Unlike the profusion of small fruits produced by others trees in the fig family, Broom-cluster Figs are orange-red and soft when ripe, and eaten or made into jam by locals. The tree’s latex is used to treat boils, and the wood for drums. But at Ferncliffe the tree feeds game, monkeys, birds, bats, insects and butterflies. It’s another quick-growing tree, stretching skywards by 1m a year.
The Cape or Broom-cluster fig’s fruits can even appear on the roots.
According to Sanbi, figs are not in fact fruits, but inside-out flower stalks that are pollinated by wasps. Each species of fig tree, it says, has its own species of wasp pollinator.