Origin: Syria and Persia - grown in Britain since Roman times
Description: This remains the most popular variety of fig which is reliable and heavy cropping. The fruit produced in late summer have rich and sweet flavoured red fresh. Large leaves of the well known 'fig leaf shape' give the plant additional architectural family.
Climate/Position: A sheltered South or South West wall is required to ensure fruit ripening.
Height/Spread: 2.5 x 3 metres. Train onto a wall for best effect.
Soil Requirements: Any soil which drains well.
Roots need to be restricted to enhance ability to produce fruit. Plant in large container or line planting hole with slabs or framework to restrict root growth.
Pruning: This will depend on position and shape require. Undertake pruning in June - pinch out new growth to 5 buds to increase fruiting. Thinning of the crop may be needed to ensure remaining fruit reach a good size. After winter remove any dead shoots and ensure trained to frame.
The foliage and sap of Ficus is harmful if eaten (except for the ripened fruit) and may irritate the skin and eyes.
The tiny flowers of the fig are most unusually out of view, clustered inside the green "fruits", technically a synconium. In the case of the common fig the flowers are all female and need no pollination. The common fig bears a first crop, called the breba crop, in the spring on last season's growth. The second crop is borne in late summer on the new growth and is known as the main crop. In cold climates the breba crop is often destroyed by spring frosts.