Trees of Japan: Ficus carica – fig tree among the first plants to be cultivated
Common fig (Ficus carica) or ichijiku in Japanese is a small tree native to southwest Asia. This edible fig is widely grown for its fruit.
Did you know the fig was one of the first plants ever to be cultivated by humans? Fossilized figs were found in an early Neolithic village in the Jordan Valley dating to 9400-9200 BC. Figs were domesticated “five thousand years earlier” than millet or wheat.
Specifics: Scientific name: Ficus carica (Pronunciation: FIE-cuss)
Common name(s): Common fig.
Family: Moraceae or mulberry
Origin: native to Western Asia but distributed by man throughout the Mediterranean region.
Uses: garden specimen; fruit tree; seed oil; latex
Availability: somewhat available, may have to go out of the region to find the tree.
The first fig brought to the New World was planted in Mexico in 1560. The deciduous leaves are palm-shaped, deeply divided into 3 to 7 main lobes, and are irregularly toothed.
What is commonly accepted as a “fruit” is technically a synconium, a fleshy, hollow receptacle with a small opening at the apex partly closed by small scales. It may be oval-shaped or pear-shaped, from yellowish-green to coppery, bronze, or dark-purple. In the case of the common fig the flowers are all female and need no pollination.
Propagation: Fig trees have been raised from seed, even seed from bought-gruit or by cuttings. Figs require full sun all day to produce edible fruit. Fig trees will shade out anything growing beneath the canopy. Fig trees produce a lot of fruit with or without heavy pruning.
There are 118 haiku about figs see this link.