BRACT FIG Ficus bracteata Wall. Ex Miq. Miq. (1867) SECTION:CONOSYCEA
Latin: Refers to the fact that the terminal branches have distinctive persistent stipules (bracts).
Habit: Large woody liana or small tree to 15m. Very rare. The few Bornean records are from either peats-swamp forest or rocky ridge forest on the west coast of Borneo. Obviously prefers poor soils.
Leaf: Large 14-33 cm by 6-17cm. Smooth above and with prominent sunken veins. The veins of the undersurface of the leaf are also very prominent. The basal pair are very distinct with up to 3 pairs of minor side veins below. These features are also true of Ficus forstenii leaves but F. forstenii does not retain persistent bracts on the terminal branches.
Fig: 1.8-2.5cm. Has a very distinctive sunken ostiole. Berg (2005) says this fig ripens green to yellow to orange to red, but we have no recent photographs.
(1) Ficus forstenii also has a very large leaf with numerous sunken side veins above and very prominent side veins below.
(2) Ficus annulata. Some varieties of Ficus annulata have persistent stipules and hairy figs. F. annulata leaves always have 12 or more side veins whereas F. bracteata leaves always have less than 12 side veins.
(3) Ficus paracamptophylla is a very similar rare fig found in peat swamp forest with persistent bracts on the terminal branches but the leaf is flat above without sunken side veins.
Distribution: Scattered records from coastal forest in west Borneo.
Sabah: The collections for Bongawan and Sipitang (both West Sabah) in NATURALIS. are most likely to be F. consociata. F. bracteata is not listed in the Tree Flora of Sabah and Sarawak by Kochummen (2000)
Brunei: Not listed by Coode (1996) for Brunei.
Sarawak: The records for Bukit Lima (Sibu) and Padawan Hotsprings near Kuching most likely refer to Ficus consociata. Not listed by Anderson for Sarawak (1980. One record for Lambir. See Harrison 2003.
Kalimantan: Sambas (N. West Kalimantan). Not recorded for Gunung Palung by Laman and Weiblen. Singapore Herbarium has no Borneo collections and neither has Kew.
Range: Vietnam, Thailand , Philippines, Java, Sumatra and Borneo. The type is from Singapore. Many herbarium collections from the Malay Peninsula and S. Thailand are either F. kochummeniana or F. consociata.
There is a possibility that this fig is a rare hybrid between F. consociata and F. annulata.