DIAMANTIPHYLLA Ficus diamantiphylla Corner (1970) SECTION: ERIOSYCEAE
Greek: diamante=decorated with sparkling spots. phullon: leaf.
Plant: Small tree with hairy twigs, leaves and figs to 7m. A rare inhabitant of the banks of lowland streams in northern Sarawak.
Fig: A medium size fig (1.5-2.0 cm) densely covered in thick brown hairs. See illustration. Sex: Dioecious
Similar Species: Two other rare SECTION ERIOSYCEAE figs with large leaves and large hairy figs have also been recorded from the banks of Sungai Lansat, F.bruneiensis and F. aureocordata. As all three figs are little known these 3 species may prove to be conspecific and the names to be synonyms.
Distinguish: In his type description Corner (1970) notes that F. bruneiensis and F. diamantiphylla are very similar but can be told apart by the colour and fleshyness of the tepals and the presence or absence of hairs surrounding the female flowers.
Ficus diamantiphylla : Male and neuter tepals red. Female tepals red and fleshy with some bristles (setose hairs) at the distal (far) end.
Ficus bruneiensis: Male and neuter tepals red. Female and gall tepals colourless, setose (bristly) not fleshy.
Distribution: The TYPE was collected by AAR Anderson from the banks of Sungai Lansat a forested tributary of the Tutoh river on the northern edge of Mulu NP in northern Sarawak and named by Corner. It is almost certainly an error as no other collections have ever been made. The stream called Sg Lansat is the collection site of 3 of Borneo’s rarest figs, F. bruneiensis, F. diamantiphylla and F. aureocordata.
Sungai Lansat is easily accessible by river boat on a day trip from Mulu Park HQ or the Royal Mulu Resort. When I visited this small river/stream I found only Ficus aureocordata. See the F. aureocordata article on this website.