Real Cherry like cerasicarpa fruit.

cerasicarpa unripe Sydney

The fruit of cerasicarpa is meant to look like that of a cherry, with a long stem leading to a small rounded fruit. However the fruit of the plants I came across in the wild didn’t fit the description. The ‘type’ sample does however have obviously long-stemmed fruit and it made me wonder if the stem length varied season to season depending on how good the conditions were?

cerasicarpa holatype Dale Dixon from A Chequered History: the Taxonomy of Ficus platypoda and F. leucotricha (Moraceae: Urostigma sect. Malvanthera) Unravelled
cerasicarpa holatype Dale Dixon from A Chequered History: the Taxonomy of Ficus platypoda and F. leucotricha (Moraceae: Urostigma sect. Malvanthera) Unravelled – note the long thin peduncles.

 

It seems this is the case. The fruit collect from plants in wild had short peduncles (fruit stems) in relation to the size of the fruit. See below.

 

cerasicarpa wild fruit
cerasicarpa wild fruit

 

Cuttings taken from these same wild plants have since produced fruit. From the picture below you can see their peduncles are twice the length of those on fruit collected from the parent plant while growing in the wild. This shows the same plant can produce dramatically different looking fruit depending on the conditions it’s growing in.

 

cerasicarpa unripe Sydney
cerasicarpa cultivated fruit – with long fruit stems

 

The ‘seed’ from these unripe cerasicarpa fruit has been planted even though the fruit hadn’t ripened. Past experience shows that Ficus fraseri fruit doesn’t need to be ripe for there to be some variable seed. It may be possible that other species too will produce seed in unripe fruit. This makes me wonder if there needs to be a certain number of pollinated flowers within a fruit before the fruit will ripen and become soft. I’ve heard that Ficus carica fruit crack when ‘too many’ flowers have been pollinated and each expands and cracks the main fruiting body?

If the seed from this unripe cerasicarpa fruit does grow then it has probably been pollinated by a local Sydney fig and the resulting seedlings are potentially hybrids.