THREE-COLOR FIG Ficus tricolor Miq. (1851) SECTION: ERIOSYCEA
Latin: Refers to the three colours of the dried leaves white, brown and yellow/green.
Plant: Medium size tree to 20m found in the mountains of S. Borneo.
Leaf: The large leaves are extremely variable in shape and size from palmate to elliptic to heart shaped with very long petioles (leaf stalk).
Fig: The small fig (1.25cm) grows in the leaf axils and ripen yellow to orange brown to red.
Similar Species: Ficus grossularioides which occupies the equivalent ecological niche in the lowlands of South Borneo and which also has the bright silver/white glaucous colouring of the underside of the leaf.
Distinguish: According to Berg (2011) F. tricolour is distinguished from F. grossularioides by;
(1) The brownish hirtellous to strigose indumentum (hairs) on the main veins of the cordiform to ovate leaf beneath.
(2) The larger figs 1-1.8cm diameter,
(3) The longer peduncle (fig stalk) 0.2.-0.5cm long and,
(4) By the visible reticulation of the tertiary veins on the underneath of the leaf.
Distribution: Leiden Herbarium has only three records for Borneo one of them is for Gunung Pamattan in Kalimantan Selatan. Berg (2005) speculates that F. tricolour is the montane form of F. grossularioides as they are obviously closely related. As F. grossularioides is common in SW Sarawak this fig should be looked for in the hills of SW Sarawak where it may well occur.
Range Malay Peninsula, Sumatra, Java and Borneo. Common in Malaya at Frazer’s Hill and the Cameroon Highlands. Also in the mountains of Java. Unknown in Singapore.