Ficus pumila

Creeping fig

Family: Moraceae

Origin: Asia

Close up of a branch of creeping fig.
Creeping fig can smother native vegetation on rock faces.
Photo credit: Colin Ogle

Regional Pest Management Plan (RPMP) status

  • Whole region — Sustained control
  • Hauraki Gulf Controlled Area Notice pest

View more about the RPMP statuses

General description

Perennial climber < 10 m tall. Stems are woody when mature and climbing, with attachment aided by adventitious roots. Leaves are < 12 cm long. Fruit is purple/pink and < 8 cm long.

What you need to know

To help protect our environment, from 1 September 2022, you:

  • will not be allowed to breed, distribute, release or sell creeping fig within the Auckland region.
  • will not be allowed to plant creeping fig within the Auckland region, unless you are transferring an existing plant on your land to another location within the boundaries of the same property.
  • must destroy any creeping fig on land that you occupy if it has been planted in breach of the above rules and you are directed to do so by an authorised person.

Habitats

Rock walls, scoria faces.

Dispersal

Vegetative spread from fragments. Human-mediated dispersal through dumping of garden waste.

Impact on environment

Smothers vegetation on rock walls and scoria faces.

Control

Site Management

Follow up treated areas 3 times per year. Encourage natural regeneration of native plants or replant treated areas where possible after 2-3 treatments to establish dense ground cover and minimise reinvasion.

Recommended approaches

Physical control

Method: Dig out.

Plant parts requiring disposal: All parts.

Disposal options: Remove to greenwaste or landfill.

Biocontrol

Biocontrol is currently not available for this species.

Community agrichemical control recommendations

No qualifications: Cut stump and paste freshly cut base of stems with metsulfuron gel.

Basic Growsafe certified: Cut stump and spray freshly cut base with 1g metsulfuron-methyl per 1 L of water.

Certified Handler/Experienced agrichemical user: Foliar spray with 5g metsulfuron-methyl per 10L of water and 20ml penetrant.

Caution: When using any herbicide or pesticide please read the label thoroughly to ensure that all instructions and safety requirements are followed.

Close up of a creeping fig leaf.
Creeping fig has a wiry wood like stem.
Photo credit: Colin Ogle
Close up of the complex underside of the creeping fig leaf.
Stems turn woody when mature.
Photo credit: Colin Ogle
A wild creeping fig overtaking the side of a house.
It is an evergreen climber.
Photo credit: Phil Brown