Ficus pumila

Botanical Name : Ficus pumila
Family: Moraceae
Genus: Ficus
Species: F. pumila
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Rosales

Synonyms: [Ficus repens]
Common Name:Creeping Fig, Climbing Fig, Creeping Ficus

Habitat :Ficus pumila is native to East Asia.

Description:
Ficus pumila (Creeping Fig) – An evergreen  vine that can attach itself to almost any kind of material for a seemingly endless distance. Juvenile dainty heart-shaped leaves develop into 2 to 4 inch long leathery leaves with age.
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Creeping fig is an enthusiastic climber able to scramble up vertical surfaces 3 and 4 stories tall with the aid of a powerful adhesive. This vine coats surfaces with a tracery of fine stems that are densely covered with small heart shaped leaves that are 1 inch long by about .75 in (2 cm) wide, they are held closely to the surface creating a mat of foliage that extends barely 1 in (2.5 cm) from the surface. These are the juvenile leaves. Once the vine has reach the top of its support if will begin to form horizontal branches on which adult foliage is borne. Adult leaves are held alternately in two rows along these branches. They are more leathery than the juveniles, and are dark green, and about 3 in (7.6 cm) long by 2 in (5 cm) wide. The fruit is a fig. These are borne only on the horizontal stems, they are pale green in color and about 3 in (7.6 cm) long by 2.5 in (6.4 cm) wide.
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It is a root-clinging, evergreen perennial. It clings by aerial roots along the stem and has leaves that are small, bright green and heart-shaped. Creeping Fig will grow in moderate shade or sun. This variety has solid green leaves, this is a great plant if you have a wall that is bare. The Creeping Fig will cling to surfaces allowing one to hide an unsightly wall or to just soften the architecture. This plant also works well as an indoor potted plant, as long as it has a sunny spot to sit in.

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Hardiness: USDA Zones 8-11

Uses:
As the common names would suggest, it has a creeping habit and is often used as a houseplant. It is hardy and fast growing and requires little in the way of care as long as the soil is not allowed to dry out between waterings. There are several cultivars, including a variegated and crinkled leaf form.
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In warmer climates it can be grown outdoors, but it can become invasive and cover landscape features if not contained. It should not be allowed to climb houses or wooden structures, as the woody tendrils can damage buildings.

Other than its use as a decorative plant, the fruit of F. pumila var. awkeotsang is also 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) and in Singapore as ice jelly …..CLICK  &  SEE  PICTURE OF FRUIT

Medicinal Uses:
The leaves are used for carbuncle, dysentery, hematuria, piles; dried leaves and stems for boils, rheumatism, sore throat.  Stem: latex used for skin disease; stem or fruit peel for backache, cancer, hernia, piles, swellings, and tuberculosis of the testicles.  Decoction of the fruit for hernia.  Rot is used for bladder inflammation and dysuria.  The plant is regarded as aphrodisiac, or at least strengthening to the male power, used for spermatorrhea, as a lactagogue; eating the plant is said to curb heart pain, anticancer.

Disclaimer:
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://www.magnoliagardensnursery.com/productdescrip/Ficus_Green.html
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_C.htm
http://www.calflora.net/floraofbermuda/ficus_pumila.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ficus_pumila
http://www.floridata.com/ref/f/ficu_pum.cfm

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