficus opposita

(Sandpaper Fig)




Ficus opposita

Common name

Sandpaper Fig

Fruit colour; life form

Figs reddish-brown; small tree


Cairns, Townsville


A native species, with harsh rough leaves with the feel of sandpaper, hence the common name. The juvenile leaves of this plant are highly variable in shape and size. Stipules 4-15 mm long. The figs are stalked and reddish-brown in colour at maturity. There is one near the bridge leading from the Student Union to the Library. Latex is present. Despite the harshness of the leaves this plant is one of the host plants for a small butterfly Philiris innotata. The larvae feed on the leaves and leave ‘tracks’ on the lower surface of the leaf, they are often difficult to see when resting because they are pale green. The lower side of the wings of the adult butterfly are white below but males are purple above and the females are blue.