Ficus macrophylla f. columnaris - Lord Howe Island Fig

Watercolour & graphite on paper
69 cm H x 49 cm W


Ficus macrophylla f. columnaris is a fig tree endemic to Lord Howe Island, in the south Pacific Ocean. A banyan, similar to the Moreton Bay Fig, but having column like aerial roots, many thick trunks and somewhat smaller leaves. They can grow to 20 metres (66 ft) tall. They can cover up to 2 hectares (4.9 acres), with many trunks. The Lord Howe Island Fig is a large tree characterised by cascading tresses of brownish hued aerial roots, falling from high branches. The aerial roots anchor themselves in the soil once they reach the ground. There is a canopy of leaves overhead, however this work has focussed on the unique aerial roots and the lightly buttressed but strong trunks which have developed from the roots. The work shows two long cascades of roots coming from a branch high in the tree. To the right of the roots is a complex of trunks, some of which seem to have fused together. In the gaps formed by the trucks are hollows which also hold a mesh of fine roots coming from the trunk itself. The complex form of the main part of the trunk is made up of many smaller columns of trunks.