CAVE FIG Ficus cavernicola Berg (2003)) SECTION KISSOSYCEA
Latin: Cave fig – Named after the Mesilau Cave, located at 1,800m on Kinabalu. Used by many early botanists as a staging post on their botanical explorations, the Mesilau Cave is the type location for many of Kinabalu’s endemic plants possibly due to the ultramafic soils in the vicinity.
Plant: A rare root climber which has only been collected once near the Mesilau cave on Kinabalu.
Leaf: Small leaves 5-6 cm long x 3-3.5 cm wide. The lateral veins are impressed (sunken) above giving the upper surface of the leaf a corrugated appearance.
Fig: The medium size figs (2-2.5cm) have a very short peduncle (stalk) up to 0.3cm long.
Similar species: F.disticha.
Distinguish: From F. disticha by the corrugated upper leaf surface.
Distribution: Only one herbarium record from the Mesilau Cave a 15 minute walk from the Mesilau Station of Kinabalu Park. Recent observations indicate that this root climbing fig is relatively common on the trees surrounding the buildings at Mesilau.