Ficus carica – Common Fig – Moraceae (western Asia, Mediterranean)
Habit: Large shrub or small tree, 3-15 m tall, up to 4 m wide, round crown, expansive, many twigs, branches with milky sap, fast-growing.
Flowers: Small, mono or dioecious, not visible from the exterior.
Fruit: Figs, initially green, later yellow or brown-violet, ripening from July to September, up to 10 cm long, on the leaf axils of this year#s shoots, edible.
Leaves: Deciduous, palmate, three to five-lobed, cordate at the base, rough on top, with soft hairs underneath, up to 20 cm long and wide.
Demands: Sun or semi-shade, protected, sensitive to frost, cold house, tolerates salty air, responds well to cutting.
Natural habitat: Loamy-humic, moist, well drained soil, moist in winter.
Note: The milky sap of Ficus carica irritates the skin and can lead to photo-allergic reactions.
Our tip: Cut back radically every few years as their growth would go beyond the bounds of any winter garden. In spring cutting back into old wood is possible.
Hardiness: Zone 8a