ABOVE: This amazing Talipot Palm Corypha umbraculifera was about to commit suicide when we visited the Singapore Botanic Gardens in November 2013. Talipot Palms flower only once in one big bang before they die. The single inflorescence (flower spike) is the the largest of any plant. Growing up the trunk of the Talipot Palm was a root climbing Ficus liana covered in luscious orange yellow spotted figs.
This fig growing in the Singapore Botanic Gardens (SBG) was listed as Ficus callicarpa typica in Corner (1939) A REVISION OF FICUS, SUBGENUS SYNOECIA in the Gardens Bulletin of the SGB.
In Corner (1965) Checklist of Ficus in Asia and Australia with keys to Identification (Bulletin of the SGB) this fig was listed as Ficus aurantiacea.
In Ng et Al (2005) A Guide to the Fabulous Figs of Singapore this fig is listed as Ficus aurantiacea.
In Berg & Corner(2005) Flora Malesiana Volume 17/Part 2 this fig is listed as Ficus punctata.
Both Berg and Corner freely admitted that the Ficus punctata complex of species is a taxonomic mess. Eighty years after Corners (1939) monograph, the Ficus punctata group of species remains a taxonomic mess. Within the mess however it is possible to distinguish varieties with some consistent features.
According to Corner (1939) Ficus callicarpa typica, the fig illustrated in this article is the most common Ficus punctata type fig found in Singapore and Peninsular Malaya, South Thailand, Sumatra, Java and Sulawesi. It is found in Southern Borneo but not Northern Borneo. In Singapore and the Malay Peninsular it is common in villages and orchards. Pending further research on the Ficus punctata group I have chosen to call this fig Ficus punctata var callicarpa for the time being.