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Ficus deltoidea Jack

Family Name: Moraceae
Synonyms: Ficus ovoidea, Ficus diversifolia
Common Name: Mistletoe Fig, Mistletoe Rubber Plant, Rusty-leafed Bush Fig, Mas Cotek, Serapat Angin, Telinga Beruk, 金钱榕
Full Sun: 6-8h Little Water Bird-Attracting Native to Singapore Coastal Green Roof Interiorscape / Indoor Plant Roadside Tree / Palm Ornamental Foliage Dry Soils / Drought Woody


Family Name
Genus Epithet
Species Epithet
Name Authority
Name Status (botanical)
Common Names

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants) (Dicotyledon)
Plant Growth Form Shrub (Woody)
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic
Maximum Height 1.8 m to 7 m
Maximum Plant Spread / Crown Width 1 m to 3 m


Native Distribution Malaysia, Indonesia, Southern Philippines
Local Conservation Status Native to Singapore

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form It is an evergreen epiphyte or small shrub, up to 3 m tall.
Foliage Its alternate, stalked leaves have thick leathery leaf blades that are mostly obovate, and 1–25 by 0.5–14 cm. Its leaf blades also have lateral venation that curves and joins near the leaf margins.
Flowers It is a dioecious species, with male and female flowers borne on separate plants. Its flowers are enclosed within a specialised structure known as the syconium (fig).
Fruits Its syconia (figs) are round to oblong, 4–15 mm wide, and ripen from yellow to orange, or red to dark purple.
Habitat It grows as an epiphyte or terrestrial plant in the lowlands to mountains up to 3,200 m altitude. It also grows in thickets and scrub on sandy soil, or on rocks in coastal areas. It occurs locally at Pulau Ubin.
Associated Fauna Its figs are eaten by birds and the flowers are pollinated by fig wasps.
Cultivation Propagate by stem cuttings. Apply a root hormone to the cut ends and gently warm the pot to promote rooting.  This species grows slowly. It can grow in most types of soil (including saline soils), but the soil must have good drainage. It does best in warm temperatures, humid environments and smaller pots in which it can be rootbound. Re-pot when roots have grown through the drainage holes. For indoor plants, feed biweekly with a half-strength fertilizer and allow the top inch of soil to dry before re-watering. Too much water will cause plants to lose their lower leaves. Indoor plants potted in a large container will reach a height of 1 m.
Etymology The genus name "Ficus" is Latin for fig or fig tree. The species epithet "deltoidea" refers to how the leaf shape often resembles the Greek letter delta. The common name "Mistletoe Fig" is a reference to the plant's epiphytic growth habit on trees which is similar to mistletoe plants.
Ethnobotanical Uses Medicinal ( It is reputedly used for regulating blood pressure, womb contraction after delivery, reducing cholesterol and blood sugar levels. It is also used in the treatment of leucorrhoea, migraines, nausea, joint pains, pain from piles, removal of toxins, delaying menopause, and improving blood circulation. Its derived products are sold in the form of capsules, coffee, extracts, herbal drinks, and massage oil for their respective health benefits. It is also taken as anaphrodisiac. A decoction of the leaves may be consumed as a tonic drink after labour.)
[Others]: The latex may have been utilised as fish poison. 

Landscaping Features

Landscaping It has small attractive leaves that are golden underneath. Its leaves are also considered as a symbol for good luck and are hence more readily available in nurseries to be sold as an auspicious plant of the Chinese. It is suitable as an outdoor border plant, or potted plant for semi-shaded areas indoors.
Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Foliage, Ornamental Fruits
Plant & Rootzone Preference - Tolerance Saline Soils / Salt Spray, Dry Soils / Drought, Well-Drained Soils, Easy to Grow
Landscape Uses Container Planting, Interiorscape/ Indoor Plant, General, Roadside Tree / Palm, Parks & Gardens, Small Gardens, Coastal, Green Roof, Hedge / Screening, Skyrise / Balcony
Thematic Landscaping Golden Garden

Fauna, Pollination and Dispersal

Fauna Pollination Dispersal Associated Fauna Caterpillar Moth Food Plant, Bird Attracting (Fruits)
Pollination Method(s) Biotic (Fauna)
Seed or Spore Dispersal Biotic (Fauna)

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Full Sun
Water Preference Little Water
Plant Growth Rate Moderate
Propagation Method Seed, Stem Cutting


Foliage Retention Evergreen
Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green, Yellow / Golden
Mature Foliage Texture(s) Smooth, Leathery, Thick
Foliar Modification Stipule
Foliar Type Simple / Unifoliate
Foliar Arrangement Along Stem Alternate
Foliar Attachment to Stem Petiolate
Foliar Shape(s) Non-Palm Foliage (Obovate)
Foliar Venation Pinnate / Net
Foliar Margin Entire
Foliar Apex - Tip Rounded
Foliar Base Acute
Typical Foliar Area Notophyll ( 20.25cm2 - 45 cm2 )
Leaf Area Index (LAI) for Green Plot Ratio 4.5 (Shrub & Groundcover - Dicot)

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower & Plant Sexuality 1 Unisexual Flowers
Flower & Plant Sexuality 2 Dioecious
Flower Grouping Cluster / Inflorescence
Flower Location Axillary
Inflorescence Type Syconium

Fruit, Seed and Spore

Mature Fruit Colour(s) - Angiosperms and Gymnosperms Red, Orange, Purple
Fruit Classification Multiple Fruit
Fruit Type 1 Fleshy Fruit
Fruit Type 2 Accessory / False Fruit (Pseudocarp)

Image Repository



Master ID 719
Species ID 2014
Flora Disclaimer The information in this website has been compiled from reliable sources, such as reference works on medicinal plants. It is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment and NParks does not purport to provide any medical advice. Readers should always consult his/her physician before using or consuming a plant for medicinal purposes.
Species record last updated on: 14 October 2021.