I can give a fig!

Botanical Fruit Ficus fig tree

Botanical Fruit Ficus fig tree

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. 

fig tree with hand

Fig with hand

FIG TREE

Fig tree in pot

Fig Pattern

Fig pattern

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.

Fig Cocktail

Fig cocktail

fig and ham tapas

fig and ham tapas

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.

FIDDLE LEAF FIG trees

FIDDLE LEAF FIG trees

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. 

Ancient fig tree roots

Ancient fig tree roots

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!

Frida Kahlo with a fiddle leaf fig tree

Frida Kahlo with a fiddle leaf fig tree

Klee

Klee

fig tree banister

fig tree banister

Fiddle Leaf Fig

Fiddle leaf fig

John Singer Sargent- 1908

John Singer Sargent- 1908

Fig tree by Ryu Itadani

Fig tree by Ryu Itadani

Caramelized Fresh Figs with Sweet Cream

Caramelized Fresh Figs with Sweet Cream

fiddle leaf fig trees and globular lights

fiddle leaf fig trees and globular lights

 

covered with a fig leaf

covered with a fig leaf

fig heart

fig heart

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3 thoughts on “I can give a fig!

  1. Bonne Mamon make a lovely fig jam you can buy it in France – not seen it in this country – My cousin Irena(Irka) – you met her in London – had some at her house.
    We are back from Cornwall had a week of good weather – back to indexing today – off to Holland on August 22nd till Sept 1st.

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