Illustration above copied from King (1887) The Species of Ficus of the Indo-Malayan and Chinese Countries. Reprint 1969.
WOOLY FIG Ficus lanata Blume (1825) Scarce root climber in hill forest
Latin: Wool – referring to the thick hair on the twigs and underside of the leaves.
Habit: A root climbing liana very similar to Ficus villosa and equally or more hairy in all parts but usually with less side veins.
Leaf: Most easily distinguished by the bathyphyll leaves which are similar to the adult leaves of Ficus excavata. The acrophyll (adult) leaves measure 4-11 cm long by 1.5 x 5 cm wide and have 4-6 (up to 7) side veins. The leaf is hairy along the main veins above. The under-surface has very prominent venation but is largely hairless apart from the main veins. The leaf is usually revolute i.e. turned inwards at the edges and is foveolate (pitted) below.
Fig: The small figs (0.4 -0.8 cm) ripen red.
Similar species: F villosa and Ficus recurva and Ficus excavata.
Distinguish: (1) F. villosa leaves have 6-10 side veins, F. lanata averages 5.
(2) F. lanata leaves are foveolate below. F. recurva has distinctive hooked (uncinate) hairs and usually 3 to 4 side veins.
Distribution: Leiden Herbarium has only 10 Borneo collections including 6 from Kinabalu including Tenompok (Kinabalu Park HQ), one from Belalong (Brunei) another from the hills of N. Sarawak and two from the mountains of Kalimantan. Recently recorded from the Royal Mulu Resort in N. Sarawak.
Range: Sumatra, Java, Borneo.
Taxonomic Confusion: As Berg himself accepted in his description of Ficus lanata for Flora Malesiana (2005), it is impossible to describe Ficus lanata without overlapping normal variations in Ficus recurva and Ficus villosa.
See Bergs (2005) description;