Ficus carica

Species:Ficus carica L.
Common Name:Common Fig; Edible Fig; Garden Fig
Associated Ecological Communities:**
Growth Habit:Shrub
USDA Symbol:**
Plant Notes:Common Fig is an introduced deciduous shrub in the Mulberry family (Moraceae). It is native to the Middle East and western Asia. In Alabama, it can be found statewide. It is commonly cultivated and persists around old home sites, in pastures, and along fence rows. It is a multi-trunked shrub reaching 15-20 feet in height. The bark is smooth and dark gray in color. Leaves are alternate, clustered towards the tips of branches, ovate to obovate in outline, and 3-5 lobed. The margins are undulate to irregularly toothed. Both surfaces are pubescent and rough to the touch. All parts of the plant release a white, milky sap when damaged. The sap is an irritant to many people, and you should avoid contact with it on your skin. Flowers are produced on the inside of a fleshy, hollow, receptacle known as a syconium. The syconia are solitary on short stalks. The syconia are oval to pear shaped with an opening at the apex called an ostiole. The male flowers are sessile or stalked with 2-6 sepals and 1-2 stamens. The female flowers are sessile. The fruit is an achene that remains embedded within the syconia. The common varieties “Brown Turkey”, and “Celeste” have all female flowers that do not need pollination for the fig to develop. Common Fig is an important crop in many areas of the world. There are many varieties in cultivation, and most nurseries carry several. Common Fig prefers an organically rich, well-draining soil in full sun. Figs are often planted close to buildings on the south or west side for added protection form late freezes.--A. Diamond
Taxonomic Notes:**
Status:Not Native
Specimen: View specimen details in the Alabama Herbarium Consortium Specimen Database

** Not applicable or data not available.


FamilyMORACEAE - Mulberry family
Genus Ficus
Species Ficus carica L. - Common Fig; Edible Fig; Garden Fig


Citation Ficus carica Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 2: 1059. 1753.
Basionym: **
Type: Without data (lectotype: LINN 1240.1). Lectotypified by Browicz, in Rechinger f., Fl. Iran. 153: 7. 1982.

** Not applicable or data not available.


SynonymFull CitationBasionymType
Caprificus insectifera Caprificus insectifera Gasparr., Nova Gen. Fici 6. 1844.  
Ficus latifolia Ficus latifolia Salisbury, Prodr. Stirp. Chap. Allerton 16. 1796, nom. illegit.Ficus carica Linnaeus 1753. 
Ficus leucocarpa Ficus leucocarpa Gasparrini, Ric. Caprifico 77. 1845.  
Ficus macrocarpa Ficus macrocarpa Gasparrini, Ric. Caprifico 78. 1845.  
Ficus pachycarpa Ficus pachycarpa Gasparrini, Ric. Caprifico 79. 1845.  
Ficus praecox Ficus praecox Gasparrini, in Gussone, Fl. Sicul. Syn. 2: 880. 1844.  

Specimens and Distribution

This species has been reported in the following counties by the herbaria listed. An overview of the individual specimens are provided in the table that follows. Click on the accession number to view details; click on column headers to sort; choose a county or herbaria to filter the specimen data.

Counties included on distribution map: Baldwin, Coffee, Crenshaw, Cullman, Dale, Etowah, Jefferson, Mobile, Washington

Counties represented by specimen data listed below:

Herbaria represented by specimen data listed below: ALNHS, AUA, JSU, SAMF, TROY, UWAL

Range of years during which specimens were collected: -

Barcode / Accession No. County Coll. Date Collector &
Collection No.
Herbarium &
Herbarium Name Used
JSU133819 Jefferson 15 Oct 1972 McCool, Jeff
Ficus carica Linnaeus
TROY000007163 Washington 04 May 1991 Powers, Loren D.
Ficus carica Linnaeus
JSU133821 Etowah 5 Oct 1994 Hodge, Lesley M.
Ficus carica Linnaeus
TROY000007161 Crenshaw 20 May 1991 Nichols, Grant
Ficus carica Linnaeus
UWAL0035758 Baldwin 07 Jul 2015 Horne, Howard E.
Ficus carica Linnaeus
AUA000043345 Cullman 19 Sep 1910 Wolf, Wolfgang
Ficus Carica L.
TROY000007162 Dale 21 Oct 2000 Johnson, Stephanie
Ficus carica Linnaeus
SAMF0002157 Cullman 31 Oct 1988 Ridgeway, Blanche
Ficus carica Linnaeus
TROY000007160 Coffee 27 Aug 2006 Hendrix, Jake
Ficus carica Linnaeus
ALNHS00006000 Mobile 29 May 2018 Barger, T. Wayne
Ficus carica L.
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