EARED EARTH FIG Ficus geocharis Corner (1960) SECTION: SYCOCARPUS
Latin: ground loving.
Local names: Kelabit: buah abung, Iban: entimau, timopada, E.Kalimantan: dali, givit, kara.
Habit: Small forest tree to 17m sometimes with buttresses. The native habitt is the forest understorey but this fig rapidly colonizes newly opened roadsides in forested areas.
Northern Borneo Fig: F.geocharis have large glaborous dark red/purple to black earth figs with small white spots and large lateral and apical bracts.
Kalimantan Fig: F. geocharis figs also have bracts but are smaller, brown and hairy (Slik). Corner’s illustration above illustrates this hairy variety.
Distinguish: Long narrow glaborous leaves with extended drip tip. The only earth fig with a distinctive auricle (ear) or small extra leaf at the base of the wider side of the main leaf. The only other fig species with auricled leaves are all scrambling climbers in SECTION SYCIDIUM and include F.aurita, F. midotis, F obscura, and F.hemsleyana.
Similar Species: F. beccarii earth fig has similar leaves but lacks the “ear” at leaf base.
Distribution: Locally common Borneo endemic throughout wet forested areas in Borneo to around 1,200m in the hills. Previously considered rare (Kochummen (2000) in Tree Flora of Sabah and Sarawak Vol. 3 ) but the development of new roads throughout the interior of Borneo has opened up vast areas of habitat suitable for this fig to colonise.
Sabah: Kipandi 730m in Crocker Range, Sepilok- next to orangutan feeding platform. Kalabakan (Tawau)
Brunei: Bukit Teraja, Temburong back roads, Ulu Ulu Resort, Temburong.
Sarawak: Bau, Mulu, Belaga.
Kalimantan: Uncommon at Gng Palung in W.Kalimantan. Widespread in Central and East Kalimantan up to 1,200m. Both the young leaves and fruit are eaten (Slik)