ABOVE: Ficus lyrata photographed at Third Beach at Tg Aru, Kota Kinabalu near the airport runway fence.
LYRE FIG Ficus lyrata Warb. (1894)
Introduced to Borneo from West Africa for landscaping projects
Latin: From the lyre (a musical stringed instrument) shaped leaves.
Plant: A small tree with branches that grow up towards the sky covered in large lyre shaped glossy green leaves.
Sex: Monoecious. The figs are sterile in Borneo indicating that the fig wasps have yet to arrive in Borneo.
Fig: The figs are large (4-6 cm) without stalks (sessile) and ripen green with white spots.
Distinguish: Large glossy green violin shaped leaves with a rounded end and a small (or no) drip tip are distinctive.
Similar species: The large distinctive leaves are unlike those of any other Bornean fig.
Distribution: Usually encountered in resort landscaping schemes eg at Sutera Harbour and Rasa Ria. Two mature trees grow at Third beach, Tg Aru, Kota Kinabalu and are usually fruiting.
Range: Native to West Africa from Cameroon to Sierra Leone. Grown as a house plant worldwide and in many tropical gardens as an ornamental.