Daintree panoramas…

arced strangler figstrangler-fig1-lattice-detailstrangler-fig2-ground-roots

Arced strangler fig – Marrdja Boardwalk

A strangler fig seed is deposited fairly high on a tree by a bird and germinates there. It sends roots down along the tree, over time entirely wrapping it in a lattice of fused roots. It also sends branches high up, cutting off the original tree’s light source. Eventually the host dies and decays, leaving the strangler fig to live in all it’s glory.

This specimin came out of the ground at a 45 degree angle, started to straighten gradually as it got higher towards the sun, eventually crossing a vertical tree trunk and heading to the sky. I stood next to the vertical tree trunk to take these shots, it’s upside-down at the top of the photo. A bit hard to visualise I know. It was pretty impressive to see. The clump about two-thirds of the way up is where it’s sent roots straight down to the ground instead of hugging the host tree, and where the branches begin.

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cool vine

Cool vine – Marrdja Boardwalk

This thick base of this vine caught my eye, then I noticed it trailed along the ground for about 10 metres, becoming a tangled knot of origin.

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magic twisted vine

Magic twisted vine – Daintree Discovery Centre

The twists in this vine seem to defy logic, however the untwisted sections are a good example of fused wood. This is actually 2 vines. Over time parts have welded together and seem as one. Cool. Also, notice the great stag horns at the very top of the photo.

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absolutely mammoth strangler fig

Absolutely mammoth strangler fig – Daintree Discovery Centre

It’s estimated this strangler fig is 500 to 600 years old. It is massive and overwhelming to stand before. The base of the main trunk would have to be at least 2 to 3 metres wide.You can’t help but admire the enterprising nature of this species. Like the previous example, it has also sent down vertical support roots. The branches extend well past where I could easily discern them. This one doesn’t have the acute lean of the previous one, but does arc to the right from about a third up.

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