DIAMANTIPHYLLA Ficus diamantiphylla Corner (1970) SECTION: ERIOSYCEAE
Greek: diamond= shape of leaf. phullon: leaf.
Plant: Small tree 4-7 m with hairy twigs, leaves and figs. A rare inhabitant of the banks of lowland streams in northern Sarawak and southern Brunei. The very large leaves are diamond shaped approximately 40-50 by 20-26 cm.
Fig: A medium size fig (1.5-2.0 cm) densely covered in thick brown hairs. See Corner’s (1970) illustration above. There are scattered bracts surrounding and below (sub-apical) the ostiole.
Similar Species: One other rare SECTION ERIOSYCEAE figs with large leaves and hairy figs has also been recorded from the banks of Sungai Lansat, F. bruneiensis.
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 (see drawing): 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.
Berg (2005) notes that the lower surface of the leaf is white puberulous which appears to be a distinctive feature. However this is not evident from the type collection from Sungei Lansat in the photograph below.
Distribution: Corner’s type was based on two collections.
- S.22791 Sungei Lansat a forested tributary of the Tutoh river on the northern edge of Mulu NP in northern Sarawak. J., A., R. Anderson 9 February 1966. (Sungei Lansat is easily accessible by river boat on a day trip from Mulu).
- Mitsuru Hotta 12879, Bukit Teraja (Mount Scott), Brunei 21 Dec. 1963. Collection held at KYO.