Blue-eared Barbet Psilopogon australis  feeding on Ficus rumphii figs in Thailand. 

RUMPH’S FIG Ficus rumphii                                  SECTION CONOSYCEA

Latin: After Georg Rhumphius (1627-1702) a German born botanist employed  by the Dutch East India company based on Ambon Island in Maluku Province, Eastern Indonesia.

Habit: A  very widespread medium sized tree to 20 m, stand alone or sometimes a strangler.  Not yet recorded for Borneo  but  very likely to occur either as an introduction or naturally present on one of the  islands in the South China or Java seas.  Due to the shape of the leaf  this fig tree is frequently confused with Ficus religiosa  which is  actually in Section Urostigma


Similar Species: Ficus religiosa 

Distinguish from Ficus religiosa by;

(1) The short or sometimes absent drip tip on the leaf.

(2) The base of the leaf is  always cordate  (heart-shaped) whilst the base of the leaf in F. religiosa is  often flat or only slightly cordate.

(3) The shape of the fig fruit resembles a flattened globe in Ficus  religiosa and a pear shape  with F. rumphii.

(4) Ficus religiosa figs have large persistent basal bracts whilst the bracts on the base of F. rumphii figs are tiny.

Range: The distribution is disjunct from India eastwards to the Moluccas  but absent  from Borneo and Sumatra indicating  a shrinking distribution and a preference for drier more seasonal climates. In the wild, most common in coastal districts and on limestone rocks. However Ficus rumphii is sometimes planted around Hindu or Buddhist temples in the mistaken belief that it is actually F. religiosa.

Berg (2005) MAP Rhumphii.jpg
Map from Berg & Corner (2005) Note the absence of Ficus rumphii  from Borneo, Sumatra and the south of the Malay Peninsula indicating a shrinking range.

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Ficus rumphii Huay Kwag Thailand shutterstock_1273857790.jpg

03 Ficus rumphii Thailand shutterstock_787023607.jpg