The base of a Ficus ingens tree or tree complex may look as busy as this. It is difficult to say how many individual trees grow on this rock, but the differences in timing of reddish new growth after the short winter rest and varying leaf shapes suggest at least three.
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How it grows, has much to do with where it grows. The South African distribution of F. ingens ranges from the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal across all the provinces north of the Vaal River. Beyond the border to the north it is found across much of Africa, including West Africa and to the east in Ethiopia and the Arabian Peninsula.
In such diverse conditions presented to this tree by nearly a continent, F. ingens has adapted in many ways to the settings provided (Coates Palgrave, 2002; www.plantzafrica.com).