ABOVE: Ficus auriculata photographed at the Panginatan Dii resort near Sandakan
ROXBURGH’S FIG Ficus auriculata Lour (1790) SECTION:NEOMORPH
Latin: Refers to the “founder ” of Indian botany Sir William Roxburgh.
Habit: A small to medium sized tree (to 15m) with a domed shape and large leaves with a heart shaped leaf base.
Leaves: Large heart shaped leaves 10-30cm long by 7-25m wide with a cordate base on both sides and a long petiole up to 30cm long.
Fig: The large figs (4-10cm) grow in bunches from short branches on the trunk, on long peduncles up to 8cm long. Figs ripen green, to red brown. They are edible and this is one of a very few Asian figs grown for it’s edible fruits.
Similar species: At least 8 species of Bornean figs produce large green figs from the trunk but this is one of only three species including F. racemosa and F. variegata where the fig turns reddish on ripening.
Distinguish:. As this tree is not native to Borneo it is only seen in cultivation where it is currently uncommon in most areas. Distinguish by the shape and size of the very large leaves.
Distribution: Often cultivated for it’s edible figs on the Asian continent, but uncommon in Borneo where it has been introduced.
Sabah: The only examples we have seen grow in the garden of the Rainforest Discovery Centre at Sepilok and at the Panginatan Dii Resort near Sandakan, (photo above) but other examples undoubtedly exist.
Brunei: Occasionally seen in gardens and orchards throughout Brunei.
Sarawak: Occasional in cultivation.
Range: Pakistan, India to S. China south to the Malay Peninsula.