Linus Gokusing holding a fruiting branch of
Ficus villosa a root climbing liana collected from the side of the Kota Kinabalu-Tambunan Road at c. 1,000 m asl (Mushroom Shed 40) in the Crocker Range, Sabah.
Ficus villosa is possibly the most common fig in Borneo but it is usually difficult to obtain fruiting photos. Root climbers normally only fruit when they reach full sunlight in the canopy.
From the sunken ostiole obviously a female plant. The ripe red fig fruit have been pecked by birds. Male figs with a peaked ostiole would be left untouched by birds and would ripen orange not red.
Linus Gokusing collecting the fruiting branch of the root climbing Ficus villosa growing up a roadside tree at 1,000m in the Crocker Range, Sabah.
Linus is the botanist owner/manager of the Kipandi Butterfly Park and Orchid Garden next to the Kota Kinabalu-Tambunan Road in the Crocker Range, Sabah.
The western slopes of the Crocker Range act as a “rain trap” for moisture laden winds that are drawn inland from the South China Sea by heat rising from the land during the day. By midday most of the western slopes of the Crocker Range over 1,000m are within the cloud layer. This creates the ideal constantly humid conditions known as “cloud forest” for a dense growth of epiphytes and root climbers (including figs) on the forest trees.
A rare clear early morning view of Kinabalu from Kipandi Butterfly Park in the Crocker Range, Sabah. The hill forest on the Crocker Range and Kinabalu in Sabah is the most diverse forest in the world for plant life including c. 100 species of figs.