Ficus deltoidea  at the Malesiana Tropicals Sdn Bhd plant nursery at Bau near Kuching.

Based on herbarium collections Ficus deltoidea is Borneo’s most common fig. However as F. deltoidea mostly grows as an epiphyte high  in the canopy in primary forest it is not easy to find in the field.

Malesiana Tropicals hosts the Rescuing Borneo Project  which is growing a  large variety of native tree saplings. These young trees will be used to restore forest in Borneo which has been damaged by logging or swidden farming.  At least 40 species of native Bornean figs are being grown,  some of them very rare.

All photos thanks to Tim Hatch and Peter Boyce.

Note the distinctive single  black gland on the underside of the leaf. F. deltoidea is very variable and there may be  multiple glands present. It is believed that the purpose of the gland is to attract ants or birds to feed on the gland.  Whilst visiting the leaf  these animals will also eat  any leaf eating insects present such as moth or butterfly larvae.