You’re going to hear me bang on about hybrid native figs a fair bit. It’s a topic I’ve been studying for a few years now and I’m still trying to prove to Australia’s leading fig experts that it happens… all the time!
There’s very little written about figs hybridising, I’m planning to change that by writing some snippets on the evidence I’ve gathered over the years!
Here’s a quick example. I’ve been growing a Ficus triradiata in the ground for maybe 8 years and it fruited for the first time this year. This species naturally occurs in The Daintree Rainforest of Far North Queensland and it’s pollinating wasp isn’t found around Sydney.
I’ve seen Ficus crassipes, another FNQ fig grow in Sydney and it’s fruit is as hard as wood because it doesn’t get pollinated. I was really surprised when after months on this Ficus triradiata some of the fruit started to soften and ripen! Upon opening the fruit, it was full of seed and so too has been every fruit since.
It would seem that a wasp from a Sydney species has pollinated this tree, pollen possibly from Ficus rubigiosa or Ficus obliqua. I’ve potted up seed and hope to get some seedlings that look like rubiginosa or obliqua. Therefore getting morphologic evidence of cross pollination.
The ultimate result would be if some of the offspring produced fruit that is different from the parent, it will be at least five years before the seedlings produce fruit, good thing I’m patient.