We recently officially unveiled the Centennial Park 125th Anniversary logo which featured one of our most iconic and synonymous trees – the Port Jackson Fig.

What does the logo look like?

 

Our new logoWe chose this tree to feature primarily because you can find the world’s largest collection of this tree species right here in the Parklands!

Our new logo – We chose this tree to feature primarily because you can find the world’s largest collection of this tree species right here in the Parklands!

 

The importance of the figs

Well before Centennial Park was established in 1888, the City of Sydney’s Register of Significant Trees notes that:

“…fig trees were being planted en masse in Sydney. They were used as a major landscape element throughout much of the nineteenth century. The magnificent scale and broad dense evergreen canopies of these figs were ideally suited to grand garden schemes. An avenue of Moreton Bay Figs was planted in the Domain in 1847.”

“Charles Moore (Director, Sydney Royal Botanic Gardens 1848-1896) and William Guilfoyle promoted the use of Moreton Bay Figs and many other rainforest specimens as key components for park planting throughout the mid-to-late nineteenth century.”

Charles Moore was responsible for guiding the establishment of Centennial Park, with James Jones its’ first overseer from 1887-1889.  Moore had a lot to do with the fig tree planting of which there are thirteen varieties in Centennial Parklands and five of these are varieties of the Port Jackson fig (Ficus rubiginosa).

 

Peeking out from a fig tree in Centennial Park

Peeking out from a fig tree in Centennial Park

 

In 1896, Grand Drive was planted out with a special sequence of trees to allow for the curve of the Drive. This sequence was continued along Federation Way linking Centennial Park with Moore Park.

There were later planting of figs in 1900 along Parkes Drive by Henry Maiden who was Director  of the Botanic Gardens, the State nursery and several vice-regal residences, the Outer Domain and Centennial Park (1896 – 1924).

Now, across the entire Parklands, fig trees are the most dominant tree whether it be, Ficus macrophylla, rubiginosa, or microcarpa. Of the almost 1,000 Port Jackson figs across the Parklands today, 292 are planted around Grand Drive. It is said that Centennial Parklands has the largest collection of the Port Jackson fig trees in the world!

Of those, there are more Ficus rubiginosa than any other species in the Parklands.  They impact at numerous levels including the Parklands visual connection with other parks and avenues in the city.

 

Fig and Paperbarks

A magnificent fig on Parkes Drive, flanking the Paperbark Grove in Centennial Park

 

Night fig - image by Peter Solness

Night fig – image by Peter Solness

 

Today’s guest post by park visitor Tempe Macgowan.

 

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