TRICHOCARPA Ficus trichocarpa (Blume 1825) Common hemi-epiphyte
Greek: Hairy fruit- referring to the tiny very short hairs covering the fruit. However this is not apparent unless examined through a 10x magnifying lens and both fig and leaf appear smooth and glossy (glabrous).
Plant: Both Corner and Berg (2005) Flora Malesiana and (2011) describe this fig as a “root climber”, but at least some of the individuals I have encountered in the wild, may possibly have established as epiphytes in the canopy and then dropped down aerial roots to the ground. A large number of herbarium collections are sterile (non-fruiting) root climbers which adds to the confusion. More field observations are required !
Fig: A very variable fig in both size and shape usually with a stalk (peduncle) but sometimes without (sessile) which ripens green to orange to dark red. There is a distinctive whorl of bracts at the junction of the peduncle and the fig. These are often broken off but the base is still visible.
Similar species: Common root climbers.Ficus recurva, Ficus villosa and Ficus sagittata.
Distinguish: (1) By the oval glossy leaves with 4-5 side veins compared with the pointed hairy leaves and usually with more side veins of other Rhizocladus root climbers. (2) By the bracts at base of the peduncle .
Ecology: According to Dr Zainal of BORA, Sumatran Rhinos eat both the leaves and fruit but prefer branches containing fruiting bunches
Distribution: Common throughout the lowland forests of Borneo. Not found in the mountains. Examples can be seen at Tabin (next to the river bridge on a large binuang Octomeles sumatrana) tree ) and at Sepilok next to the Discovery Centre Canopy Walkway. The least common Rhizocladus root climber.
Range: Vietnam south to the Malay Peninsula and Sumatra east to Borneo, Java and the Moluccas. Also Philippines but not Sulawesi.
|Comparative abundance of||Species||SING||LEIDEN|
|Rhizocladus root climbers in||Recurva||31||71|
|Borneo based on collections in the||Villosa||17||32|
|Singapore & Leiden Herbariums||Sagitatta||10||40|