Ficus virens is one of 5 Section Urostigma strangling figs found in Borneo.
These figs originally evolved in a climate with a seasonal dry season and they are all briefly deciduous. That means they lose all their leaves simultaneously once a year and almost immediately flush with new leaves. This means that the branches of Section Urostigma figs grow in spurts (intermittent growth).
The result is that Section Urostigma figs have two types of terminal leaf buds or stipules, resting stipules for most of the year and flushing stipules when they “flush” with new growth.
In contrast the 36 Section Conosycea strangling figs in Borneo tend to change their leaves individually one by one and grow steadily throughout the year. The stipules of most Section Conosycea figs therefore tend to look the same throughout the year. However there are some exceptions especially Ficus crassiramea and Ficus subgelderii which grow in spurts and produce flushing stipules.
All photographs by Ripin Forestry.