Ficus sur, the broom cluster fig and besem-trosvy in Afrikaans, is usually a large tree. It is evergreen, fast-growing and an imposing presence along rivers, water rich sites and wooded grassland throughout the eastern parts of southern Africa.
The spectacle of a rich crop of the globose figs hanging in dense clusters from the fruiting stems (and even from exposed roots, where locals say they grow sweeter), is a pretty sight. Fruiting occurs any time from spring to late autumn, even more than once per annum, depending on rain. They dilate to over 3 cm in diameter when ripe and change colour from green to a variety of inviting fruit colours, including orange, red and purple.
The leaves are large, ovate and green, mostly hairless. New leaves are shiny and red for a while. The stem is covered in smooth, pale grey bark, releasing a fine powdery bloom when touched. The small, fruit-bearing branches grow randomly on the trunk, persisting to perform their task repeatedly (Coates Palgrave, 2002).