"Port Jackson fig"
Ficus rubiginosa, commonly known as the Port Jackson Fig or Rusty Fig comes from the Queensland and New South Wales. A variable fig in the wild it can come as a shrub or a large tree to some 50 metres, just depending on its habitat.
Port Jackson Fig is perhaps the most commonly bonsaied of all the Australian figs and is a highly prized bonsai subject.It has glossy, dark-green oval leaves to some 10 cm. These are shiny above and rusty red on the under-side, giving it its other common name of the rusty leafed fig.. The trunk is normally gnarled with some buttressing and air roots are common when grown in high humidity. The 1 cm fruits are popular with fruit bats and foraging birds.
As with most figs this species can take low light, indoor conditions and in the outdoors can be grown in full sun or part shade. With regular pruning and shaping this one can make an excellent dense hedge.
Remember that when grown in garden cultivation and given good conditions with plenty of warmth, moisture and food this is a fast-growing species that left to its own resources will be too large for the average garden. An interesting aside is that it is tolerant of salt spray, although this will normally lead to dwarfing and a reduced size.
As a bonsai subject this species is an excellent choice. It is fast-growing, the leaves reduce well with defoliation and the trunk can produce fascinating forms. And you can get air roots as well if this is your thing.
This species is not frost tolerant. It likes a rich loamy soil with good moisture. As indicated it can take full sun or pat shade and is tolerant of salt spray
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