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Ficus scobina (Sandpaper Fig)

Ficus scobina is formerley known as Ficus opposita. Its common name is Sandpaper Fig, which refers to the rough texture of the leaves. This small shrub or tree grows to around 3 m and is often found near wells where birds gather and drop the seeds. The small fruit are ready to eat around March- April and black-ish in colour when ripe and usally warmed in hot ashes before eaten. Kimberley Aboriginal people use the leaves of this tree as sandpaper to smoothen the rough edges of their spears, boomerangs and even sometimes pearl shell. The wood is used for shields and the leaves are warmed and then used for the treatment of swellings and bruising.


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