A young Ficus variegata sapling growing under the generator building at the Ulu Ulu Resort, Temburong, Brunei.

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There were many  small ants  feeding on the back glands  on the twigs. The  ants patrol the leaves and  attack leaf eating insects. To ensure that the ants do not forage elsewhere  the plant provides  edible wax to make sure the ants stay around.

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The pattern of  water drops on this back-lit leaf shows that the water drops are the result of “guttation”  not rain. Many figs have glands called “hydathodes” on the upper surface of the leaf which emit water drops containing dissolved salts.
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The result of guttation is mostly seen in the morning and the drops evaporate during the heat of the day. The pattern of the hydathodes is exposed by the pattern of the dried salts on the upper surface of the leaf.


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