ABOVE: A very large F. crassiramea growing on the north bank of the Kinabatangan River opposite the entrance (kuala) to Sg Koyah, downstream from the Danau Girang Field Centre. F. crassiramea is the most common large strangler of the Kinabatangan flood plain forest.

COLLARED FIG  Ficus crassiramea Miq. (1867)                    SECTION: CONOSYCEA

Latin: Many thick twigs. Crassus=thick. Ramus=twig or branch.

Habit:  Large strangler (to 35m) common throughout the lowland forests of Borneo with a preference for river floodplains,  peat swamp forest and coastal districts. Often grows as a standalone tree but also as a strangler .

Sex: Monoecious.

Leaf: Large spear shaped leaves averaging (10-20cm) but up to 30cm long. The leaves are renewed in flushes at which time very large pink stipules litter the ground below.

Ecology: At Krau in W. Malaysia, Lambert (1990) found that the fig fruit were eaten by hornbills, langurs, squirrels, binturongs and giant flying squirrels. On the Kinabatangan the ripe figs attracted three species of hornbills,  Green Imperial Pigeons, Hill Mynas and Long-tailed Macaques.

Fig: The medium size figs (1.5-2cm) are seated in a cup made up of large overlapping green bracts and ripen bright orange red.

Similar species: F stupenda is regarded by Berg (2005) as conspecific (the same species), due to the similar venation on the underside of the leaf and the prominent bracts at the base of the fig in both species. There are obvious  intermediates but the vast majority of  collections can be clearly distinguished as either F. crassiramea OR F. stupenda so on this website these figs are treated as distinct species.

Distinguish: by the smaller size of both fig and leaf compared with F. stupenda and by the spear shaped leaf blade. The tree may be with or without strangling roots and may grow as an independent tree.

Distribution: Especially common in the peat swamp forests of coastal Brunei and Sarawak (Anderson).  The  most common large strangler in the flood plain forest of the Kinabtangan River. Two fine examples grow in the swampy ground at Third Beach Tanjung Aru, Kota Kinabalu. Uncommon on Mount Kinabalu up to 1,500m (Beaman 2004).

Range: Sri Lanka east to Taiwan and south to New Guinea. Singapore: A rare tree of coastal beaches and small islands around Singapore, including Pulau Tekong and Pulau Ubin.

01 Crassiramea IMG_1766
F. crassiramea photo from Tg Aru beach by Anthea Phillipps. Note that the basal veins of the leaf typically join the mid-rib well above the base of the leaf so that the structure looks like a distinct Y. This appearance is also typical for F. stupenda except that the leaf of Ficus stupenda is usually larger  and with F. stupenda  there is often an additional pair of  short weak basal veins below the main basal veins.
Tg Aru Beach 10th April 2014 AP (66).JPG
F. crassiramea photo from Tg Aru beach by Anthea Phillipps. Note the very distinctive pattern of the paired basal veins (lower left)  with the appearance of a Y.