T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Ficus carica (Edible fig)

Kingdom:   Plantae
(Unranked):        Angiosperms
(Unranked):        Eudicots
(Unranked):        Rosids
Order:       Rosales
Family:      Moraceae
Tribe:        Ficeae
Genus:      Ficus
Subgenus: Ficus
Species:     F. carica
Binomial name: Ficus carica
Common name: Fig, Edible fig, Common fig.

Ficus carica is a deciduous tree or large shrub which grows to a height of 7–10 metres. It has smooth white bark. Ficus carica is a native to the Middle East and western Asia and is now widely grown throughout the temperate world. It was introduced as an ornamental shrub but it has since spread to waste places and scrubland.
Ficus carica is dispersed by birds and mammals that scatter their seeds in their droppings. Its aggressive root system precludes its use in many urban areas of cities, but in nature this helps the plant to take root in the most inhospitable areas.
It has fragrant broadly ovate leaves that are 12-25 cm long and 10–18 centimetres across and deeply lobed with three or five lobes.
Flowering in New Zealand occurs December, January and February. It its native homelands it is usually pollinated by Blastophaga psenes, the fig wasp. This wasp was imported into New Zealand in the 1890s from California and was classified by M.A.F NZ as a regulated unwanted pest on 13-Aug-2001.  
Ficus carica has milky sap (laticifer) which is an irritant to human skin.

For more details on the fig visit; http://waynesword.palomar.edu/terminf2.htm

Wild Ficus carica growing roadside.




A new sprouting leaf.


An unripe immature fruit.at the base of a leaf sstem.. Photographed early December.


An old mature tree.