|Ficus pumila foliage texture|
Ficus pumila (creeping fig or climbing fig) is a species of flowering plant in the family Moraceae, native to East Asia. It is a woody evergreen vine, growing to 2.5–4 m (8 ft 2 in–13 ft 1 in). The juvenile foliage is much smaller and thinner than mature leaves produced as the plant ages. This plant requires the fig wasp Blastophaga pumilae for pollination, and is fed upon by larvae of the butterfly Marpesia petreus.
As the common name, "creeping fig" indicates, the plant has a creeping/vining habit and is often used in gardens and landscapes. It is not frost-hardy, and in temperate regions is often seen as a houseplant. It is fast-growing and requires little in the way of care. It has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.
It can become invasive and cover structures and landscape features if not maintained and its growth contained. When climbing buildings or wooden structures, the woody tendrils can cling or root in, and damage structures and/or their surface finishes.
Varieties and cultivars
- Ficus pumila var. awkeotsang — Awkeotsang Creeping Fig.
- Ficus pumila var. quercifolia — Oak Leaf Creeping Fig
- Ficus pumila 'Curly' — Curly Creeping Fig; crinkled leaf form
- Ficus pumila 'Variegata' and Ficus pumila 'Snowflake' — Variegated Creeping Fig; variegated foliage.
The fruit of Ficus pumila var. awkeotsang is used in cuisine. In Taiwan, its fruit is turned inside out and dried. The seeds are scraped off and a gel is extracted from their surface with water and allowed to set and form a jelly known in Taiwan as aiyu jelly (or aiyuzi 愛玉子) and in Singapore as ice jelly (文頭雪).
- "Ficus pumila AGM". Royal Horticultural Society. Retrieved 27 July 2013.
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