- Specie: Japanese Superb Fig
- Location: wall above the entrance to Mr H. S. Punti at the end David Lane; Daan Forest Park, Taipei
It was just 24 hours ago that I was sitting outside Mr S. Y. Punti admiring a spectacular tree growing on the adjacent wall.
Facing the entrance of he cosy cafe and restaurant at the end of David Lane off the Centre Street escalator between Second and Third Street in Sao Ying Pun, grew a Japanese Superb Fig (ficus subpisocarpa), which I mistakenly identified as a Mountain Fig (ficus altissima) at first.
To be fair to myself. The two species do have a lot in common. Both sport medium sized, oblong leaves with rounded borders, which differentiates them from the more common fig genera around the city, such as the small-leaved Chinese Banyan (ficus microcarpa), the giant-leaved Indian Rubber Tree (ficus elastica) and the deciduous Big-leaved Fig (ficus vivens). The difference between the Japanese Superb Fig and the Mountain Fig is the former tends to have a reddish tint on its snake-like limbs that climb walls, while the latter tends to grow from the ground like their conventional cousins.
If you get a chance and are in the neighbourhood, visit Mr S. Y. Punti and check out this amazing living sculpture.
On a side note: There is an even more impressive representative of the specie on Conduit Road.
Getting back to my original post, I got on a flight today and arrived in Taipei, Taiwan. I had the afternoon free so decided to visit the popular Daan Forest Garden.
While it should not come as any surprise, but I was ecstatic to come face to face with my second Japanese Superb Fig in the span of a day.
Although this individual, standing next to the ecological pond of the park, was less dramatic since it’s not hanging off a wall, it was no less striking because it was at the height of its fruiting season. Tiny pink and green fruits dot its limbs like sequins.
Beyond that, the locale was extra special because the pond had attracted numerous species of birds. But while the birds fly to migrate from one place to another, trees have somehow found a way to be in different places at the same time, or in the case of Taipei and Hong Kong, some 813 kilometres apart.