Search Backing Urban Forest Header 02
Urban Forest Home

Moreton Bay Fig Ficus macrophylla

Moreton Bay Fig #1

Photo credit: Dave Baiocchi

Moreton Bay Fig (Ficus macrophylla) trees are native to tropical Queensland and New South Wales, Australia. Ficus means "fig tree" and macrophylla refers to the species' large leaves. In open space, these spreading evergreen trees may have a canopy width of 150ft (46m) or more. They have large, dark, glossy green leaves in oval or oblong form, and figs that turn from green to purple in summer. Inside the figs are hundreds of tiny flowers, which are pollinated by the symbiotic fig wasp. The bark of these trees is smooth and pale gray, and darkens with age. Water usage is moderate.

Affectionately dubbed "Morty," this Heritage tree is believed to be over 100 years old, the oldest in Tongva Park. Prior to 2013, Morty lived adjacent to a parking lot, which was demolished to build the city park. Morty is around 40-50ft (12-15m) high, with a canopy spread of approximately 80ft (24m). Due to a wide buttressed trunk, diameter at base height (DBH) is difficult to measure.

There are several other excellent specimens of this species nearby. The largest Moreton Bay Fig tree still standing in California is in Santa Barbara, and the second largest is right here in Santa Monica, a City-commissioned Landmark Tree that stands in front of the Miramar Hotel.

City of Santa Monica © 2019

Santa Monica Public Landscape Division, 2600 Ocean Park Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90405 · 310.458.8974 ·
Hours: M-Th, 7:30am-5:30pm; Alternate Fridays: 8am-5pm