Author Topic: In search of the mysterious 'Ficus 52406' from North Queensland, Australia  (Read 7870 times)

FloridaFruitGeek

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I'm trying to track down a species of Ficus from Australia that reportedly makes an excellent nematode-resistant rootstock for figs. 

I found it described in an article from the Florida State Horticultural Society from 1925. They tested 18 Ficus species as potential nematode-resistant rootstocks for figs, and found that the most promising was an unidentified Ficus species from North Queensland, Australia, introduced by the Office of Seed and Plant Introduction in 1921 under the name SPI 52406. Growing in its native habitat, this species was described as, "A large clean tree with fruit of fine delicate sweet flavor and size of a black Smyrna fig, only more rounded and dark crimson when ripe." They report that the species is evergreen, and in Florida it suffered foliage burn at 29 degrees F, and die-back at 25 degrees F.

They report that fig scions made graft unions more reliably and with better subsequent growth on this species than grafted onto Ficus glomerata, their second-best choice. They report that they planted out one fig grafted onto Ficus 52406 in spring in nematode-infested soil, and as a control also planted a self-rooted fig 17 feet away. By fall, the grafted plant had ripened almost a hundred figs, growing to 4.5 feet with a 2.5 inch diameter trunk just above the bud union. The self-rooted fig nearby suffered heavy nematode damage to its roots, grew to just 2.5 feet, and ripened only a single fig the same year.

I can't find any subsequent information on this species.

I know this is not a lot of information to go on in terms of the description of the mystery Ficus 52406 from North Queensland. I've read that there are 45 Ficus species native to Australia. But I thought it was worth a shot posting this, to see if anyone might recognize what species Ficus 52406 might be, particularly some of the Australian readers of the forum. Any ideas?

-Craig

(original 1925 report: http://fshs.org/proceedings-o/1925-vol-38/92-97_Mowry.pdf)

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Re: In search of the mysterious 'Ficus 52406' from North Queensland, Australia
« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2015, 12:59:09 PM »
not sure if it's the same variety, but I was given a fig cutting years ago that was of a special variety (or species), being selected and tested for resistance to nematodes.

my rooted cutting died due to neglect, but if you want, I can try to track them down again, my good friend has the details...this would be a good excuse to call him and bother him about plants...maybe I can learn something new in the process.
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Mike T

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Re: In search of the mysterious 'Ficus 52406' from North Queensland, Australia
« Reply #2 on: December 20, 2015, 04:30:52 PM »
Sounds like Ficus racemosa but this species seems far removed from the domestic F.carica.One of the sandpaper figs like F.fraseri or F.opposita would make more sense.It won't be a banyan or stranger, buttressed rainforest giant,swamp F.septica or epiphyte.

FloridaFruitGeek

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Re: In search of the mysterious 'Ficus 52406' from North Queensland, Australia
« Reply #3 on: December 20, 2015, 08:01:33 PM »
not sure if it's the same variety, but I was given a fig cutting years ago that was of a special variety (or species), being selected and tested for resistance to nematodes.

my rooted cutting died due to neglect, but if you want, I can try to track them down again, my good friend has the details...this would be a good excuse to call him and bother him about plants...maybe I can learn something new in the process.

Adam: Yes, yes, yes!! Please contact your friend and see if it's possible to get any more of that fig rootstock. Also, see if you can milk him for any details about  who's been testing that variety as a fig rootstock, and what their findings have been.

I'm getting a little obsessed with this,  figuring out what type(s) of Ficus will make a good, nematode-resistant rootstock for figs in Florida. And since root-knot nematodes are a widespread problem in the tropics and subtropics, a solution to this might be widely useful in many areas.

I'm trying to compile any info I can find on the subject, and there's not a lot of reports out there of people with actual experience trying this. Most of what I find is people quoting and re-quoting the findings of  a study that was published in 1970. I would have hoped we would have made some progress on this in the last 45 years!

I recently wrote up the state of what I've been able to find out, and my own limited experiments so far on this subject: http://www.floridafruitgeek.com/uncategorized/in-search-of-nematode-resistant-fig-rootstocks-progress-report-1/
I intend to figure this out, so we can have a decent rootstock for figs in Florida in a few years.

-Craig

FloridaFruitGeek

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Re: In search of the mysterious 'Ficus 52406' from North Queensland, Australia
« Reply #4 on: December 20, 2015, 08:16:04 PM »
Sounds like Ficus racemosa but this species seems far removed from the domestic F.carica.One of the sandpaper figs like F.fraseri or F.opposita would make more sense.It won't be a banyan or stranger, buttressed rainforest giant,swamp F.septica or epiphyte.

Thanks Mike, that's some helpful progress towards figuring this out. I looked up the species you mentioned, and Ficus opposita sounds like it possibly, possibly, maybe could be the one. The 1925 report describes the fruit as being pretty good to eat, having a "fine delicate sweet flavor, and size of a black Smyrna fig, only more rounded, and dark crimson when ripe." I don't imagine there are too many wild fig species there with fruit that big or of such good flavor, are there?

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Re: In search of the mysterious 'Ficus 52406' from North Queensland, Australia
« Reply #5 on: December 20, 2015, 08:26:48 PM »
None taste that good,few are red  and plenty have big fruit.

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Re: In search of the mysterious 'Ficus 52406' from North Queensland, Australia
« Reply #6 on: December 20, 2015, 09:56:02 PM »
NATGRAFT FIGS

NATGRAFT FIGS...Following many years of fig growing and research we are pleased to release the NATGRAFT FIGS to which we have added a root system that will tolerate both wet and dry tropical conditions. We believe this to have world significance, with figs now able to be grown outside their traditional areas and for an extended season.                                   Other points of interest -                         
 This is a tree not a bush
It requires less water than other similar trees
  It requires less fertiliser
    Excellent quality sweet fruit
The top remains ‘Mediterranean’ and will require several fungicide sprays during the wet season.  Due to the prolific root system it should not be planted near pipes or structures.

This is from tropiculture in darwin australia. I have spoken to them. They dont tell you much about the rootstock but it is a native selection and tested for long term compatability and durability. Couldnt work out how to post the pdf sorry.

             


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Re: In search of the mysterious 'Ficus 52406' from North Queensland, Australia
« Reply #7 on: December 21, 2015, 11:05:42 AM »
NATGRAFT FIGS

NATGRAFT FIGS...Following many years of fig growing and research we are pleased to release the NATGRAFT FIGS to which we have added a root system that will tolerate both wet and dry tropical conditions. We believe this to have world significance, with figs now able to be grown outside their traditional areas and for an extended season.                                   Other points of interest -                         
 This is a tree not a bush
It requires less water than other similar trees
  It requires less fertiliser
    Excellent quality sweet fruit
The top remains ‘Mediterranean’ and will require several fungicide sprays during the wet season.  Due to the prolific root system it should not be planted near pipes or structures.

This is from tropiculture in darwin australia. I have spoken to them. They dont tell you much about the rootstock but it is a native selection and tested for long term compatability and durability. Couldnt work out how to post the pdf sorry.

             


Nice bit of info, Druss, thanks! Well, this definitely confirms it: there are one or more Ficus species native to North Queensland that can make an excellent rootstock for figs. (apparently the majority of Ficus species have varying degrees of graft incompatibility with Ficus carica.) Kind of a pity the folks at Tropiculture are being so tight-lipped about just what species they're using. I wonder if they can ship bare-root plants internationally? I'd be tempted to buy a fig tree from them, just to slice off the scion and let the rootstock grow, so I can propagate it into many plants, and graft figs onto them! Hmmm...

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Re: In search of the mysterious 'Ficus 52406' from North Queensland, Australia
« Reply #8 on: December 21, 2015, 11:33:19 AM »
I'm trying to track down a species of Ficus from Australia that reportedly makes an excellent nematode-resistant rootstock for figs. 

I found it described in an article from the Florida State Horticultural Society from 1925. They tested 18 Ficus species as potential nematode-resistant rootstocks for figs, and found that the most promising was an unidentified Ficus species from North Queensland, Australia, introduced by the Office of Seed and Plant Introduction in 1921 under the name SPI 52406. Growing in its native habitat, this species was described as, "A large clean tree with fruit of fine delicate sweet flavor and size of a black Smyrna fig, only more rounded and dark crimson when ripe." They report that the species is evergreen, and in Florida it suffered foliage burn at 29 degrees F, and die-back at 25 degrees F.

They report that fig scions made graft unions more reliably and with better subsequent growth on this species than grafted onto Ficus glomerata, their second-best choice. They report that they planted out one fig grafted onto Ficus 52406 in spring in nematode-infested soil, and as a control also planted a self-rooted fig 17 feet away. By fall, the grafted plant had ripened almost a hundred figs, growing to 4.5 feet with a 2.5 inch diameter trunk just above the bud union. The self-rooted fig nearby suffered heavy nematode damage to its roots, grew to just 2.5 feet, and ripened only a single fig the same year.

I can't find any subsequent information on this species.

I know this is not a lot of information to go on in terms of the description of the mystery Ficus 52406 from North Queensland. I've read that there are 45 Ficus species native to Australia. But I thought it was worth a shot posting this, to see if anyone might recognize what species Ficus 52406 might be, particularly some of the Australian readers of the forum. Any ideas?

-Craig

(original 1925 report: http://fshs.org/proceedings-o/1925-vol-38/92-97_Mowry.pdf)


Have you asked around over at OurFigs.com   great Fig gurus there
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anthony davies

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Dunno if you are still pursuing this topic. I live in far north queensland Australia , we had a local nursery that offered F.carica grafted to a "native fig" The nursery has changed ownership and no longer grafts figs. My tree suckered from the rootstock and I established some plants. They are Ficus opposita, our most common wild "sandpaper" fig locally. I have even managed to successfully graft f.carica to one of these, despite my lousy grafting skills. The original plant I purchased is a Black Genoa; now almost 4 years old, it bears almost continuously in our tropical climate with progressive leaf fall and fruit set. We must have had over a hundred figs from it.

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Re: In search of the mysterious 'Ficus 52406' from North Queensland, Australia
« Reply #10 on: January 11, 2018, 10:23:34 PM »
Wow. Thank you. I have been very interested in this as well.
Dunno if you are still pursuing this topic. I live in far north queensland Australia , we had a local nursery that offered F.carica grafted to a "native fig" The nursery has changed ownership and no longer grafts figs. My tree suckered from the rootstock and I established some plants. They are Ficus opposita, our most common wild "sandpaper" fig locally. I have even managed to successfully graft f.carica to one of these, despite my lousy grafting skills. The original plant I purchased is a Black Genoa; now almost 4 years old, it bears almost continuously in our tropical climate with progressive leaf fall and fruit set. We must have had over a hundred figs from it.
-Josh

Mike T

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Re: In search of the mysterious 'Ficus 52406' from North Queensland, Australia
« Reply #11 on: January 13, 2018, 03:35:38 AM »
Makes sense that a sandpaper fig was used as all those rainforest species and there are dozens of them seem unsuitable. Brown Turkey is the most common F.carica variety that people succeed with in tropical Australia. I am surprised they are compatible still.

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Re: In search of the mysterious 'Ficus 52406' from North Queensland, Australia
« Reply #12 on: January 13, 2018, 05:11:09 PM »
If anybody has seed available to sell let me know. I can't find a source besides plants in Australia which can't be shipped here.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2018, 05:16:25 PM by Vernmented »
-Josh

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Re: In search of the mysterious 'Ficus 52406' from North Queensland, Australia
« Reply #13 on: January 14, 2018, 02:16:44 AM »
Hey Josh, can the seeds be shipped to California? If so, send them to me and I will ship express to you. Chris
-Chris

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Re: In search of the mysterious 'Ficus 52406' from North Queensland, Australia
« Reply #14 on: February 21, 2018, 07:57:47 PM »
Further to this thread, this link may be of interest http://www.thefigsofaustralia.com/tag/ficus-copiosa/
Ficus copiosa sounds like a good candidate for Ficus 52406 - large tasty fruit apparently. All I have to do is find one, they grow in the town swamp apparently....

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So what's the consensus on this topic?? I think folks here have narrowed it down to F. copiosa and F. opposita. Btw to clarify, I read the paper and it is said there that there are 2 rootstocks that are successful, glomerata and 52406. I read that glomerata is synonymous with racemosa, and here in Indonesia, lots of nurseries and hobbyists using racemosa as rootstock (they grow wild here). Reports confirm about faster growth rate and more abundant fruiting, but it seems 52406 still has something better to offer, based on the 1920's paper anyway

Mike T

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Wont be copiosa or any other big rainforest soft leafed cauliflorous species and is almost certainly F.opposita. All the sandpaper fig species which are closely related to each other  would be candidates then. They have a big distribution extending into arid and cooler southern inland areas.Some selections have nice eating fruit and this is one tough fig species.I believe they are also the caterpillar host for the purple moonbeam butterfly
https://www.daleysfruit.com.au/buy/sandpaper-fig-birds-eye-tree.htm

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Re: In search of the mysterious 'Ficus 52406' from North Queensland, Australia
« Reply #17 on: November 11, 2018, 10:34:07 PM »
Hi Mike T....I have a "birds eye" fig from Daleys that they list as either F opposita or F coronata - it looks very different to our local opposita and has really tasty fruit, subacid and strawberry like. After it's first prune I'm striking some cuttings and will try them as rootstock also . In the meantime the oldest of my own grafts is now setting fruit.

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Re: In search of the mysterious 'Ficus 52406' from North Queensland, Australia
« Reply #18 on: January 13, 2019, 08:08:14 PM »
Pic of my tree attached if anyone is interested




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Re: In search of the mysterious 'Ficus 52406' from North Queensland, Australia
« Reply #19 on: January 13, 2019, 08:14:24 PM »
And here's one I grafted myself, 18 months from grafting to (probably) F. opposita


Oolie

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Re: In search of the mysterious 'Ficus 52406' from North Queensland, Australia
« Reply #20 on: January 13, 2019, 11:26:54 PM »
Thank you for bumping this thread, I myself have found a definite need for this selection at my location. I will first see about finding it locally.
Thanks again.

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Re: In search of the mysterious 'Ficus 52406' from North Queensland, Australia
« Reply #21 on: January 16, 2019, 06:08:56 PM »
The Aussie sandpaper figs aren't very attractive, interesting or useful, they are pretty much a weed in Oz, although the "Bird's Eye" variety from Daleys Nursery has very tasty fruit. It's entirely possible no-one in the States is growing any of them, this thread has run 3 years and no one has put their hand up. They grow readily from seed, although the plants are tiny at first. Maybe you can import seed under permit???

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I'm glad that somebody replied to this thread. So how's the grafted fig doing? Does it experience positive improvements as stated in the 1920s paper?

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Re: In search of the mysterious 'Ficus 52406' from North Queensland, Australia
« Reply #23 on: October 18, 2019, 01:14:54 AM »
Hi S.O. Borneo. Just to confirm that my original grafted fig is still thriving and bearing heavily in the wet tropical climate of Cairns. F. opposita is a smallish shrub/tree and it appears to be a dwarfing rootstock, my original tree is still less than 1.5 metres tall. It seems to put most of its energy into the fruit I have gotten much better at grafting and I am now selling a small number of plants locally each season. I grow them to about 12 months old and their first crop of 2 or 3 figs before selling. it will be interesting to get feedback on how these plants fare, I will post any updates as i get them

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Re: In search of the mysterious 'Ficus 52406' from North Queensland, Australia
« Reply #24 on: October 18, 2019, 11:31:15 AM »
Hi S.O. Borneo. Just to confirm that my original grafted fig is still thriving and bearing heavily in the wet tropical climate of Cairns. F. opposita is a smallish shrub/tree and it appears to be a dwarfing rootstock, my original tree is still less than 1.5 metres tall. It seems to put most of its energy into the fruit I have gotten much better at grafting and I am now selling a small number of plants locally each season. I grow them to about 12 months old and their first crop of 2 or 3 figs before selling. it will be interesting to get feedback on how these plants fare, I will post any updates as i get them

Very cool. Please share. 
-Josh

Galatians522

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Re: In search of the mysterious 'Ficus 52406' from North Queensland, Australia
« Reply #25 on: September 01, 2023, 06:36:11 PM »
For anyone who is interested in this fig thread, I believe that I know where the elusive ficus SPI 52406 can be found. According to the USDA website, it is still maintained at the germplasm collection in Miami. At some point, they dropped the s at the beginning and it is now just PI 52406. As Mike predicted, it was finally identified as Ficus racemosa.

https://npgsweb.ars-grin.gov/gringlobal/accessiondetail?id=1108318

Here is a link to the Florida Horticultural Society Article that Craig referenced.

https://journals.flvc.org/fshs/article/view/103230/99158

And my final proof, here is the original description for PI 52406 as attached to the USDA page I liked above. You will notice that the description in the article is a direct quotation from this description.

https://www.ars-grin.gov/npgs/pi_books/scans/66/pi066_025.pdf

Now the catch, is there anyone associated with a research team or university that could request this material for distribution to the forum? USDA no longer honors private requests.

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Re: In search of the mysterious 'Ficus 52406' from North Queensland, Australia
« Reply #26 on: September 02, 2023, 04:38:14 AM »
Galatians522, nice detective work.  i did some digging and found this passage from Ira Condit's 1947 book "the fig"...

Quote
The principal interest in stocks for figs is directed to securing one resistant to root troubles, especially that caused by the root-knot nematode. No variety of the Ficus carica complex has so far been found which shows sufficient resistance to or immunity from root-knot to warrant using it as a stock. One species, however, has been found which does show immunity to nematode attacks. It was introduced from Australia by the United States Department of Agriculture under P. I. No. 52406 and was later identified as Ficus glomerata.  Common figs grafted on this stock in Florida grew vigorously at first but later died out. The stock is tender, leaves being injured by only 4 or 5 degrees of frost. For these reasons interest in this species as a possible stock has abated.

eh, that's confusing. 

in any case, it would be curious if a variety of ficus racemosa in australia was noticeably more graft compatible with carica than other varieties of racemosa.  this would imply that the australian variety was a lot more closely related to carica than say the indian variety?  this would indicate that either the australian racemosa or the other racemosas should be a different species. 

i have a bunch of small seedling racemosas from seed that i purchased on ebay.  no idea which variety of racemosa the seeds are from.  i also have a 3' ficus racemosa that i bought as a noid.  back in may, when i had no idea what it was, i grafted 3 small twigs from it onto my neighbor's big carica.  the scions didn't do anything and i assumed they failed, but last week i noticed that 1 of the scions put out a couple of small leaves.  i'm not sure what it means when it takes so long for a scion to push.  maybe it was just because the scions were so small. 

here are most of the ficus that i've tried grafting onto carica (all done this year) for the purpose of discerning compatibility/relatedness, ranked from 0 (fail) to 10 (success)...

ficus afghanistanica - 10
ficus auriculata - 1, surprising result given that it's been crossed with carica
ficus cocculifolia - 7?
ficus coronata - ?, recent graft
ficus dammaropsis - 2
ficus deltoidea - ?, recent graft
ficus erecta - 8, not very surprising since it's been crossed with carica
ficus formosana - 9
ficus gasparriniana - 4
ficus aff heterophylla - 9, looks closer to palmata
ficus ingens - 0
ficus lutea - 0
ficus opposita - 9
ficus palmata (hybrid?) - 10
ficus racemosa - ?
ficus sycomorus - 9
ficus sur - 1
ficus tannoensis - 10
ficus tikoua - 0
ficus umbellata - 1
ficus vaccinioides - 9
ficus vasta - 0

if you're signed into ourfigs you can see some pics here... ficus carica's closest relatives in taiwan?

not sure why i haven't tried pumila.  perhaps because i already know it's graft and cross compatible? 

the 1st time i saw the cross between pumila and carica it blew my mind.  they seem so completely different.  i still trip out when i look at vaccinioides happily growing on carica. 

i spend all my time comparing my preliminary results to the ficus family tree, for example... phylogenetic reconstruction of ficus subg. synoecia and its allies (moraceae), with implications on the origin of the climbing habit.  honestly i'm not exactly sure how they create the cladogram.  yeah they use genetics, but...

x = cladogram created using genetics
y = cladogram created using grafting

how much of a difference will there be between x and y? 

in terms of nematodes, even if it is the case that vaccinioides is super compatible with carica, it probably wouldn't be very practical to use vaccinioides as a rootstock.  but if vaccinioides and carica can be crossed, then perhaps the hybrid might work as a rootstock.  and perhaps a backcross might work even better as a rootstock.  then again, perhaps the backcross would have even tastier fruit than carica does. 

having spent a considerable amount of time looking at the available ficus cladograms i'm under the impression that quite a few hybrids can, and should, be made with carica. 

i recently tried injecting ficus fraseri pollen into carica, specifically fignomenal, using the syringe method.  i'm not holding my breath.  so far i harvested a couple figs.  they had spoiled, but had a decent amount of seeds that sank, but it's only been around a week since i attempted to pollinate them, so i'm guessing that fraseri isn't the daddy.  at least it will be interesting to see how many, if any, of the seedlings inherit the dwarfing and everbearing traits of fignomenal.

naturally we should try to develop the best tasting ficus for growing epiphytically.  that's one way to deal with nematodes. 

a couple ficus species that i'd suggest testing for carica compatibility are ficus montana and ficus ischnopoda.  both are available from the fairchild botanic garden.  hmmm... ficus sagittata and ficus villosa might also be compatible with carica.  they should be tested as well.  i already have both though but neither is quite large enough to easily graft onto a carica.

here we are now, seemingly so modern, until we truly fathom that the surface has been just barely scratched in terms of fig progress.  i think condit deserves credit for 1st crossing pumila and carica?  he made the cross decades ago.  i somehow missed the memo for most of my life.  we can't stand on shoulders whose existence we are unaware of.  this is how and why progress goes... bonk. the solution, as i've mentioned previously, is to use donations (to this forum) to prioritize forum threads

Galatians522

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Re: In search of the mysterious 'Ficus 52406' from North Queensland, Australia
« Reply #27 on: September 02, 2023, 12:05:20 PM »
 Thanks for the insight. I won't go into too much detail, but I thought that might be the case. However, some sources say that the incompatibility arose because the evergreen roots starved when the scion went dormant. This could very possibly be solved by leaving a "nurse branch" on the rootstock to keep it alive when the top is dormant. It also stands to reason that the more graft compatible cultivars of racemosa would be the best place to start hybridization attempts. Ultimately, I think the permanent solution to the root knot issue will be a hybrid ficus. In the mean time I think this rootstock has lots of promise. Since the grafted trees were reported to have produced as many as 100 figs in the first year, the grafted plants could be produced annually or maintained with nurse branches to prevent the roots from dying off. It is very interesting to me that there are some reports on this thread that trees can live for several seasons (with dwarfed growth) on oppositifolia. That fig is reported to be semi-deciduous in its native environment due to droughts.

Epiphyte

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Re: In search of the mysterious 'Ficus 52406' from North Queensland, Australia
« Reply #28 on: September 02, 2023, 02:17:14 PM »
in this ourfigs thread... RKN battle Cont. - Update of F. Sycomorus... in the 1st post there's a pic of a carica happily growing grafted onto a sycomorous.  it probably isn't a coincidence that there are a few nurse branches on the sycomorous. 

a while back i did a decent amount of digging to find examples of deciduous trees grafted onto evergreen rootstocks.  i didn't find many.  seems like the consensus is that evergreen rootstocks need a continual supply of energy in order to stay alive, which is possible with the use of nurse branches, as you mentioned. 

in this other oufigs thread... Suggestions for Determining Nematode Resistance of F. Palmata Rootstock... in the 11th post there are some pics of a carica scion starting to grow on an opposita.  there are quite a few nurse branches, but not sure how many, if any, are needed, since opposita can go deciduous, as you pointed out. 

my best guess is that the more graft compatible a ficus species is with carica, the higher the likelihood that they can be crossed.  hopefully some of my more compatible ficus will produce figs next year. 

Galatians522

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Re: In search of the mysterious 'Ficus 52406' from North Queensland, Australia
« Reply #29 on: September 02, 2023, 07:04:10 PM »
 Interesting stuff. I have never spent much time on that forum.

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Re: In search of the mysterious 'Ficus 52406' from North Queensland, Australia
« Reply #30 on: September 03, 2023, 07:30:04 AM »
"A large clean tree with fruit of fine delicate sweet flavor and size of a black Smyrna fig, only more rounded and dark crimson when ripe."

Interesting that this doesn't clearly ring bells.
Cluster Fig sounds pretty close by size and colour. Flavour is OK too.
Sandpaper Fig seem closer to domestic figs, but I have never seen red fruit, and they are smaller fruited than carica.
Going by the above description, you could eliminate a good 35 to 40 of the 45 Australian Ficus.
That leaves the most likely candidates for you to experiment with.

Galatians522

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Re: In search of the mysterious 'Ficus 52406' from North Queensland, Australia
« Reply #31 on: September 03, 2023, 01:10:59 PM »
"A large clean tree with fruit of fine delicate sweet flavor and size of a black Smyrna fig, only more rounded and dark crimson when ripe."

Interesting that this doesn't clearly ring bells.
Cluster Fig sounds pretty close by size and colour. Flavour is OK too.
Sandpaper Fig seem closer to domestic figs, but I have never seen red fruit, and they are smaller fruited than carica.
Going by the above description, you could eliminate a good 35 to 40 of the 45 Australian Ficus.
That leaves the most likely candidates for you to experiment with.

Suposedly it is a variety of cluster fig that is more compatible with common fig. However, it is different enough from the typical cluster fig that it took close to 70 years to get that ID. So, maybe its a sub-species?

pagnr

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Re: In search of the mysterious 'Ficus 52406' from North Queensland, Australia
« Reply #32 on: September 03, 2023, 04:44:42 PM »
Have you tried investigating the accession number. Ficus 52406 might have other records, like introduction information.

I have tried quite a few Australian Rainforest Figs, this doesn't really ring a bell.
If it was that good, it might be better known.

Galatians522

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Re: In search of the mysterious 'Ficus 52406' from North Queensland, Australia
« Reply #33 on: September 03, 2023, 11:07:40 PM »
Have you tried investigating the accession number. Ficus 52406 might have other records, like introduction information.

I have tried quite a few Australian Rainforest Figs, this doesn't really ring a bell.
If it was that good, it might be better known.

I did look at any information attached to the assession number. There was very little, just the introduction info in the PDF in one of the links I posted above. Are any of the Australian figs worth growing for their fruit in your opinion?

pagnr

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Re: In search of the mysterious 'Ficus 52406' from North Queensland, Australia
« Reply #34 on: September 04, 2023, 03:56:49 AM »
Sorry I missed that from your earlier post.
I enjoyed racemosa cluster fig, faint strawberry flavour, like a strawberry cookie. I thought NSW sandpaper figs are nice. If I remember, Deciduous Fig was ok, Moreton Bay was ok, but a few are enough. Not sure any come near Ficus carica in flavour.

Mike T

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Re: In search of the mysterious 'Ficus 52406' from North Queensland, Australia
« Reply #35 on: September 05, 2023, 05:26:58 PM »
It will be F.coronata and I recently pulled one out as it was too vigorous

pagnr

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Re: In search of the mysterious 'Ficus 52406' from North Queensland, Australia
« Reply #36 on: September 14, 2023, 09:26:25 AM »
https://www.facebook.com/photo/?fbid=636115795294385&set=a.440980541474579
Variegated Fig (Ficus variegata). The figs change from green to red as they mature and feed many species of birds and bats.
The figs grow on or close to the tree trunk, a feature termed cauliflory.
« Last Edit: September 14, 2023, 03:58:37 PM by pagnr »