Over 40 years. Productivity is highest in the first 12-15 years, then slowly declines.
Moderate to rapid.
10-30' high and as wide.
A hollow fleshy structure (the fig) is lined on the inside with numerous female flowers
facing toward the center. A small hole ('eye') visible on the end of the fruit allows the fig
wasp to enter the fruit and pollinate the flowers. Some cultivars have
a closed 'eye' and reduced insect access. Caprifig types also have male flowers inside, near
the eye, and provide pollen for other fig types.
Normally twice, winter and summer. In very warm regions, a third crop is possible
in the fall. Depending on the region grown and the cultivar, the first (breba) crop,
which grows on old wood from the year before, can be susceptible to late frost.
The second crop grows on new wood. The third crop may not have enough warmth to mature.
Yes. Common figs can produce fruit without pollination and without seeds
developing inside the fruit.
Years before fruiting:
4-5 years after grafting.
Although referred to as a fruit, the fig is actually a false fruit
or multiple fruit in which the flowers and seeds are borne.
Insect, especially beetle, penetration of the fruit is a frequent problem
that results in sour fruit and can ruin an entire crop. Only some closed eye
cultivars avoid the sour fruit problem entirely.
Months for fruit to ripen:
2-4, depending on cultivar and growing environment.
Figs are ripe when they change color, when they droop at attachment point, when they
become soft, and in some cases, when they become fragrant. The stem of an unripe fig will
ooze milky sap when the fig is picked. No sap appears when a ripe fig is harvested.
Figs do not continue to ripen once picked.
Storage after harvest:
Immediately after harvesting, place in refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Drying, or cooking in a sugar solution and then canning or freezing are other ways of
Green, large, deeply lobed with 3-5 lobes.
Deep, aggressive. Keep this tree 20-30' from any structure to avoid root damage.
Invasive in moist areas.
Cultivars of Note:
(There is often little difference in flavor between figs in the same flavor category)
Berry-Citric / Adriatic Flavor
'Ischia Green' closed eye, small to medium fruit, pale green skin,
strawberry red flesh, citric berry flavor, tree grows 10-15' high, USDA 7-10.
'Panachee' closed eye, small to medium fruit, yellow and green striped skin,
red flesh, citric berry flavor, vigorous tree grows 12' high, USDA 8-9. This
cultivar has become popular because of its flavor and reliability.
Berry-Resin / Bordeaux Flavor
'Black Mission' closed eye, purple to black skin, red flesh, resin berry flavor,
tree grows 25-30' tall and as wide, USDA 8b-11. A very reliable, huge tree.
'Petite Negra' small eye, medium fruit with purple-black skin, red flesh,
resin berry flavor, dwarf tree grows 4-8' tall, USDA 7-10. A good container
'Violette de Bordeaux' medium open eye, small fruit with purple-black skin, red flesh,
resin berry flavor, dwarf tree grows 6-10' tall, 4-5' wide, USDA 5-10. A good container
'Conadria' closed eye, large fruit, green-yellow skin, pink to red flesh,
tannin berry flavor, vigorous tree grows 15-20' tall and as wide, USDA 7-10.
'Kadota' open eye filled with honey drop, medium fruit, yellow-green skin,
amber flesh, honey flavor, tree grows 15-25' high, USDA 7-10.
'Peter's Honey' open eye filled with honey drop, yellow-green skin, dark amber flesh,
light honey flavor. Tree grows 15-25' high and wide, USDA 7-10.
'Celeste' closed eye, small to medium fruit, purple skin, red flesh, light sugar flavor,
tree grows 5-10' tall and as wide, USDA 7-11. A good container plant.
'Black Jack' closed eye, large to very large fruit with purplish-brown skin, red flesh,
dark sugar flavor, tree grows 15' tall and as wide, USDA 7-10. A good container plant.
'Brown Turkey' open eye, frequent insect penetration resulting in sour figs,
small to medium fruit, brown to purple skin, red flesh, sugar flavor. Needing a dry,
hot summer to ripen properly, it is climate dependent and unreliable in producing quality
fruit in regions with summer rains. Vigorous roots make it suitable as a rootstock for
grafting other fig cultivars. Tree grows 15-25' tall and as wide, USDA 7-9.
Attracts birds, and in some regions, the fig wasp. Birds are particularly attracted to
figs that turn dark. Green and light-colored figs attract less attention.
Rats, gophers, deer and javelina can also be a problem.
Toxic / Danger:
Sap is a skin and eye irritant. Unripe fruit are poisonous.
Western Asia. Domesticated over 10,000 years ago.