Over 40 years. Highest productivity for 12-15 years, then slow decline.
Moderate to rapid.
10-30' high and as wide.
A hollow fleshy structure (the fig) is lined on the inside with
numerous separate male and female flowers facing toward the center.
A small hole ('eye') visible on the end of the fruit allows the specialized
fig wasp, Blastophaga psenes, to enter the fruit and pollinate the flowers.
Some cultivars have a closed 'eye' and reduced insect access.
Twice, early spring and late summer. Depending on the region grown and the cultivar,
the spring (breba) crop, which grows on old wood from the year before, can be susceptible
to late frost; the fall crop, which grows on new wood, may not have enough warmth to mature.
Yes. When the fig wasp is not present,
seeds do not develop inside the fruit, but the fruit ripens properly.
Years before fruiting:
4-5 years after grafting.
Although commonly 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 closed eye
cultivars avoid the sour fruit problem entirely. Some cultivars have open eyes
for the breba crop and closed eyes for the main crop.
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. 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 freezing are other ways of preserving figs.
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:
'Black Mission' closed eye, no insect penetration, purple to black skin,
red flesh, tree grows 25-30' tall and as wide, USDA 8b-11.
'Brown Turkey' open eye, frequent insect penetration resulting in sour
figs, reddish-brown with purple skin, pinkish-red flesh, tree grows 15-25' tall
and as wide, USDA 7-9.
'Celeste' closed eye, small to medium fruit, purple skin, red flesh, sweet,
tree grows 5-10' tall, USDA 7-11.
'Desert King' medium open eye on breba crop, closed eye on main crop,
yellow skin, sweet red flesh, excellent flavor, tree grows 8-10' USDA 7-10.
'Violette de Bordeaux' small fruit with purple-black skin, red flesh,
excellent sweet flavor, possibly best tasting of all figs, medium open eye, dwarf
tree grows 6-10' tall, 4-5' wide, good container plant, USDA 5-10.
Attracts birds, and in Africa and Asia, the fig wasp. Birds are particularly
attracted to figs that turn dark. Green and light-colored fruit attracts less
Toxic / Danger:
Sap is a skin and eye irritant. Unripe fruit are
Western Asia. Most likely domesticated over 4000 years ago.