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Ficus villosa Blume

Family Name: Moraceae
Common Name: Shaggy-Leaved Fig, Villous Fig, Kelo
Full Shade Full Sun: 6-8h Semi-Shade Moderate Water Bird-Attracting Native to Singapore Ornamental Foliage Shallow Media Climber, Vine and Liana


Family Name
Genus Epithet
Species Epithet
Name Authority
Common Names

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants) (Dicotyledon)
Plant Growth Form Climber, Vine & Liana
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic
Plant Shape Irregular


Native Distribution North-eastern India, Andaman Islands, southern China, Myanmar, Indochina, Thailand, Sumatra, Peninsular Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines, Borneo, Java, Sulawesi, and the Moluccas.
Native Habitat Terrestrial (Primary Rainforest, Secondary Rainforest, Monsoon Forest, Freshwater Swamp Forest)
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical, Sub-Tropical / Monsoonal
Local Conservation Status Native to Singapore (Critically Endangered (CR))

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form It is a latex-containing, root-climbing fig covered with soft hairs on its vegetative parts. Young plants typically creeping prostrately up trunks or on ground. Mature plants may dangle vine-like stems across trunks and shrubs.
Foliage Its alternate, stalked leaves have thickly leathery leaf blades that are 9–30 by 4.5–11 cm, elliptical to ovate, with rounded or slightly heart-shaped bases when matured, and sunken venation on its upper surfaces. Its young leaves have leaf blades that are very hairy, and softer, red to greenish orange.
Stems Woody, flexible, covered with fine hairs, inconspicuously hidden behind leaves. All parts oif plant leak white latex when bruised.
Flowers Tiny, cream-coloured, massed together on inside of syconium wall. Syconia produced in clusters on stem nodes and leaf axils. Species is dioecious, with male and female flowers found on separate plants. Flowers pollinated by symbiont fig wasps.
Fruits Orange figs are round, beaked fruits.
Habitat It grows in hill to lowland forests up to 1,700 m altitude. It is known locally from Nee Soon Swamp Forest, Bukti Timah Nature Reserve, Central Catchment Nature Reserve, and Pulau Ubin.
Associated Fauna Its flowers are pollinated by fig wasps. The ripe fruits are eaten by frugivorous birds and mammals.
Cultivation Slow-growing, takes full sun to semi-shade. Provide moist media and humidity. Relatively easy to maintain once established. Propagate by seeds or cuttings.
Etymology Genus epithet 'Ficus' derived from Latin name for edible fig Ficus carica. Species epithet 'villosa' means covered by long soft hairs, a reference to the plant's furry leaves, stems and fruits.

Landscaping Features

Landscaping Its twigs, leaves and figs are covered with soft hairs. It is suitable for gardens or parks to climb on trees.
Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Foliage, Ornamental Fruits
Plant & Rootzone Preference - Tolerance Fertile Loamy Soils, Well-Drained Soils, Moist Soils, Shallow Media (8 -10cm)
Landscape Uses Vertical Greenery / Green Wall, Terrarium, Parks & Gardens, Small Gardens
Thematic Landscaping Naturalistic Garden
Usage Hazard - Cons Irritant - Sap

Fauna, Pollination and Dispersal

Fauna Pollination Dispersal Associated Fauna Bird Attracting (Fruits)
Pollination Method(s) Biotic (Fauna) (Insects (Ant, Beetle, Fly, Thrip, Wasp))
Seed or Spore Dispersal Biotic (Fauna) (Vertebrates (Bat), Vertebrates (Other Mammal))

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Full Sun, Semi-Shade, Full Shade
Water Preference Moderate Water
Plant Growth Rate Slow
Maintenance Requirements Moderate
Propagation Method Seed, Stem Cutting


Foliage Retention Evergreen
Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green
Mature Foliage Texture(s) Velvety / Furry / Tomentose, Hairy / Hirsute, Leathery, Raised / Sunken Veins, Thick
Prominent Young Flush Colour(s) Red, Orange
Young Flush Texture(s) Hairy / Hirsute
Foliar Type Simple / Unifoliate
Foliar Arrangement Along Stem Alternate
Foliar Attachment to Stem Petiolate
Foliar Shape(s) Non-Palm Foliage (Ovate, Cordate, Elliptical)
Foliar Venation Pinnate / Net
Foliar Margin Entire
Foliar Apex - Tip Acute
Foliar Base Cordate
Typical Foliar Area Notophyll ( 20.25cm2 - 45 cm2 )

Non - Foliar and Storage

Stem Type & Modification Woody
Root Type Underground (Fibrous Root)

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower & Plant Sexuality 1 Unisexual Flowers
Flower & Plant Sexuality 2 Dioecious
Flower Colour(s) Cream / Off-White
Flower Grouping Cluster / Inflorescence
Flower Location Axillary
Inflorescence Type Syconium
Flowering Habit Polycarpic

Fruit, Seed and Spore

Mature Fruit Colour(s) - Angiosperms and Gymnosperms Orange
Mature Fruit Texture(s) Velvety / Furry / Tomentose
Fruit Type 2 Multiple Syconium (receptacle)

Image Repository



Master ID 29688
Species ID 3997
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.