Ficus tikoua



Add to wishlist Remove from wishlist
We first encountered this species in the fall of 1997 when we were on the mid to lower slopes of the Cangshan Mountains looking down to the barely discernible 3 Pagodas of Dali fronting the broad expanse of Lake Erhai. This groundcover species formed broad carpets of evergreen foliage covering the large rocks on the boulder-strewn slope so as to give the impression of a tumultuous green sea frozen in place. The day sounds much better than it was, for back in 97 there was but a rough single track road to the higher elevations and on that day our jeeps were blocked by a massively overloaded lorry whose driveline had failed under the weight of massive marble blocks quarried from the higher reaches. The truck was gradually sinking into the mud with just a few inches of clearance and a young skinny boy had been fetched from downslope to slither underneath and effect repairs, which was going to take many hours at best. This meant we were stranded at low elevation with a bunch of botanically fascinating, marginally hardy plants which was not our goal. We made the best of it and one of our new acquaintances was this Ficus.

We were pleased as punch when our friend Jim Fox gifted us with cuttings he took from Roy Lancaster's garden where it is growing as a foundation plant against his home. It was not a stretch to think that this plant was from the same population we had seen as Roy had traveled this same road years earlier as part of the Sino-British Expedition to Cangshan. Sadly we can't grow this outside here in our gardens but if you are lucky enough to have only very light frosts or none at all, then this would be a fine groundcover. This does have small reddish figs but stick to the ones you get at the store.


Plant Type

  • Vine
  • Evergreen
  • Groundcover

Mature Size

6" x 5'

Hardiness Zones

  • Zone 9a (20 °F)
  • Zone 9b (25 °F)

Sun Exposure

  • Full Sun
  • Part Shade - Part Sun

Water Needs

  • Moist
  • Moderate

Bloom Time