Lubi-lubi | @bicolmuseum via DENR

Lubi-Lubi (Ficus pseudopalma)

Lubi-lubi is native (endemic) to the Philippines, especially on the Luzon island. It is an erect, glabrous, unbranched shrub growing to a height of five (5) meters.

Leaves are crowded at the end of the stems, spreading and short-petioled, oblanceolate with a cordate base, and an acute apex. The blade is coriaceous and dark-green, coarsely toothed growing to more than 25 centimeters long.

The fruit is ovoid, angular, up to four (4) centimeters long, on short peduncles, and crowded at the leaves axils. The leaves and fruits leave a pattern of scars on the trunk.

Bicolanos love to eat their meals with gata (coconut milk). Even the young leaves of a shrub called lubi-lubi (Ficus pseudopalma) are prepared and served as a tasty meal with gata.

A study from the University of Santo Tomas (UST) revealed that boiled lub-lubi leaves could treat various illnesses, like high blood pressure, urinary problems, diabetes, and high cholesterol.

Some economically important plant species of the Bicol Region, including lubi-lubi, will be part of the upcoming outdoor exhibit at the National Museum of the Philippines in Bicol.

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