Ficus obscura Blume, Bijdr. (1825)

Latin for 'dark or obscure'.

Covellia dasycaula Miq.
Ficus acuminatissima Miq.
Ficus anonnifolia Zipp. ex Miq.
Ficus celebica var. kunstleri King
Ficus dasycaula (Miq.) Valeton
Ficus grewiaefolia Blume
Ficus grewiaefolia var. angustata Miq
Ficus lobbii Miq.
Ficus microsyce Ridl.
Ficus microtus Miq.
Ficus microtus var. borneensis Miq.
Ficus obscura var. angustata (Miq.) Corner
Ficus obscura var. borneensis (Miq.) Corner
Ficus obscura var. kunstleri (King) Corner
Ficus obscura var. lanata Kochummen
Ficus obscura var. scaberrima (Blume) Miq.
Ficus obscura var. serrata Miq.
Ficus pisifera Wall. ex Voight
Ficus pisifera var. obscura (Blume) Valeton
Ficus remblas Miq.
Ficus scaberrima Blume
Ficus scaberrima var. angustata Miq.
Ficus subdenticulata (Miq.) Miq.
Ficus tajam Miq.
Ficus viridifolia Merr
Urostigma zollingerianum Miq.

Sub-canopy tree (strangling) up to 23 m tall (usually much smaller) and 37 cm dbh. Stem with white sap. Stipules ca. 13 mm long, hairy. Leaves alternate, simple, penni- to tripli-veined, hairy, feeling sand-paper like, base asymmetrical, margin wavy. Fruits ca. 7 mm diameter, orange-red, globose hairy figs, placed along the twigs. The plant can be myrmecophytic, in which case it provides nesting places (domatia) for ants along its twigs.

Dioecious tree, up to 23 m tall, or epiphyte. Twigs c. 0.3 cm thick, terete, grooved, rough or woolly hairy. Stipules lanceolate, c. 1.5 cm long, with long hairs along the margin, persistent. Leaves distichous, membranous to subcoriaceous, almost sessile or with petiole up to 0.7 cm long, rough-hairy to almost glabrous above, brownish soft-hairy below; oblong, elliptic, oblanceolate or subtrapeziform, 3.5-28 x 2.5-9.5 cm, base strongly asymmetric, cuneate, margin distantly toothed, lobed, or occasionally entire, apex acuminate to caudate, acumen 3-6.5 cm long; midrib raised above; lateral veins 5-7 pairs, raised below, faint above, basal pairs 2-3, short, often with orange-brown glands in the axils below; intercostal venation reticulate, visible below, faint above. Syconia axillary or borne on twigs behind the leaves, in pairs or in fascicles of 3-8, sessile or with short peduncle, sparsely to densely hairy, ripening greyish white to pink, yellow, orange and scarlet, subglobose, 0.5-1.2 cm diameter, apex umbonate, ostiole with 5 peripheral bracts; basal bracts 2-3, minute; internal bristles absent or minute. Tepals 3-6, lanceolate, free or united at base to various degree, white, sometimes with pink spots. Achenes c. 1.5 x 0.8 mm, strongly keeled at the apex. [from Tree Flora of Sabah and Sarawak]

In open sites in undisturbed mixed dipterocarp to submontane forests up to 1700 m altitude. Usually along rivers and streams on sandy to limestone soils. Ficus obscura var. borneensis is a true myrmecophyte. It spontaneously forms cavities (domatia) in parts of its twigs which open by slits. These occur in the internodes and are usually not swollen. The domatia are inhabited by a variety of non-specific tree-living ants. Additionally the plant provides a sugar-containing secretion from extrafloral nectaries on the lower surfaces of the leaves.

Peninsular Thailand and Malaysia, Sumatra, Java, Borneo, Philippines, Sulawesi.

Local names
Borneo: Dunduk (Bidayuh), Kara (Iban), Lunuk peno.