The distribution and ecology of the purple form of Ficus montana in western Thailand
Ficus montana Burm. f. var. purpurascens (Blume) has previously only been recorded from Java, by Corner (1960). It is distinguished from the typical form of F. montana by the strong purple pigmentation on the underside of the leaves, which is retained throughout their development. During our study of Ficus montana phenology in Kanchanaburi Province, Western Thailand from May 2008 to April 2009 we recorded its presence for the fi rst time in Thailand and compared its relative frequency and withinsite distribution to that of the typical form of the plant. Plants grown from seed and cuttings, and comparisons of the pollinators of the two forms, provide an indication of the nature of this variation in leaf colour. Cuttings grown under similar conditions retained their leaf colour, all seeds from typical plants produced typical offspring, but purple-leaved plants produced a mixture. The pollinator of the two forms is the same species of fi g wasp, Kradibia (= Liporrhopalum) tentacularis (Grandi). These results suggest the variation is due to an inherited colour polymorphism.
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