Ficus microcarpa var. crassifolia (Wax Fig)

  • TropPlant Accession Number (TPAN): 0016
  • Botanical Name: Ficus microcarpa var. crassifolia
  • Common Name: Wax Fig, Taiwan Ficus
  • Variety: crassifolia
  • Family: Moraceae
  • Native To: Southern Taiwan
Ficus microcarpa var. crassifolia leaves. Note the bronze to bright yellow-green young leaves. 
Photo by Matthew Gaston

Landscaping Information

  • Plant Type: Shrub
  • Texture: Dense
  • Form: Mound, Cushion
  • Height (on average, in landscape use): 1.5' - 4'
  • Height to Spread Ratio: 1:2
  • Growth Rate: Fast
  • Landscape Values: Border, Color, Edging, Facer, Filler, Foundation, Framing, Hedge, Indoor, Lanai, Patio, Space Division, Groundcover, Specimen
  • Outstanding Quality: Foliage and Form; often used for Bonsai 
Ficus microcarpa var. crassifolia  as a hedge/groundcover below a tree 
Photo by Matthew Gaston

Botanical Descriptions

  • Flowers/Fruits: paired figs, sessile, 0.2"-0.4" long, glabrous, purple to black when ripe. 
  • Foliage Color: Young/immature: Bronze to Yellow-Green. Mature: Bright Medium Green to Dark Green
  • Foliage Tip: Acute
  • Foliage Base: Acute
  • Petiole: 0.25"
  • Stipules: bud scale, 0.8" 
  • Margins: Smooth
  • Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
  • Leaf Shape: oblong to elliptic to ovate
  • Leaf Type: Simple
  • Leaf Texture: Leathery, thick, Waxy
  • Leaf Special Notes: Waxy leaves with dark green adaxial surface; abaxial surface are light green and have prominent venations, sometimes a pink midrib.  

Ficus microcarpa var. crassifolia adaxial leaf surface 
Photo by Matthew Gaston

Ficus microcarpa var. crassifolia abaxial leaf surface 
Photo by Matthew Gaston

  • Bark and Trunk: Smooth, light brown, or light umber color. 
Ficus microcarpa var. crassifolia bark 
Photo by Matthew Gaston

Horticultural Information

  • Light Preference: Semi-Sun
  • Light Tolerances: Shade, Full Sun
  • Soil Preferences: Not Particular, Organic
  • Tolerances: Compacted Soil, Salt Air, Saline Soil, Moderate Winds, Humidity, Regular Watering, Drought
  • Water Requirements: Dry to Medium Moisture
  • Notes on Maintenance: Benefits from fertilization if in nutrient poor soil. Susceptible to banyan leaf gall wasps, causing foliage deformation.   
  • Propagation: Cutting
  • USDA Hardiness Zone: 9b
  • Weed Risk Assessment Score (WRA): 10, High Risk

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