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. 

TONGOD FIG Ficus gamostyla  Kochummen (1998)      SECTION: KALOSYCE

 Greek: United styles. Referring to the female flowers with united styles

Plant: A rare endemic root climber. The single record is from  the Pinangah Forest Reserve near Tongod in Sabah- SAN 107123 collected  by Amin et al.

Leaf: Obovate or elliptic 7-11 cm long x 2-5-5.5 cm wide. The leaf is glaborous both above and below.

Sex: Dioecious.

Fig: The tiny figs (0.5 cm) grow in clusters on the bare twigs behind the leaves and ripen red. The figs hang from a relatively long peduncle 1-1.3 cm long. The only collection is female. The styles of the female flowers inside the fig  are joined at the apex to make a  white ring like mesh surface in the center of the hollow fig.

Similar species: F. disticha. in which the figs are generally twice the size but with shorter stalks and smaller leaves.

Distinguish: From F.disticha (1) By the relatively long peduncle compared to the tiny fig and (2) the larger more pointed leaves.  It was initially believed by Kochummen when he described this new species that the united styles were distinctive but as pointed out by Berg (2005) with F. disticha the female flowers may also have united styles.

Distribution: The only record is from Tongod on the upper reaches of the Kinabatangan River in E. Sabah.

Taxonomy: The type description was published in the Gardens Bulletin Singapore 50 (1998) and the Type collection SAN 107123 is at the Sandakan Herbarium.


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