ABOVE: The TYPE was obtained by Corner’s botanical collector Cedric Carr at the Tenompok Pass (1,500m ) on Kinabalu on 28 June 1933. The Tenompok Pass is at the same altitude and only c.3 km from Kinabalu Park HQ. This area is very well know botanically but no other collections of F. tulipifera have been made on Kinabalu. I would guess that the F. tulipifera collection from Tenompok is actually Ficus cavernicola whilst the other collections of F. tulipifera illustrated may constitute a separate unique species.
TULIP FIG Ficus tulipifera Corner (1939) SECTION: KALOSYCE
Latin: With tulip like flowers referring to the red perianth surrounding the male flower inside the fig.
Plant: A very rare root climber widespread throughout Borneo, but probably under recorded.
Leaf: Large oblong leaves 10-21cm long x 4.5-8 wide.
Fig: The medium to large figs 2-4cm hang from branchlets or woody spurs up to 20cm long. Figs ripen orange to red.
Similar species: According to Berg (2005) Ficus sarawakensis and F.carrii.
Distinguish: According to Berg from F. sarawakensis by the broader leaf without sunken lateral veins on the upper surface of the leaf . However, the TYPE collection from the Tenompok near Kinabalu Park HQ at 5,000 feet (illustrated above) does have sunken veins on the upper side of the leaf and also appears to differ from the other 5 lowland examples illustrated below.
Distribution: There are 5 collections from all over Borneo in Leiden and Kew. The TYPE collection from Tenompok, Kinabalu, one from Sg Liang in Brunei, one from Pulong Tau in N. Sarawak, one from Lundu near Kuching, one from Sintang in W. Kalimantan and one from E. Kalimantan.