Ficus kochummeniana collected Anduki Forest Reserve Brunei. Specimen in Naturalis Leiden Herbarium


Latin: Honors the Malaysian botanist K.M. Kochummen “Koch” author of (Moraceae) in the Tree Flora of Sabah and Sarawak Vol. 4 (2000).

Plant: Medium size strangler (to 30m). A locally common fig of coastal peat-swamp and poor kerangas soils in the lowlands with a patchy distribution. One of a very few Bornean figs with persistent stipules on the terminal branches.

Sex: Dioecious.

Leaves: Medium sized oblong leaves 4-15 cm long by 1.5-6cm wide with a petiole up to 2.5 cm. The veins above are impressed (sunken) giving a corrugated appearance to the leaf. The venation below is very prominent with the distinctive basal veins running very close to the leaf margin usually to half or more the length of the leaf.

Fig: Small figs 0.8-1.2cm diameter. Figs ripen orange to red. “The fig is unique in that the styles completely fill the fig interior and form a column leading to the ostiole where pollinators are trapped in a small cavity below the ostiolar bracts” Laman & Weiblen (1998).

The rare Scarlet-breasted Flowerpecker  Prionochilus thoracicus which also prefers poor soils associates with this fig.

Similar species: F. paracamptophylla and F. bracteata also have persistent stipules.

Distinguish: (1) By the differing growth habit. F. kochummeniana grows as a strangling tree rather than climber whereas both F. paracamptophylla and F. bracteata grow as climbers (2) By the distinctive venation of the basal veins on the underside of the leaf as described above.

Distribution: Widespread and locally common in coastal and poor soil forest throughout Borneo. Numerous records from W. Sabah, coastal Brunei and Bako near Kuching with scattered records from elsewhere. Sabah: Beluran, Sg Imbak, Papar, Brunei: Ulu Belalong, Tasek Merimbun. Belait.  Sarawak: Telok Gador, Bako Kalimantan: Berau (Kaltel)

Range: Thailand. Malaya, Western Sumatra, Borneo. Critically endangered in Singapore where it is listed as Ficus retusa in Chong et al (2009). Frequent in Panti FR Johore.

Taxonomy: prior to Berg (2005) this fig was known as Ficus retusa var borneensis and is so listed in Corner (1960), Laman & Weiblen (1998) and Harrison’s numerous publications on the figs of Lambir.


Ficus Kochummeniana Tasek Merimbun Brunei.jpg