Medium to large-sized evergreen or briefly deciduous tree, with a spreading growth habit, often with arial roots. Height 10-18m and spread 10m. Wonderfully shady tree that attracts masses of birds when in full fruiting. Often starts as a strangler. Grows up to an altitude of 1800m.Bark smoothish, pale to dark grey, sometimes with vertical lines of lenticels; latex present. Bears yellowish or rarely pink fruit (5-10mm), throughout year except for September - November.
Closely related to Ficus thoningii and Ficus natalensis, both of which are very similar but not the same as F. burkei (F. thoningii occurs in West Africa only, and F. natalensis is not indigenous to the Sunshine Coast). Soil tolerant but should be kept moist. Grows well in full sun. Moderately frost and drought tolerant.
Fast growing. Do not plant close to buildings, sewer pipes or swimming pools as the roots are highly invasive – as for most indigenous fig species. Because the young figs ooze latex if broken off, do not plant over fish ponds as the latex clogs fish gills.
Birds, bats, monkeys, baboons, bushpig, warthog and antelope such as bushbuck, nyala, duiker and klipspringer feed on the ripe figs facilitating seed dispersal.