BUKIT RAYA EARTH FIG Ficus bukitrayensis (Berg 2007) Locally common endemic
Latin: After Bukit Raya, 2,278m the highest mountain in Central Kalimantan.
Kelabit: buah abung, Iban: entimau.
Tree: Forest edge tree to 10m. Most commonly encountered as a roadside shrub. Usually confined to the edge of damp forest Juvenile plants have much larger, highly asymmetric leaves as compared with mature trees.
Fig: Glaborous “without hairs” but with prominent bracts usually ripening pink, white or green.
Distinguish: One of three earth figs in the “Uncinata complex” including Ficus uncinata and Ficus megaleia which are so variable that they are (at present) impossible to distinguish from each other. Illustrations provided for these figs are those that come most close to Berg’s original descriptions for each supposed species. Note that these “Uncinata “ group figs often fruit when immature when the leaves are often very large and prominently lobed. As they mature into small trees the leaves reduce in size and lose their lobes.
Similar Species: The 3 species of earth figs in the Uncinata complex are very variable. They are the most common roadside figs in wet forest especially wet hill forest throughout Borneo. The common features of the 3 “Uncinata complex figs are (a) Large asymmetric hairy leaves with serrated edges. (b) A prominent large lobe on one side at the base of the leaf blade . (c) Glaborous (hairless figs) with prominent solid bracts (not flaps) that grow on stolons (long roots) issuing from the base of the trunk or up to at least a meter up the trunk.
Range: A locally common endemic in the hills throughout. Borneo.
Taxonomy: Listed by Corner , Kochummen (2000) and Berg (2005) as Ficus uncinata. In his revision of the stoloniferous earth figs of Thailand and Malesia Berg (2007) described a new earth fig from Bukit Raya in Kalimantan F. bukitrayaensis as a split from F. uncinata.
However the description effectively includes the commonest earth fig in Borneo under the new name, and relegates F.uncinata to uncommon status. Most likely this “split” is NOT sustainable.