We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is Ficus Pumila?

By Christina Edwards
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Although it is a close relative to the more well known Ficus cariaca, or common edible fig, the Ficus pumila does not necessarily look much like its family member. Otherwise known as a creeping fig or climbing fig, this woody vine is root clinging, meaning that it clings to surfaces by aerial roots along the stem. Although it is native to eastern Asia, this evergreen vine is used throughout the world as both a decorative plant and cuisine.

The Ficus pumila is considered to be very easy to grow, and it can be grown in full sun or slightly shady areas. Young plants should be watered regularly in well-draining soil, but older, more mature plants can be left to their own devices. Creeping figs can also become quite aggressive and cover entire walls, sometime climbing to over 60 feet (roughly 18 meters) within a few years. To prevent this, some gardeners choose to plant this vine in less-than-fertile soil to prevent a possible takeover.

The leaves of the young Ficus pumila are quite small, heart to oval shaped, and roughly one inch (2.5 centimeters) in length. Younger plants have smaller stems with fine hairs along them. As the plant matures, it will begin to grow larger, woodier horizontal stems and larger leaves. These dark green leaves are more leathery and grow to be roughly four inches (10 centimeters) long.

The light green fruit of the creeping fig is considered to be a false fruit, meaning that the flowers and seeds grow together to form one solid mass. Tiny flowers of the Ficus pumila can't actually be seen unless the fig itself is cut open. Seeds and flowers grow together inside a hollow receptacle, and they are pollinated by a special kind of wasp, often referred to as the fig wasp. After entering the nearly enclosed structure, these wasps will not only pollinate the flowers inside, but they will also lay eggs of their own.

For many gardeners, the Ficus pumila is used as a decorative vine. This fast-growing vine is capable of clinging to a variety of structures, and it is often used to cover unattractive walls. In warmer climates, though, these vines can be damaging to certain types of materials, and they can also grow out of control quickly, if not pruned regularly. Some landscapers, homeowners, and gardeners also use this plant to cover large areas of ground. Indoor gardeners can also grow a creeping fig in a hanging basket.

In some areas of the world, namely Taiwan and Singapore, the fig produced by this plant is also used to make a certain type of jelly, called ice jelly or aiya jelly. When the fig ripens to its purple color, it is cut in half and turned inside out. It is then allowed to dry, and the seeds are scraped off. The seeds are then mixed with water in a mesh bag and rubbed, which extracts a gel from the seeds. This gel is then allowed to set, and it is often served in sweet drinks during the hot summer months.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.