Comparison of Ficus superba and Ficus virens


  Ficus superba Ficus virens
Distribution Coastal E. Malaya, east to Ceram ex. Sumatra and Borneo Sri Lanka to S. China to Australia
Overlapping distribution Virens overlaps Superba throughout Virens overlaps Superba throughout its range
Petiole length 4-20 cm 2-8 cm
Fig peduncle 07-1.5 cm on spurs Sessile 0 – 1 mm on spurs
Hairs inside fig Yes No
Resting stipule Conical terminal bud covered in woolly white hairs Conical terminal bud brown, rough but hairless
Flushing stipule Yes Yes
Twig width 5-12 mm 2-5 mm
Side veins pairs 7-10 7-14
Fig ripe color Black with pale spots Grey/pink with dark spots
Fig size 1-1.5 cm 0.4- 1 cm
Leaf size 25 x 13.5 max 20 x 9 max

In summary,  Ficus superba and Ficus virens are closely related and look very similar. However  Ficus virens  is very widespread and relatively common whereas Ficus superba  is relatively rare and generally restricted to small islands and coastal forest.  The leaves , figs, leaf stalks and fig stalks of Ficus superba are all longer or bigger than those of Ficus virens. In particular the twigs of Ficus superba are twice as thick as those of Ficus virens.

Ficus virens occurs in all the localities where Ficus superba grows  such as Singapore but not in the same habitat.  F. superba prefers rocky offshore islands whereas Ficus virens can be found both in parks and forests.


Chantarusawan et al (2013) A revision of Section Urostigma

Lee et al (2013) Ficus virens in Singapore

Yeo & Tan (2009) Reproduction of F.superba Singapore