Katherine Rock Fig, a New Platypoda like Species?

Many years ago I bought a batch Ficus platypoda seedlings from a Northern Territory Greening Australia . I’d always had my doubts that these plants were labelled correctly. Now that I’ve seen ‘true’ platypoda in the wild my doubts are pretty much confirmed. These plants are not ‘real’ platypoda.

 

Left two leaves are from Ficus platypoda, the two leaves on the right are from this platypoda like plant.
Left two leaves are from Ficus platypoda, the two leaves on the right are from this platypoda like plant.

 

The foliage is greener and less hairy, but the clincher is the size of the bracts that cover the fruit. Platypoda has large bracts that develop from the base of the fig body, covering the fruit and persist on the fruit for most of its life. These plants have small bracts that fall off early in fruits growth.

 

Young fruit of this platypoda like plant showing three basal bracts that fall off early in the fruit 's development.
Young fruit of this platypoda like plant showing three basal bracts that fall off early in the fruit ‘s development.

 

When in Katherine I saw at least one plant that I thought was the same as these ‘pseudo’ platypoda. It was growing on a rock on private property north of the town,  I wasn’t able to get a good look at it.

This plant has produced ripe fruit in Sydney, which is a bit unexpected because it seems very different to any of the local figs. I’ve successfully grown many seedlings, that are still too small to see any signs of mixed parentage. My guess is that they have been pollinated by rubiginosa or obliqua.

 

Shoot from this platypoda like plant.
Shoot from this platypoda like plant.

 

New tip of this platypoda like plant showing two new fruit forming under the leaf sheath.
New tip of this platypoda like plant showing two new fruit forming under the leaf sheath.

 

New spring foliage of this platypoda like plant. These plants drop all their leaves in Sydney's winters.
New spring foliage of this platypoda like plant. These plants drop all their leaves in Sydney’s winters.

 

Ripe fruit with a run of nectar like liquid spilling out of it.
Ripe fruit with a run of nectar.