Ficus malayana, female fig fruits.  This F. malayana plant is an “earth fig” growing in the Tabin BORA rhino orchard . 

The BORA orchard is planted  with rhino food plants of many species but especially  the shrubby figs which are the most favoured food of the Sumatran rhinos at Tabin.

All photos by Dr Zainal Zahari Zainuddin 

The  rhino keepers  call this fig Sendera berbulu (Hairy buds) and say that the rhinos love the young leaves but are not quite so fond of the older leaves. As can be seen from a cross-section through one of the fig fruits below this individual plant is a female.

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The presence of  (immature) seeds  (and the absence of male flowers) in the fig  fruit means that this fig can only be a female.
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Note that with this young tree the fig fruits are growing on root like “stolons”  which emerge  from the lower trunk of this female Ficus malayana. In older trees the majority of stolons are connected to the trunk at ground level and lie with the figs half buried in the leaf litter. Earth fig fruits are eaten by ground mammals such as rats, pigs and deer.

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