Ficus melinocarpa Blume (1825) SECTION SYCIDIUM
Latin: Honey fruit
Habit: An unusual fig in Section Sycidium (normally shrubby climbers) which grows into a tall tree with a straight pale trunk with large butresses (similar to the trunks of Ficus callosa and Ficus albipila). Most common in the Philippines and on the islands east of Borneo from Sulawesi to New Guinea and the Solomons in the Pacific. Corner (1969) found that this fig was a common canopy tree throughout the Solomon Islands, growing up to 35 m and with stout buttresses. In Borneo a rare tree of forest in Eastern Sabah and N E Kalimantan. Records include Bukit Silam and other areas with poor soils.
Ecology: The twigs are hollow and there are reports that these hollow twigs are occupied by ants. However this needs to be confirmed.
Leaf: The large leaves are distichous ( held in a flat plane) which immediately distinguished this fig from Ficus callosa and Ficus albipila in Section Oreosycea where the leaves grow in spirals or whorls. The leaf is usually asymmetric or unbalanced without any obvious large lobes at the base. Normally 5-8 pairs of side veins
Sex: Dioecious. Each tree is either male or female.
Fig fruit: Small smooth with a short stalk or peduncle.
Distribution in Borneo: One of a few rare figs which have crossed Wallace’s Line from the east to west including Ficus gul, Ficus minahassae, and Ficus glandifera. An uncommon fig of forest in E. Sabah and NE. Kalimantan, including Mount Silam and Kg Pinawantai , Kinabalu. See map.
Range: Sumatra, Java, Philippines, Sulawesi Moluccas to New Guinea and the Solomon Islands.