Ficus carica
Family: Moraceae

A familiar sight in the Mediterranean region of Europe, the common fig is grown for its fruits in zone 8 and above. It is one of the oldest cultivated plants, featuring often in the mythology of the Egyptians, Romans and Greeks. It is known to have been cultivated around the Mediterranean since antiquity. It is grown both for its orna­mental beauty and its fruit which, interestingly, contains the flower within it. The fruit is either oblong or pear-shaped and pulpy when ripe.


F. carica is a deciduous tree, 7-9 m (23-30 ft) tall, but often smaller under cultiva­tion. There are many cultivars, mostly self-fer­tile, but they differ in respect of climatic adapa­bility. There are cultivars for cool conditions near the coast, while others are suited to long hot summers. 'Brown Turkey' is very adaptable regarding climate; 'Kadota' is good for hot areas; and 'Mission' is suitable for desert areas.
Figs are delicious eaten raw with prosciutto or soft white cheese, or poached and served with cream. They can also be baked or grilled. Fig and ginger jam is wonderful at breakfast on grainy toast.


The common fig can be grown in the home garden under a wide range of climatic conditions, provided the soil is loose and friable enough to allow the shallow roots to penetrate and find moisture. It needs plenty of water in summer. Propagate from hardwood cuttings taken in winter. Space plants 5-7 m (16-23 ft) apart to allow for their dense foliage. Fruit is produced in two to four years. Figs are borne on new wood in spring and the main crop matures in summer or autumn. Sometimes trees will produce two crops in a year, and even three in rare instances.


Zone 8.

Ficus      Filipendula