Ficus pumila (MORACEAE) Creeping Fig

Weeds to Whack

Creeping Fig is an aggressive evergreen vine native to parts of East Asia, Japan, China and Vietnam. It is usually seen on built structures where it can climb vertical surface several stories tall with a network of fine stems densely covered with small heart-shaped juvenile leaves. Once the vine has reach the top of its support it will begin to form horizontal branches with adult foliage, more leathery than the juveniles, dark green, about 8 cm long by 5 cm wide.
Photo: Robert Whyte

Fruit

The pale green fruit appears on the horizontal stems, about 8 cm by 6 cm wide. As a potential weed it could be very threatening if its pollinating fig wasp Blastophaga pumilae is accidentally or intentionally introduced to Australia. In its home territory it is fed upon by larvae of the butterfly Marpesia petreus.
Photo: Robert Whyte

Fruit Inside Close-up

It is hardy, drought tolerant and fast growing. Its woody tendrils can damage buildings and presumably, Australian plants. Its fruit is used in Taiwan as aiyu jelly and in Singapore as ice jelly.
Photo: Robert Whyte

Juvenile Foliage

It is growing in one location on Ithaca Creek beside Bardon State School.
Photo: Robert Whyte