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Characteristics of Philippine Fig Tree (Ficus pseudopalma) in the Wild

Philippine Fig Tree (Ficus pseudopalma)

Philippine Fig or Palm-leaf Fig (Ficus pseudopalma) is a species of Ficus in the Moraceae family, which is endemic to the Philippines, especially the island of Luzon.

In Luzon, Ficus pseudopalma grows in grasslands and forests and is considered a common tree. In the Bicol Region, Ficus pseudopalma is known as Lubi-Lubi.

Ficus pseudopalma is also planted as an ornamental yard tree and is easy to maintain because it does not require special care.

In Hawaii, Ficus pseudopalma is planted as a landscape addition. However, this tree can only be obtained from nurseries because it is not available in the wild because the species of wasp that pollinates it does not exist on the island. Likewise in other places outside the original habitat of Ficus pseudopalma.

There are many names used to refer to Ficus pseudopalma, some of which are Philippine fig, Palm-leaf fig, Dracaena fig, Philippine palm, and Palm-like fig.

Characteristics of Philippine Fig Leaf

Ficus pseudopalma Leaf
Source: Marina Khaytarova

The leaves reach a length of 75-90 cm with yellow midribs and blunt serrated edges.

Characteristics of Philippine Fig Fruit

Ficus pseudopalma Fruit
Source: Marina Khaytarova

The fruit is a fig, dark green which grows in pairs, each fruit is about 2.5 cm long.

The fruit can be consumed by cooking, it has a taste similar to Rhubarb (Rheum rhabarbarum) but with a slightly sweeter and spicier taste. Ficus pseudopalma fruit is rich in vitamins B, A, and E as well as minerals such as iron and potassium so it is quite a healthy food for those who enjoy it. On average, one tree can produce many fruits each year, depending on the climate and care provided.

Characteristics of Philippine Fig Tree

Ficus pseudopalma Tree
Source: Marina Khaytarova

Ficus pseudopalma is a small tree that can grow up to 8 meters high, upright, with an unbranched trunk topped with a group of leaves so it looks like a palm tree. Hence, this tree is also called a Palm-leaf Fig.

This tree prefers full sun but will also grow in semi-shaded areas, and requires regular to moderate water retention.

Benefits of Philippine Fig Tree

The young leaves can be eaten as a vegetable, and are usually prepared with coconut milk.

A decoction of the leaves is believed to have traditional medicinal uses for treating kidney stones.

The leaves are also antiseptic and antispasmodic and can be made into a drink to soothe a sore throat.

The fruit is rich in antioxidants and can help overcome constipation and digestive problems.

Extracts derived from the roots have been used to relieve joint and muscle pain.

Ficus pseudopalma contains flavonoids, unsaturated sterols and triterpenes, steroid glycosides, saponins, tannins, and phenols.

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