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Ficus carica is often confused with:
Morus alba Morus alba
Morus rubra Morus rubra
Native alternative(s) for Ficus carica:
Asimina triloba Full form
Diospyros virginiana Form
Plants that fill a similar niche:
Ocimum basilicum Ocimum basilicum
Salvia rosmarinus Rosmarinus officinalis
Solanum lycopersicum Solanum lycopersicum
Ficus carica has some common insect problems:
Ambrosia Beetle Pests of Nursery and Landscape Trees
Ficus carica has some common disease problems:
Fig Diseases in North Carolina

Common Fig Ficus carica

Phonetic Spelling
FY-kus KAIR-ih-kuh
This plant has low severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

Common fig is a woody, deciduous, multi-stemmed, spreading tree or shrub in the mulberry family (Moraceae). It is native to the Mediterranean to Central Asia and quickly grows to a mature size of 10 to 30 feet tall and wide with a rounded habit. The genus name Ficus means edible fig, and the species epithet carica refers to Caria, a region in southwestern Turkey known for growing figs.

Plant common fig in full sun to partial shade in organically rich, well-drained, moist soil that is neutral to acidic; it does not tolerate alkaline soils. Light pruning each winter may be necessary to maintain an attractive shape. The fruits form on new wood. Mulch roots to maintain moisture and especially in the fall to protect the plant through the winter. Propagate by layering or stem cutting. It produces many suckers, which can form thickets, and cause the plant to become weedy. 

The purplish-brown fruits ripen in late summer or fall. The flowers form inside a cavity inside the fruit and, in North America, the fruit forms without any pollination. The fig fruit is highly edible when consumed fresh, cooked, used in preserves, or dried. Birds and other wildlife also enjoy figs. 

Plant the common fig tree in an edible garden and consider placing it against a south wall to take advantage of radiant heat, or in other protected areas of the landscape especially in zone 7. It grows well in containers, but containers must be overwintered indoors.

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems: Aphids, scale, root-knot nematodes, spider mites, and mealybugs can cause problems. Blight, leaf spots, and rust occasionally occur. Fruit drop can be messy. In Florida and California, it has become invasive.

VIDEO Created by Elisabeth Meyer for "Vegetables, Herbs, Fruits, and Nuts" a plant identification course offered in partnership with Longwood Gardens.   

Profile Video:
See this plant in the following landscapes:
Flower Bonanza Garden Floricyle
Cultivars / Varieties:
'Brown Turkey', 'Brunswick', 'Celeste', 'Chicago Hardy', 'Little Ruby', 'Magnolia', 'Marseille'
Tags:
#deciduous#full sun tolerant#deciduous shrub#large leaves#fruit tree#fast growing#messy#attractive leaves#figs#non-showy flowers#green fruits#acidic soils tolerant#suckers#edible shrub#messy fruits#rough leaves#partial shade tolerant#problem for cats#ebh#ebh-fn#problem for dogs#problem for horses#contact dermatitis#container plant#vhfn#vhfn-f#weed#early childhood#landscape plant sleuths course#child#children#preschool#early care#cpp
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
'Brown Turkey', 'Brunswick', 'Celeste', 'Chicago Hardy', 'Little Ruby', 'Magnolia', 'Marseille'
Tags:
#deciduous#full sun tolerant#deciduous shrub#large leaves#fruit tree#fast growing#messy#attractive leaves#figs#non-showy flowers#green fruits#acidic soils tolerant#suckers#edible shrub#messy fruits#rough leaves#partial shade tolerant#problem for cats#ebh#ebh-fn#problem for dogs#problem for horses#contact dermatitis#container plant#vhfn#vhfn-f#weed#early childhood#landscape plant sleuths course#child#children#preschool#early care#cpp
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Ficus
    Species:
    carica
    Family:
    Moraceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    The sap was used in Mediterranean folk medicine.
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Layering
    Stem Cutting
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Mediterranean to Central Asia
    Wildlife Value:
    Insects, wasps and birds eat the fruit
    Play Value:
    Edible fruit
    Wildlife Food Source
    Edibility:
    Fruits are highly edible fresh, cooked, used in preserves, or dried.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 10 ft. 0 in. - 30 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 10 ft. 0 in. - 30 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Edible
    Perennial
    Shrub
    Tree
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
    Multi-stemmed
    Rounded
    Spreading
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Maintenance:
    Medium
    Texture:
    Coarse
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    High Organic Matter
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Available Space To Plant:
    6-feet-12 feet
    12-24 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b, 10a, 10b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Black
    Brown/Copper
    Green
    Purple/Lavender
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Edible
    Showy
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Summer
    Fruit Length:
    1-3 inches
    Fruit Width:
    1-3 inches
    Fruit Description:
    The infructescence is a ripened receptacle (syconium), not an ovary, that forms in late summer or fall on new wood. Sometimes a small second spring fruiting on new wood occurs. It is 2-4 in. long and may be a number of colors depending on the cultivar. Fruits develop without the need for pollination.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Green
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Insignificant
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    The flower is not visible as it blooms inside a hollow receptacles that form near the end of branches in leaf axils. The flowers small, green, and form in the spring. Most commercially available figs form fruits without any pollination, but wild figs require pollination by wasps.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Rough
    Smooth
    Soft
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Palmasect
    Leaf Margin:
    Crenate
    Dentate
    Entire
    Lobed
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    The leaves are 5-10 inches long and 4-7 inches across and deeply, palmately lobed with three or five lobes. The upper surface is green and rough with hairs and the underside is paler and smooth.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Light Gray
    Surface/Attachment:
    Smooth
    Bark Description:
    Silver gray smooth bark becomes more bumpy with age.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Bud Terminal:
    Only 1 terminal bud, larger than side buds
    Stem Form:
    Straight
    Stem Description:
    Produces many suckers.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Landscape Theme:
    Edible Garden
    Attracts:
    Songbirds
    Problems:
    Contact Dermatitis
    Messy
    Problem for Cats
    Problem for Dogs
    Problem for Horses
    Weedy
  • Poisonous to Humans:
    Poison Severity:
    Low
    Poison Symptoms:
    Phytophotodermatitis from the white, milky sap.
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    Furanocoumarins
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    Yes
    Poison Part:
    Sap/Juice