Of the approximately 25 species of wild fig indigenous to South Africa, 25 are found in the Garden. The most spectacular of them all are those that occur naturally in the Garden, like Ficus glumosa and Ficus sycomorus.
The structure of the fig itself is unique in that the fruit and flowers are borne in one receptacle, known as a syconium: the tiny flowers are borne on the inside of the receptacle wall and are fertilised by minute wasps. Usually one species of wasp will fertilise only one species of wild fig.
The fruits, or syconia, of the Knobbly Fig, Ficus sansibarica, are borne in pairs on woody knobs on the trunk and mature branches. When ripe they are large and colourful, with a relatively sweet flavour.