Singapore Government Logo

A Singapore Government Agency Website

Ficus vaccinioides


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 Creeper
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic


Native Distribution South Taiwan
Native Habitat Terrestrial (Coastal Forest), Shoreline
Preferred Climate Zone Sub-Tropical / Monsoonal
Local Conservation Status Non-native (Horticultural / Cultivated Only)

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form It is a trailing or scrambling shrub with a prostrate growth form. 
Foliage The simple, obovate-elliptic leaves are 1-1.5 cm long and 0.4-0.7 cm wide, arranged alternately along the stem. The leaves are papery and have coarse hairs on the leaf upper surface. The lower leaf surface is covered with cystoliths. The leaf stipules are red and lanceolate in shape. 
Stems The stems are puberulent and root at the leaf nodes. 
Fruit The globose to ovoid fruits are about 1 cm in diameter, borne in the axillary leaf nodes and turn purple-black when ripe. The surface of the fruit is covered sparsely with coarse hairs. 
Habitat It grows on rocks in coastal forests and littoral thickets.
Associated Fauna Its flowers are pollinated by fig wasps, and the ripe figs are probably eaten by birds or small mammals.
Cultivation It can be propagated by seed and stem cuttings.
Etymology Latin Ficus, fig; Latin vaccinioides, resembling Vaccinium species (such as blueberries), referring to the dark purplish figs.

Landscaping Features

Landscaping It is suitable for growing as a groundcover, or on concrete retaining walls.
Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Foliage, Ornamental Fruits
Landscape Uses Parks & Gardens, Small Gardens, Coastal, Beachfront / Shoreline, Suitable for Rooftops, Vertical Greenery / Green Wall, Groundcover, Skyrise / Balcony, Suitable for Hanging Baskets

Fauna, Pollination and Dispersal

Pollination Method(s) Biotic (Fauna)
Seed or Spore Dispersal Biotic (Fauna)

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Full Sun, Semi-Shade
Water Preference Moderate Water, Little Water
Plant Growth Rate Moderate
Rootzone Tolerance Drought Tolerant, Moist Soils, Well-Drained Soils, Saline Soils / Salt Spray
Propagation Method Seed, Stem Cutting


Foliage Retention Evergreen
Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green
Mature Foliage Texture(s) Hairy / Hirsute, Papery
Foliar Type Simple / Unifoliate
Foliar Arrangement Along Stem Alternate
Foliar Attachment to Stem Petiolate
Foliar Shape(s) Non-Palm Foliage (Obovate, Elliptical)
Foliar Venation Pinnate / Net
Foliar Margin Entire
Foliar Apex - Tip Acute
Foliar Base Cuneate, Rounded / Obtuse

Floral (Angiosperm)

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

Fruit, Seed and Spore

Mature Fruit Colour(s) Black, Purple
Mature Fruit Texture(s) Hairy / Hirsute
Fruit Classification Multiple Fruit
Fruit Type

Image Repository



Master ID 29679
Species ID 3988
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: 30 December 2022.