Ficus variegata is a common fig throughout Borneo  especially on forested river floodplains but also often on the edge of towns. The tall straight white trunk with bunches of cauliferous figs hanging from the trunk  is distinctive. This fig can only be confused with Ficus racemosa  which is the most common fig along river banks in Borneo. The main trunk of Ficus racemosa is shorter and more branched. The  easiest way to distinguish the two fig species is by the leaf shape. Ficus variegata has large heart shaped leaves with a long petiole (leaf stalk). Ficus racemosa leaves are smaller, thinner and a brighter, more glossy green.

Ficus variegata Bangar Padang Brunei 08.JPG
Ficus variegata trunks have large root buttresses. All photographs are by Arlene Walshe of the same tree on Bangar Town Padang, Temburong, Brunei.
Ficus variegata Bangar Padang Brunei 03.JPG
Ficus variegata is a common tree  throughout SE Asia south to Australia. The fig fruit are eaten by orangutans, gibbons, macaques, binturongs but mainly by fruit bats in urban areas.
Ficus variegata Bangar Padang Brunei 07.JPG
Note the more or less heart shaped leaves. Ficus racemosa has  smaller, thinner,  more elongated leaves.
Ficus variegata Bangar Padang Brunei 02.JPG
Ficus variegata figs ripen green to pink to red but fruit bats often eat the figs when they are green.

Ficus variegata Bangar Padang Brunei 01.JPG

Ficus variegata Bangar Padang Brunei 05.JPG
Ficus  variegata is dioecious (separate male and female trees). From the seeds visible in this cut fig fruit this can only be a female tree as male trees do not produce seeds.

Ficus variegata Bangar Padang Brunei 06.JPG

 

CCI09022018_0002