Figs should be harvested when they are completely ripe, fully coloured, and slightly soft to the touch. When picking figs, wear gloves or long sleeves because the sap from the tree can irritate skin.
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The genus Ficus is also known commonly as Fig or Fig Trees, this large genus contains over 800 species of mostly evergreen trees and large shrubs, with some deciduous species and climbers. They grow to anywhere between 1–10m in height. Most produce aerial roots and characteristic smooth white bark. Although commonly referred to as a fruit, the fig is actually a fleshy, hollow-ended stem containing multiple flowers. More technically, this is classed as both a multiple and accessory fruit, rather than a true fruit. Figs are highly pollinator-specific, with most species pollinated by specific species of fig wasp. Some species are parthenocarpic, meaning they develop fruits without pollination. Leaf structure varies across species, the most well known of which belongs to F. carica, also known as the Common Fig, which has very distinctive leaves divided into 3 or 5 lobes. The sap can be a skin irritant and foliage can cause stomach upsets if ingested.
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How to propagate Fig
Prefered propagation way of true cultivars. Take 30-40 cm long cuttings in winter, while dormant, and root in well draining sand mix.
Sow seed in winter and keep moist. It takes about 1–3 months to germinate.
Air layering in summer.
Special features of Fig
The edible fruit contains numerous one-seeded fruits. The fruit is 3–5 cm long, with a green skin, sometimes ripening towards purple or brown.
Figs can be tree-trained or espaliered into beautiful shapes and make an effective hedge screen.
Other uses of Fig
Grown for their foliage and for shade.
Figs are high in fibre and essential minerals like Calsium, Magnesium, Copper, Manganese and Vitamins.
Figs are used fresh, dried or preserved.