RETUSE FIG Ficus retusa L (1767) SECTION: CONOSYCEAE
Latin: Refers to the sunken (retuse) apex of the fig around the ostiole.
Plant: Hemi-epiphyte to 10m. May also grow as a shrub or small tree.
Leaf: Spirally arranged. Medium sized obovate leaf blunt at the far end. 4-15cm long x 1.5-6cm wide with a petiole (leaf stalk) up to 1cm long.
Fig: Small fig (1-1.5cm) in the leaf axils or on the bare branch behind. The figs ripen orange to dark red and are flat or with a distinctive sunken area around the ostiole.
Similar species: Note that many herbarium collections are wrongly labeled. Ficus retusa is part of group including F. spathulifolia and F. tristaniifolia all with similar small obovate leaves and found in similar poor soil and peat swamp habitat. Note that F. bracteata (with very different large leaves) also has figs with distinctive sunken areas around the ostiole. Dried figs of F.consociata also often show a sunken area around the ostiole.
Distinguish: From F. spathulifolia and F. tristaniifolia by the different appearance of the fig with a sunken area surrounding the ostiole and from F. bracteata and F.consociata by the much smaller obtuse leaves.
Sabah: No records.
Brunei: No records.
Sarawak: No records.
Kalimantan: Leiden Herbarium has 7 collections all from southern Kalimantan.
Range: Java (common) and South Borneo (rare).
Taxonomy: Descriptions of Ficus retusa var borneensis prior to Berg (2005) eg (1) Laman and Weiblen (1998) on the figs of Gunung Palung, (2) Harrison’s numerous publications on the figs of Lambir and ( 3) Kochummen (2000) Tree Flora of Sabah and Sarawak refer to Ficus kochummeniana NOT F. retusa.
Ficus retusa var borneensis was split from Ficus kochummeniana by Berg (2005).
In the older literature Ficus retusa was often called Ficus truncate or F. truncata with a distribution stretching from India to Java.
BONSAI: In popular bonsai literature the name Ficus retusa is often used to refer to a Taiwanese variety of F. microcarpa with small dark green leaves favoured by bonsai enthusiasts.