Ficus aspera, the mosaic fig, a plant native to Vanuatu in the south Pacific region. The plant first appeared in scientific literature in 1786, published by the German botanist Georg Forster, from a specimen collected from Tanna Island. The mosaic fig is used as an ornamental plant. The fruit are cauliflorous, (fruit forming from their main stems or woody trunks rather than from new growth and shoots).
Description: The wild form of Ficus aspera is a deciduous or evergreen, non-strangling "sandpaper" fig from the islands of the southwest Pacific, that usually grows to 3-4 m tall and 6 wide, but occasionally to 20 m tall, with villous, 3 cm diameter twigs. This shrub or small tree has large, roughly oval, deep-green leaves that are extremely rough, with an harsh surface and with rather hairy undersides.
Variegated form: The variegated cultivar, also known as Ficus aspera f. parcellii or Clown Fig, has a highly variable mosaic of paler grey-green, cream, and dull pink, on dark green leaves and a name that commemorates its discoverer Henry Parcel, a Sydney gardener who collected it in the South Seas on an expedition in 1869-70. Variegation is caused by a virus. This plant produces continually small marble-size, figs that are variegated with pink and purple markings instead of orange-red. This is one of the most beautiful figs.
Branchlets: Green or pink, slightly hairy; terminal buds to 1 cm.