This very large strangler Ficus maclellandii next to the entrance road to the Tenom Agricultural Park fruits frequently and prolifically but the figs never contain any seeds and the local birds never eat the figs.
The native range is Thailand south to the north of the Malay Peninsula. The juvenile form is a popular house plant worldwide. This particular fig plant was imported from Johore by Tony Lamb and the partner fig wasp does not occur in Borneo so the figs are sterile.
As described by Corner in his book Corner 1952 Wayside Trees of Malaya Volume 01 Text the term Tangisong Burong (Crying birds) is used in the Malay Peninsula for trees with superficially attractive fruit which are rejected by the local bird population. See below.
Photos and information provided by Shavez Cheema and Chun Xing WONG of 1Stop Borneo Wildlife.
Ficus maclellandii growing next to the entrance road of the Tenom Agricultural Park in Sabah.
These Yellow-vented Bulbuls Pycnonotus goiavier at Tenom Agricultural Park must be mightily disappointed by the tasteless figs of their local Ficus maclellandii.
Corner’s classic book The Wayside Trees of Malaya is still the best introduction to the local trees of Malaya, Borneo, Sumatra and Java. An excerpt from the book which refers to the use of the name Tangisong Burong is shown below;