Apomictic seeds are the viable seeds of fruit which have not been pollinated. Apomictic seeds are a genetic clone of the mother plant.

A number of Bornean fruits often contain apomictic seeds including mangosteens (Garcinia mangostana), some mangos and some citrus. However up to now there is no evidence  that any of the world’s figs produce apomictic seeds.

Recent research by Shavez Cheema, Chun Zing Wong and Yulinda Wayhuni of I Stop Borneo found  that many of the ripe figs of  the Ficus auriculata trees   growing at the Rainforest Discovery Centre at Sepilok, Sabah contained seeds. Birds and mammals are eating the ripe figs and dispersing the seeds.  Self -sown “wild” Ficus auriculata are growing at the Rainforest Discovery Centre .

Ficus auriculata is not native to Borneo and is rarely found in cultivation. There is no evidence that the fig wasp species  that pollinates Ficus auriculata has ever occurred in Borneo. It is known that the Ficus auriculata growing at Sepilok was originally imported as a cutting from Johore by  Anthony Lamb when landscaping the the Rainforest Discovery Garden.  It therefore appears that there can only be two possibilities (1) The self sown Ficus auriculata  fig trees at the RDC are hybrids or (2) The Ficus auriculata trees at Sepilok are apomictic.

All photos and information thanks to Shavez Cheema and Chun Xing WONG of 1 Stop Borneo Wildlife