Ficus Carica is also called Ficus Caprificus or common fig and belongs to the Moraceae - Mulberry Family. The Common Fig is native to the eastern Mediterranean and western Asia region where it grows wild and has been in cultivation for centuries. The cultivated Fig forms a shrub or low-spreading tree.
The fig is a picturesque tropical looking tree or shrub with a dramatic spreading habit. The breadth is often wider than the height of 15 to 30 ft (4.6-9 m) with equal spread. This deciduous, low-branching tree is usually single trunked, with pale, silvery gray smooth bark. In colder regions, figs are grown as bushes with multiple stems and branches close to the ground that are laid down and buried before winter. The Ficus makes an especially attractive specimen in the landscape. Plant one on an expanse of lawn, where it’s graceful spreading shape and smooth twisting branches command attention in all seasons.
The alternate, long petioled, dark green leaves are broad-ovate to nearly orbicular in outline and may become 20cm(10 in) long and 10-20 cm (4-10 in) wide with 3-5 lobes. The upper surface is thick and ribbed while the underneath is finely haired .The leaves texture is rough and they can irritate skin.
The Genus Ficus is unique for bearing its flowers inside a nearly closed receptacle, or branch, which ripens into a fleshy fruit called a fig. The small flowers are produced twice in the season. The first ones (the breba crop) are produced near the ends of the shoots of the preceding flush of growth, whereas the second crop (the main crop) is produced in the axils of the leaves on the new growth.
The mature fruit is pear shaped and variable in size and range in color from a greenish-yellow to purple. The edible fruit is a hollow succulent receptacle with many ovaries on the inner surface, which may or may not produce seeds, depending on the variety.
Figs usually begin bearing fruit within two years and may bear twice per year. Figs grow nicely and will bear fruit when grown in containers where they can be artfully pruned to create a living sculpture to decorate deck or patio. This is convenient for two reasons: cold climate growers can move their figs indoors in winter and the plants can be removed from the patio when the fruit begins to (over)ripen. The edible fruit are extremely attractive to birds.
Hardiness zones :
7*-10 (-15c/ 5f, 1c/35f). Note that with winter protection, it can be grown as far north as Zone 5*. The Ficus Carica likes reflected sun, full sun, or part shade. Fig trees are tolerant of poorly drained soils and grow well in relatively infertile soils. When fully dormant, fig trees can tolerate temperatures as low as 10 to 15ºF (-9ºC). Even if frozen, figs often will restart from the roots and produce a crop the following summer. They are drought tolerant, once established. Figs responds well to pruning and can be espaliered or pruned heavily in the dormant season for size control and to increase the main crop. Water the tree every month or two while it is growing, and once or twice per year when fully grown. They grow much better with a monthly fertilizing program and deep watering twice a month in summer.