DIAMANTIPHYLLA Ficus diamantiphylla Corner (1970) SECTION: ERIOSYCEAE
Greek: diamond= shape of leaf. phullon: leaf.
Plant: Small tree to 7 m with hairy twigs, leaves and figs. A rare inhabitant of the banks of lowland streams in northern Sarawak and 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.
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.
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 fleshiness of the tepals and the presence or absence of hairs surrounding the female flowers.
Berg (2005) notes that the lower surface of the leaf is white puberulous which appears to be a distinctive feature.
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: This fig has been collected by A A R Anderson from the banks of Sungei Lansat a forested tributary of the Tutoh river on the northern edge of Mulu NP in northern Sarawak. The stream called Sg Lansat is the collection site of 3 of Borneo’s rarest figs, F. bruneiensis, F. diamantiphylla and F. aureocordata.
The type was collected by Hotta on Bukit Teraja just north of the Baram River in Sarawak. See Corner’s type description below. More recently F. diamantiphylla has been photographed in the Kapit area of central Sarawak.
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.