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.
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.