The Stem-fruited Fig is a large, deciduous tree that can grow up to 35 m tall. It occurs naturally in Sri Lanka, India, Myanmar, Thailand, Ryukyu Islands, Taiwan, Peninsular Malaysia, Singapore, Sumatra, Java, the Lesser Sunda Islands, Borneo, the Philippines, the Celebes, the Moluccas, New Guinea and the Solomon Islands.
In Greek, kaulos refers to the stem, while karpos’ refers to the fruit; hence, the name Ficus caulocarpa means Stem-fruited Fig.
The Stem-fruited Fig develops a vast crown of spreading branches. The tree has a distinct leaf changing pattern – the old leaves are shed rapidly, and the new leaves develop simultaneously over most of the crown within a fortnight. During this process, the pale-green bud-scales (stipules) and fallen leaves carpet the ground below the tree.
As with many other Ficus species, the figs are a reliable source of food for fruit-eating animals such as the Pink-necked Green Pigeon (Treron vernans), Coppersmith Barbet (Megalaima haemacephala) and Yellow-vented Bulbul (Pycnonotus goiavier). The figs are whitish with dull pink spots and ripen to a dull greyish purple.
The base of this Heritage Stem-fruited Fig Tree was 24 m in girth when endorsed in 2019.