EARED FIG Ficus aurita  Blume (1825)   SECTION: SYCIDIUMs

Latin: Eared – referring to the asymmetric leaf often with an “auricle” or ear on one side of the base of the leaf.

Habit:  A locally common small tree or liana of limestone hills in the lowlands or rocky slopes in the mountains.

Leaves: Very variable in size  6-28 cm long by 2-10 cm wide with a rough surface and scalloped or toothed edges. The leaves are distichous and strongly asymmetric with a short petiole up to 1.3cm long with (7-)10-13 (-15) pairs of side veins. Large leaves usually have a very distinct ear (auricle) at the base of the leaf. In smaller leaves this may just be an extra strip of leaf at the base. Herbarium leaves dry green.

Figs: The tiny figs (0.5-1.0cm) grow in the leaf axils or below the leaves and have  very short peduncles up to 0. 5cm long. Figs ripen red. The sunken ostiole is surrounded by a lobed rim covered in bracts.

Sex: Dioecious.

Similar species: There at least 7 species of Borneo figs with an auricle at the base of the leaf including, F. geocharis, F. midotis, F. scaberrima, F. obscura, F. rubromidotis, and F. hemsleyana..


  • Of the other auricled figs, none have figs with an ostiole surrounded by bracts.
  • The herbarium leaves  of  aurita dry green.

Distribution: Throughout Borneo but only locally common on limestone hills.

Sabah: Gomantong Caves, Madai Caves. On Kinabalu found along riverside cliffs up to 1,200m.

Brunei: No records.

Sarawak: Common in areas of limestone hills eg Mulu,  Niah and the Bengoh Range near Kuching.

Kalimantan: Throughout

Range: Philippines, Borneo east to New Guinea.

Tawau Ficus aurita Copy 1 OF L0039961_HERB.jpg