Ficus allutacea  collected by Amin, Ismail & Gombie on 15 October 1984 in the Pinangah Forest Reserve, Tongod District Sabah. SAN herbarium collection #107123

In 1998 Kochummen  in the Gardens Bulletin Singapore #50 (1998)  described this fig as a new species endemic to Borneo (Ficus gamostylla). However in his description he gave  this collection SAN # 707123 instead of #107123. This an obvious error.

On 31 Jan 2005 CC. Berg working in the Leiden Herbarium on a duplicate collection sent by SAN determined this fig as Ficus allutacea which was correct.

In Berg & Corner (2005) in the Flora Malesian treatment of Ficus, Berg followed  Kochummen’s type description listing this fig as a new endemic species for Borneo (obviously confused by the  mistake that Kochummen made in the SAN #.

In simple terms Kochummen made a mistake which mistake was copied by Berg. There is little doubt that the collection SAN 107123  illustrated below  belongs to Ficus allutacea. As Berg (2005) points out the supposedly unique feature of Ficus gamostylla which is that the stigmas +styles are joined together  in a mesh (now known as a synstigma)  is a common feature of Section Kalosyce figs.

We are therefore removing Ficus gamostylla as a new species of Ficus and removing it from the Borneo fig list


ABOVE: Google Map showing the Tongod Administrative District in the centre of Sabah. The Tongod district encompasses the whole  watershed of the mighty Kinabatangan River and its tributaries including the Kuamut, Pinangah and Tongod. The Kinabatangan is the longest river in Sabah, Borneo and can be seen entering the map upper right. 


For Kochummen’s TYPE description see below

Ficus gamostyla Kochummen sp. nov. TYPE DESCRIPTION

(Greek. gamo=united; with united styles of adjoining flowers)

Ad Fico disticha sectionis Rhizocladus subgenus Ficus vergens ab hac specie in ficorum pedunculis longioribus (10-13 mm), floris foemini stylo longo apicaliter florum aliorm stylis in fici cavitate adnatis.

Typus: Amin et al SAN 107123. Borneo. Sabah, Tongod (holotypus SAN).

Climber. Twigs dark brown, hollow. Stipules lanceolate – acuminate, c. 4 mm long, caducous. Leaves obovate or elliptic, 7-11 x 2.5-5.5 cm, base cuneate. apex pointed, margin recurved; midrib flattened above, lateral veins 5-6 pairs. with short intermediate veins. trinerved, basal veins short, raised below, very faint above, intercostal veins fine, reticulate, distinct  below, invisible above; petioles 7-10 mm long. Syconia arising from leafless twigs and branches, in clusters, greenish. ripening red, subglobose, c. 5 mm across, apex umbonate with, slight depression in the centre; peduncles 10-13 mm long; basal bracts persistent. Female flowers pedlicelled; tepals 4, dark brown, oblong; ovary oblong, pale brown with white edges, style lateral, long, joined up near the apex forming a white ring-like mesh; centre of syconium hollow. Male and gall flowers not seen.

Distribution: Endemic to Borneo, very rare. known only from one collection; from Sabah.

Ecology: Lowland forest.

Google Maps: Tongod District & Pinangah Forest Reserve