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Ficus ruginervia


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

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 Sumatra, Peninsular Malaysia, Singapore, and Borneo
Native Habitat Terrestrial (Primary Rainforest, Secondary Rainforest)
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical
Local Conservation Status Native to Singapore (Critically Endangered (CR))

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form It is flat-stemmed climber. Its twigs, leaf stalks, and the middle principle vein on the upper surface of the leaf blades are covered with brown hair.
Foliage Its alternate, two-rowed, stalked leaves have leathery leaf blades that are covered with soft hair, oval to drop-shaped with asymmetrical bases, and 1–8 by 0.5–5 cm.
Flowers The plant is dioecious with each plant bearing male or female flowers. The flowers are tiny and develop within the syconium (fig).
Fruits Its syconia (figs) are somewhat round, tapered towards the base, orange to bright red at maturity, 4–10 by 2–8.5 cm, and develop on leafless branchlets that are up to 1.5 cm long.
Habitat It grows on rocks or trees in lowland primary forests up to 1,500 m altitude. It occurs locally in the vicinity of MacRitchie Reservoir.
Associated Fauna Its flowers are pollinated by fig wasps. Its figs are eaten by birds and other small mammals.
Cultivation It can be propagated by seed or stem cutting.
Etymology Latin Ficus, the commercial edible fig (Ficus carica); Latin ruginervia, with wrinkled veins, referring to the venation of the plant’s leaf blades

Landscaping Features

Landscaping It may be suitable for parks.
Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Foliage
Plant & Rootzone Preference - Tolerance Moist Soils, Well-Drained Soils, Fertile Loamy Soils
Landscape Uses Parks & Gardens, Small Gardens, Vertical Greenery / Green Wall, Trellis / Arbour / Pergola, Groundcover
Thematic Landscaping Naturalistic Garden

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 (Other Mammal))

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Semi-Shade
Water Preference Moderate Water
Propagation Method Seed, Stem Cutting


Foliage Retention Evergreen
Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green
Mature Foliage Texture(s) Hairy / Hirsute
Foliar Type Simple / Unifoliate
Foliar Arrangement Along Stem Alternate
Foliar Attachment to Stem Petiolate
Foliar Shape(s) Non-Palm Foliage (Obovate, Oval)
Foliar Venation Pinnate / Net
Foliar Margin Entire
Foliar Base Oblique / Asymmetrical

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 Orange, Red
Fruit Classification Multiple Fruit
Fruit Type 1 Fleshy Fruit
Fruit Type 2 Accessory / False Fruit (Pseudocarp)

Image Repository



Master ID 32069
Species ID 6474
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: 20 August 2021.