Ficus subcordata Blume, Bijdr. (1825)

Latin for 'similar to Ficus cordata', which is now a synonym of Ficus elastica.

Ficus acrorhyncha Summerh.
Ficus balica (Miq.) Boerl.
Ficus calophylloides Elmer
Ficus fairchildii Backer
Ficus garciniifolia Miq.
Ficus polygramma Corner
Ficus subcordata var. malayana Corner
Urostigma balicum Miq.
Urostigma subcordatum (Blume) Miq.

Upper canopy tree (strangler) up to 45 m tall and 64 cm dbh. Stem with white sap. Stipules ca. 23 mm long, glabrous to hairy. Leaves alternate, simple, penni-veined, secondary veins placed close together and inconspicuous, glabrous. Fruits ca. 35 mm long, yellow-orange-red, elongate figs, placed along the twigs.

Strangling deciduous tree, without aerial roots, up to 45 m tall and 70 cm in diameter; branching starts 2 m above the ground and twigs are brownish-grey; in shallow soil the lateral roots near the soil surface can spread 4-7 m away from the base of the trunk. Bark whitish-grey, slightly smooth and fissured, flexible and durable, 10-17 mm thick; inner bark whitish, exuding white sap. The blunted spearhead-like bud extends from the node while the leaf is still intact. Leaves alternate, oblong, ovate-oblong, or elliptical, 9-20 cm x 4-10 cm, with a prominent light green midrib and a light green petiole of 2-5 cm length; leaf margin entire; leaf-blade broadly cuneate or rounded at base, pointed at apex, smooth to hairy, purple when young, light green beneath and dark green above when mature. Fruit a short-ellipsoid fig, 3-5 cm x 2-2.5 cm, solitary, occasionally in pairs, green when young, gradually turning from yellow to reddish-brown or black when ripe. Seeds small, hard and numerous. Weight of a fresh fruit ranges from 10-20 g, and there are 1000-2000 ripe seeds per g. [from PROSEA]

In slightly disturbed to undisturbed mixed dipterocarp and sub-montane forests up to 1000 m altitude. Both on alluvial sites as well as ridges. It tolerates a wide range of soil types, growing well on limestone-based soil.

The foliage is used as a feed supplement during the wet season and as the sole diet during the dry season for ruminants in some dryland farming areas. The young fruit can be fed to ruminants. The wood is used as fuel for brick and limestone kilns, and the smaller branches are used for household firewood. The mature stem is used for farmyard posts. The bark is used for making string for farm tools. The timber is not hard enough for building houses, making farm implements or woodcarving. The tree is used as shade for livestock, for storing crop residues, for reclamation of denuded land, for protecting soil on sloping land and as a windbreak.

From Indo-China and Thailand to the Solomon Islands.

Local names
Borneo: Kayu ara.
Indonesia: bunut lengis (Bali), wunut (Javanese), sipadi (Sumatra).
Philippines: marabotum (Bagobo), balete (Tagalog), tibi (Bikol).
Thailand: sai (Nakhon Si Thammarat).