Creeping fig

Ficus pumila

Its name “Ficus pumila” comes from the latin word “ficus” the common fig, and its specific name “pumila” means dwarf. The synonym “Ficus scandens” comes from the verb scanderer, to climb up, to scale.


Perennial, creeping or climbing plant, remarkable for its thin stems and aerial roots which cling to any rough surface.

Species characteristics

Family: Moraceae

Origin: Asia (China, Japan, Vietnam)

Habitat: Tropical and sub-tropical areas.

Characteristics: Evergreen, shiny, coarse, light green to bronze foliage. The fruit (actually a false fruit, in fact it is an inflorescence) which is the characteristic of this genus, is called a scion. The scions can only be fertilized by a single species of small wasp called Blastophaga pumiliae.
Its growth can extend from 1 to 15 metres.

Flowering period: Spring

Uses and properties: This species can climb a support (low wall, tree trunk, etc.) or a fence for topiary work or it can also be used as a ground cover under shrubs.
In Asia, the fruit of a variety of this plant Ficus pumila var. awkeotsang is eaten dried in Thailand.
Air-cleaning plant.

History and oddities

Like other ficus, this species has purifying and air-cleaning properties.