MAGNOLIA LEAF FIG Ficus magnoliifolia Miquel (1825) SECTION:OREOSYCEA
Latin:-With leaves similar to magnolia leaves.
Plant: A striking tall tree (to 45 m) with a pale straight trunk and large buttresses common in the more seasonal forests of Thailand, Java, Sumatra and Mindanao in the Philippines but very rare in the wet rain forests of Borneo.
Leaves: Long oblong leaves 9-20cm x 2.5-8.5cm with 10-12 pairs of prominent side veins and short petiole (leaf stalk). The leaves have distinctive cream sunken side veins- giving the leaves a corrugated or bullate appearance. As with other Oreosycea figs the leaves are shiny above a feature shared by some artocarpus species such as Artocarpus nitidus.
Fig: The figs dangle on short stalks (to 1.5cm) from the ends of the branches. Figs ripen yellow/green as with Ficus callosa and are probably dispersed by fruit bats.
Similar species: The five species of Oreosycea figs in Borneo are easily recognized by their (1) Straight tall pale trunks (2) Massive buttresses (3) White or cream sap (4) Leaves dry with a curious shiny surface. Distinguish: Most likely to be confused with with Ficus callosa. However the leaves of F.callosa have long petioles and are oval in shape rather than oblong.
Confusion of leaves with Ficus subulata. Ficus subulata has similar leaves but with the following differences. (1). F. subulata leaves are often asymmetric with an auricle at the base of the leaf wheres F. magnoliifolia leaves are always symmetric with no auricle. (2) The midrib of the leaf is raised in Ficus subulata but flat or sunken (impressed) in Ficus magnoliifolia.
Distribution: The very widespread distribution indicates that this fig was probably much more common during dry periods in the past but the population has crashed as the weather got wetter and warmer over the last 20,000 years. There are a few scattered records from Sabah eg SAN 33972, Sarawak-Ulu Tubau, Bintulu, and Niah See Pearce (2005) Fig list for Niah Caves and Kalimantan West Kutai. There are no records from Kinabalu, Beaman (2004) or Brunei (Coode 1996)
Range: A Sundaland fig found from the Andaman Islands east to Malaya, Sumatra, Java and Borneo but also including the Philippines and Sulawesi. Never recorded from Singapore.