When en France I start my fig tree spotting. These plants have such distinctive large deep green leathery leaves, often with three lobes (they are deciduous) and you can’t miss them.
They are dotted along the road sides where they have self seeded and take pride of place in French gardens. Fig trees are relatively straight forward to grow, they do need plenty of water when their roots are young but can withstand very dry hot spells once they are established. For maximum crops the roots must be given limited space. So leaving in pots is a good idea, provided you can water regularly and provide a sheltered spot from heavy frosts or cover/bring indoors. When repotting roots should be cut back to a neat ball.
The cultivated or common fig tree (Ficus carica) was always popular throughtout southwestern Asia, Persia, Arabia, and the Mediterranean region in early civilisations. The Egyptians depicted figs in their hieroglyphics, and the historical texts of the Greeks and Jews mention the plant often. Figs are edible either fresh or dry and became an important part of the diet, particularly where fresh fruits were unavailable. Figs are high in calories, but the milky latex within the plant can be used as a laxative.
Ficus carica is a member of the mulberry family (Moraceae). Fig fruits are borne singly or in pairs above the scars of fallen leaves or in axils of leaves. The fig fruit is actually a syconium, or an inside-out flower with the reproductive structures making up the interior fruit flesh.
The fig can produce two crops each year, the first (breba) will develop in the spring on last year’s shoot growth. The main crop will develop after on the current year’s growth and ripen in late summer/early autumn.
The common fig has all female flowers (figs) that do not need pollination; the fruit is parthenocarpic (fruit production without fertilsation). This includes cultivars such as Adriatic, Black Mission, Brown Turkey, Brunswick, and Celeste. Caprifigs (wild figs) need crosspollination by the fig wasp in order for the fruit to mature.
So as you have probably gathered this post is about all things figgy (Pinterest). The images are also of all things figgy. The French garden is not big but I am aiming to have several fig trees in it. Not just for their delicious fruits but because they will add colour, structure and dimension to what is a flat piece of land. Watch this space, they may be small now but in a few years time!