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
In 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.
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.
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;
Although George King’s book is now virtually unobtainable, the illustrations are freely available on-line at www.plantillustrations.org.
Another 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.
Finally, 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.