MACILENTA Ficus macilenta King (1888) SECTION: ERIOSYCEAE
Latin: Thin-referring to the thin leaves
Plant: Shrub to 5m. The spirally arranged leaves are very variable. Variations have been described as three varieties by Corner (1960). (1) var. macilenta with sessile figs and hairy leaf undersurfaces. (2) var illicifolia with lobed leaves and (3) var gibbsiae in which the fig is stalked and the leaves lack hairs. Berg (2005) did not recognize separate varieties, listing Ficus macilenta as a single very variable species. In some varieties the side veins (lateral veins) emerge at right angles from the main vein giving a very distinctive look to the leaf.
Fig: Small fig which may be stalked or unstalked and which ripens yellow to bright red.
Similar species: Plants with lobed leaves cannot be confused with any other fig. However plants with smooth edged leaves may be confused with Ficus oleifolia or Ficus chartaceae or with several species of Section Sycidium figs.
Distinguish: Sycidium figs usually have fish hook peduncles (stalks) not straight stalks, and never have side veins which emerge at right angles.
Distribution: Widespread in the mountains of Borneo. Most collections are from Kinabalu where it is the 15th commonest fig found in open sunlit areas such as ridge tops from 800 -2000m. It may be encountered along the path to the Mesilau Cave. In the Crocker Range it grows in full sunshine on roadside cliffs on the road up to Gunung Alab. In Brunei recorded from Bukit Belalong. In Sarawak common in the Kelabit Highlands, on Gng Mulu and the summit of Gunung Dulit. Has also been collected on the Mt Tibang. In Kalimantan collected in East Kalimantan at Long Bawang in the Kayan Mentarang National Park and at Madiangin in South Kalimantan.