Ixora lobbi 3p7a0939.jpg
Ixora lobbi in flower. The leaves of  the very rare endemic Ficus ixoroides are easily mistaken for the leaves of a relatively common rheophytic ixora.

IXORA FIG Ficus ixoroides  Corner (1960)  SECTION: SYCOCARPUS

Latin: Similar to Ixora lobbi (Rubiaceae) a common rheophytic (river adapted) shrub.

Habit: Shrub or small tree to 6m, usually found growing in or next to streams (rheophytic).

Leaf: The narrow leaves, typical of rheophytes are adapted to withstand flowing water during floods.

Fig: The small figs (1.0-1.5cm) grow on short stalks both in the leaf axils and from the trunk (cauliferous) and are tapered at the base. Figs ripen green to greenish purple.

Sex: Dioecious.

Similar species: (1) Ficus macrostyla is also a rheophytic fig which grows in rocky stream beds but is easily distinguished by the large bracts on the fig fruit.

(2) Ixora lobbi  (Rubiaceae) a common rheophytic shrub that grows on the banks of fast flowing rivers in the hills of W. Borneo

Distinguish:  The long narrow leaves of Ficus ixoroides are distinctive, once it has been determined as a Ficus species from the fig fruit.

Distribution: Very widespread but rare. Probably under-recorded due to the similarity of the leaves with Ixora lobbi. .Only 3 collections are known;

(1) The type was collected by Beccari in SW Sarawak PB 2781.

(2) Collected above Bario in the Kelabit Highlands of Sarawak en route to the Tama Abo range  at 950 m.

(3) Leiden 4013 was collected at 400m at Tumbang Tosa in the hills of East Kalimantan.

(4) Lumbis in Sabah, according to Corner’s type description. This is a hilly area in south central Sabah inhabited by Muruts on the border with Kalimantan.

TYPE Ficus ixoroides.jpg
The TYPE collection of the rare endemic Ficus ixoroides. Collected by Beccari  near Kuching.


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L.1603370 Kelabit Highlands.jpg