BECCARI’S EARTH FIG Ficus beccarii King (1888) SECTION:SYCOCARPUS
Latin: Named after Italian botanist Odorado Beccari author of Wanderings in the Great Forests of Borneo (1904), who first collected this fig at Bukit Kuap near Kuching.
Local names: Kelabit: buah abung, Iban: entimau.
Tree: Small forest tree to 5m. Often a roadside shrub.
Fig: Medium size reddish slightly hairy red earth fig with numerous lateral and apical bracts.
Distinguish: Long, narrow, even sided (symmetric) glaborous (non hairy), entire (not toothed, dentate or serrated) leaves with a very long drip tip.
- F. geocharis has distinctive “ear or auricle” at leaf base.
- F.subterranea has symmetric leaves but a short drip tip.
- F. malayana has an asymmetric (uneven) leaf base and very hairy figs.
Uncinata complex earth figs all have dentate (toothed) asymmetric (uneven) leaves.
Distribution: Common in the lowlands and hills throughout Borneo in damp areas of forest edge to at least 2,000m on Kinabalu.
Sabah: Kinabalu Park HQ and Kiau Gap, Rafflesia Centre, Crocker Range, Sepilok: around orangutan feeding area, Tabin Wildlife Resort.
Brunei: Ulu Ulu Resort, Temburong.
Sarawak: Widespread and common
Kalimantan: Widespread up to 1,200m.
Range: Thailand, Malay Peninsula, Borneo.
Taxonomy: Three varieties have been recorded (a) Ficus beccarrii var latifolia (b) F. beccarii var asymmetrica with an uneven lobe on the base of the leaf and (c) F. beccarii var beccarii as illustrated at the head of this article and below. All varieties have very long drip tips.