Ficus – Fig –
There are about 800 species of vigorous, mainly evergreens, some deciduous, trees, shrubs, and woody climbers, in this genus. They occur in tropical and subtropical regions worldwide. Some behave as stranglers, outgrowing the host tree and eventually killing it, often becoming massive, free standing trees themselves. They are usually grown for their foliage, or their edible fruits (rarely borne on container plants).The alternate leaves are simple, or shallowly to deeply lobed, and vary from tiny to huge over 3′ feet long. Minute, petalless flowers are contained in a hollow-out, inflated stem tip (receptacle) borne in the leaf axils, which enlarges to form the fig fruit, borne sporadically throughout year.
F. carica – Common Fig – This deciduous tree or large shrub from Western Asia and Turkey grows 10-30′ feet tall and wide, has been in cultivation for at least 5,000 years. It has a spreading head and rounded, 3 to 5 lobed leaves, 4-10″ long, heart shaped at the bases. Pear shaped receptacles develop into single edible fruit, to 4″ long, green when young, maturing to dark green, purple, or dark brown. It prefers a climate with long warm summers and a dry atmosphere.
other varities are:
‘Black Mission’ – is the well known black fig grown in California, the fruit is of excellent quality and in warm regions it bears 2 crops per year.
‘Brown Turkey’ – is a productive, vigorous tree with large purplish brown fruit with flesh and a rich flavor
‘Genoa’ – bears greenish yellow fruit with a rich and amber flesh
Outdoors grow in humus rich, leafy, moist but well drained soil in full sun or partial shade with shelter from cold, drying winds.
Prone to fig wasp, mealybugs, scale insects, spider mites, root knot nematodes, thrips, fungal leaf spot, bacterial leaf spot, crown gall, twig dieback, Southern blight, and phomopsis dieback.