ABOVE: A young Ficus stupenda strangler growing in a crack in a limestone cliff overhanging the Kinabatangan River, 10 minutes by boat downstream from the Sukau Rainforest Lodge. Photos by Quentin Phillipps 24 December 2016.
In the absence of fig fruit the large leathery leaves of F. stupenda may be confused with the large leathery leaves of Ficus xylophylla. They can be distinguished by the basal veins on the leaf. The main basal veins on F. stupenda grow in a Y shape starting well above the base. (See photo above and also the photos of which also have Y shaped basal veins) Often also there are a pair of very weak basal veins F. crassiramea below the main basal veins. In contrast the basal veins of are very strong and straight and and start right from the base of the leaf with no other side veins below. F. xylophylla
Growing on the same cliff is a much larger Ficus caulocarpa strangler (yellow circle). The Ficus stupenda sapling is enclosed by the red circle.
Ficus caulocarpa: Kinabatangan River
The limestone cliff is 10 minutes by boat downstream from the Sukau Rainforest Lodge.