For the identification of insects and other fauna and flora of South Africa: please click on the following links:
Insects and related species: Antlions - Ants - Bees - Beetles - Bugs - Butterflies, Moths and Caterpillars - Centipedes and Millipedes - Cockroaches - Crickets - Dragonflies and Damselflies - Grasshoppers and Katydids - Mantis - Stick Insects - Ticks and Mites - Wasps - Woodlice
Plants, Trees, Flowers: (Note: Unless plants fall into a specific species such as Cacti, they have been classified by their flower colour to make them easier to find) Bonsai - Cacti, Succulents, Aloes, Euplorbia - Ferns and Cycads - Flowers - Fungi, Lichen and Moss - Grass - Trees
Animals, Birds, Reptiles etc.: Animals, Birds, Fish and Crabs - Frogs - Lizards - Scorpions - Snails and Slugs - Snakes - Spiders - Tortoise, Turtles and Terrapins - Whipscorpions
Other photography: Aeroplanes - Cars and Bikes - Travel - Sunrise - Water drops/falls - Sudwala and Sterkfontein Caves etc.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Wonderboom Fig (Ficus salicifolia)

Family Moraceae
In my search for more information on this tree, I see that it is also called a Willow Leaf fig.
The Wonderboom Nature Reserve is a 1 km² reserve centered on a wild willowleaf fig tree Ficus salicifolia that is more than a thousand years old, found towards the north of the Magaliesberg Mountains in the Northern portion of the Pretoria Metropole, South Africa.

The famous tree is situated at the foot of the Magaliesberg and is currently protected from human traffic around its trunk and roots. As it has grown, its outlying branches have rooted themselves round the parent tree. This has repeated until there are now three circles of daughter trees encircling the mother fig, with 13 distinct trunks, covering a 50m area.

"Wonderboom" is the Afrikaans name that translates as "Wonder Tree," or more accurately "Miracle Tree."
The following info is from:

The Wonderboom is the name given to this massive wild fig tree (Ficus salicifolia). The tree was discovered in 1836 by the Voortrekkers, under Hendrik Potgieter, who named it the Wonderboom.

Wonderboom is Afrikaans for "Wonder Tree" or "Miracle Tree". The Wonderboom tree's branches reach over 50 meters in diameter, and the highest branches reach up 23 meters high! Exceptional size for a wild fig tree.

Wonderboom Nature Reserve is a 200 ha reserve which protects the 1000 year old Wonderboom tree.

Legend has it that it grew this big because a chief of an indigenous tribe was buried beneath it.

One can hike to the ruins of the Wonderboom Fort, at the top of the Wonderboom Hill, one of four forts built at the end of the 19th century, by the Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek to defend Pretoria against the British forces.