Ficus Lingua: The Exotic and Versatile Fig

The Ficus Lingua, also known as the Indian Laurel Fig or the Rubber Tree, is a fig species that is native to South and Southeast Asia. It has been introduced to other parts of the world and is now cultivated in many tropical and subtropical regions. This versatile tree has many uses – it can be grown for its attractive foliage, used as a shade tree, or cultivated for its latex sap (which is tapped to make rubber). The Ficus Lingua is also a popular food plant, with both its fruit and leaves being eaten by people in some areas.

Plant Specifics

Origins: Ficus carica is a domesticated fruit tree that was probably first cultivated in the Middle East.

Botanical References:  Ficus carica is a member of the Moraceae, or mulberry family.

Range: The fig tree is native to an area extending from southwest Asia and the Mediterranean region eastward to northern India.

Habitat: Ficus carica grows best in deep, well-drained soils with full sun exposure.

Height: The typical height of a Ficus carica tree is between 12 and 30 feet.

Width: The average width of the canopy of a Ficus carica tree is about 15 to 20 feet, although some varieties can get much larger, up to 40 feet wide.

Leaves: The leaves of the Ficus carica tree are large, simple, and leathery, with smooth margins.

Flowers: The flowers of the Ficus carica tree are small and inconspicuous, with male and female flowers borne on separate trees (i.e., they are dioecious).

Fruit: The fruit of the Ficus carica tree is technically a “false berry” and is popularly known as a fig.

The Ficus carica tree is native to the Mediterranean region and has been cultivated since ancient times.

The fruit of the Ficus carica tree is widely consumed fresh or dried, and is used in many cooked dishes (e.g., stews, pies, etc.).