The starting point of all fig research in Borneo is the 730 page Flora Malesiana treatment of  Ficus  written by C.C. Berg and published in 2005: Berg & Corner (2005) Flora Malesiana Moraceae- Ficus

Berg & Corner (2005) describe the 367 fig species  found from the Malay Peninsula east to New Guinea. The world total is some 750 – 850 ficus species.  Of the 367 species in the Flora Malesiana Region, Borneo hosts some 150 species – the subject of this website. 

For an entertaining review of Berg & Corner (2005) see; Weiblen & Clement Berg Review 2007

For an update to the fig taxonomy described in Berg & Corner (2005) see; Borneo Fig Taxonomy

Berg et al (2011) Flora of Thailand Ficus -enhanced .jpgIn comparison  with Berg & Corner (2005),  Vol. 10 Part 4 of Flora of Thailand Berg, Pattharahirantricin & Chantarasuwan (2011) has better descriptions and more illustrations of Asian figs. However it only covers  60  of the Ficus species found in Thailand of which only c.40 occur in Borneo. This book is  highly recommended but very difficult to obtain.  See 2011★Flora of Thailand 10(4):469-675. 2011.【Cecropiaceae & Moraceae】

See also: Gardner et al (2018) Figs of Southern Thailand


This excellent little book A Guide to the Fabulous Figs of Singapore by Angie Ng and friends  (2005) is probably the best starting point for those new to Borneo’s figs. 35 figs are illustrated of which 32 are found in Borneo. This book is stocked in most large book shops in Singapore.

King (1887) The Species of Ficus of the Indo-Malayan and Chinese Countries Enhanced.jpg

The Species of Ficus of the Indo-Malayan and Chinese Countries by George King (1887)  is the first fully illustrated listing of all known species of Asian figs. The black and white drawings are generally excellent and illustrate many type collections. Many of the illustrations have been used on this website.  A few examples are linked below;

Ficus vasculosa: Introduction

Ficus tengerensis: Introduction

Ficus celebensis: Introduction

Ficus stricta: Introduction

 Although George King’s book is now virtually  unobtainable, the illustrations are  freely available on-line at 

See also: King (1887)★Annals of the Royal Botanic Garden. Calcutta 1(1):1-66. 1887.●Appendix

041 Annulata Atlas Von Java .pngAnother useful source of original illustrations are the four volumes of Kooders et Valeton (1916-1918) Atlas der Baumarten von Java, which can be downloaded from the Biodiversity Heritage Library. There are 75 plates of figs  included partly in Vol.3 and also Volume 4. Note that many of the names  are not  currently accepted and have caused much confusion e.g. Ficus microcarpa is listed as Ficus retusa.

Koorders et Valeton (1918) Fig Trees of Java

Corner 1952 Wayside Trees of Malaya Volume 01 Text

remains the best general introduction to the regions trees and contains a good overview of the figs.

Shanahan (2016) Gods, Wasps and Stranglers - enhanced .jpgFinally, a brilliant  overview of fig ecology and  the importance of figs in human culture and the world’s religions by Mike Shanahan. Mike’s  starting point is his PHD on fig seed dispersal guilds at Lambir National Park near Miri in Sarawak.

Shanahan et al (2001) Fig Eating a Global Review

Under The Banyan Tree Mike Shanahan 

Shanahan PHD (2000) Ficus Seed Dispersal Guilds