Ficus xylophylla is a characteristic fig of the poor soil kerangas forest in coastal areas of Brunei. Illustration by botanical artist CHAN Chew Lun. Chan is also the owner of  Natural History Publications Borneo, Asia’s leading publisher of books on natural history.

Illustration copied from a classic book on Brunei’s flora IN BRUNEI FORESTS written by botanist WONG Khoon Meng of the Singapore Herbarium.

All photos by Nick Hoggerzin

Note that the large leaves, thick twigs and large pointed stipule are similar to Ficus stupenda. However the 2 species are easily distinguished by differences in habitat and by differences with the figs.

The figs of Ficus xylophylla are oblong with no bracts or only tiny bracts at the base of the fig. Ficus stupenda figs have very large prominent brcats which cover one third of the lower half of the fig.

Ficus stupenda grows as a giant strangler or tree  whereas Ficus xylophylla is a relatively small tree or strangler.