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16 Types of Fig Trees (with Pictures)

fig tree with fruit

Did you know there are approximately 700 known types of fig trees worldwide? Figs are a small medium-sized tree species loved for their sweet fruits. People have been cultivating and eating fig tree fruits for centuries. In addition, you can cook them, dry them, or preserve them for later use.

In this article, we will look at 16 types of figs and where they grow best. This includes noting the hardiness zones, the height of a fully mature tree, and the color of the fruit each tree bears. The excellent news is these fruits are sweet and always ready to eat when ripe.

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The 16 Types of Fig Trees

1. Brown Turkey Fig

Brown Turkey Fig
Image Credit: Diane N. Ennis, Shutterstock
Hardiness Zones: 7 to 10
Full Growth Height: 20 to 30 feet
Fruit Size: Up to 4 inches

The Brown Turkey fig tree (Ficus carica) is native to the South and West Coast region of the United States. A fully mature tree can reach heights of up to 30 feet, so it’s best to plant it away from the house or other structures. This fruit tree bears figs that are green before ripening but turn purple when ripe and have orange-pinkish flesh.

This type of fig tree requires full sun exposure and well-drained soil with lime. The soil pH has to be between 6.0 and 6.5. It’s a hardy tree species and bears two crops each year: One in late spring (Breba crop) and the other in early fall (main crop).

Pros
  • Sweet fruit with juicy flesh
  • Low maintenance
  • Extra shade due to its size
  • Hardy fruit tree
Cons
  • Does not do well in limited space

2. Peter’s Honey Fig

Hardiness Zones: 6 to 10
Full Growth Height: 15 to 25 feet
Fruit Size: 3 to 4 inches

Take your taste buds for a ride when you partake in Peter’s Honey figs. The fig tree is native to Sicily and was brought to the US by Peter Dana.

A fully grown tree can reach heights of 15 to 25 feet and can have a width of 12 to 15 feet. This fruit tree is quite hardy and bears sweet medium-size figs. The figs have amber-colored flesh and greenish-yellow skin when ripe.

It bears two crops annually, with maximum production taking place in the warmer months. Hardiness zones of 6 to 10 are suitable, and you can grow it in a container in a south-facing area.

Pros
  • Tender and sweet fruits
  • Thrives in warm climate
  • Ideal for container culture
  • Bears two crops annually
Cons
  • Does not thrive in the absence of ample sunlight

3. Desert King Fig

Desert King Fig Tree
Image Credit: akistani log, Shutterstock
Hardiness Zones: 6 to 10
Full Growth Height: 15 to 25 feet
Fruit Size: Up to 6 inches

Living in cool climates requires hardy trees that can withstand dropping temperatures like the Desert King. It produces its first crop in early summer and the next one in early fall when it’s still warm.

In comparison to other fig tree species, the Desert King grows faster, reaching heights of up to 25 feet. It bears large figs with a greenish-yellowish pale skin and strawberry red juicy flesh. Ensure to plant it in a USDA zone of 6 to 10, which suits this fig tree species in an area that receives full sun.

Pros
  • Grows quite fast
  • Evergreen tree species
  • Bears large and fleshy figs
  • Thrives in full sun
  • Hardy tree
Cons
  • Prone to fig rust

4. Yellow Long Neck Fig

Hardiness Zones: 7 to 10
Full Growth Height: 4 to 8 feet
Fruit Size: More than 4 inches

Not all fig trees grow to be 25 feet tall. Some like the Yellow Long Neck are petite, only 4 to 8 feet.

However, being small doesn’t mean this fig tree is less productive than larger species. It produces round figs that are quite large with bright yellow skin. Inside is amber flesh that’s sweet and juicy when the fruit is ripe.

This hardy fig tree requires long sunlight exposure, especially in its productive period. It’s ideal for container planting and requires well-drained soil for faster growth. USDA zones of 7 to 10 are most suitable. It goes into dormancy in late fall.

Pros
  • Suitable for containers and small gardens
  • Produces large sweet figs
  • Hardy fig
  • Does well in full sunlight
Cons
  • Not suitable for dry areas. Needs ample moisture

5. Panache Tiger Stripe Fig

Panache Tiger Fig Tree
Image Credit: Gurcharan Singh, Shutterstock
Hardiness Zones: 8 to 10
Full Growth Height: 12 to 15 feet
Fruit Size: Up to 4 inches

The Panache Tiger Stripe does well in areas with an 8 to 10 hardiness zone. This means these places have warmer winters and quite hot summers. It won’t do well in harsh and frosty winters, so try the Southwest.

It’s a semi-dwarf fig tree that reaches heights of 12 to 15 feet when fully grown. From the moment you set your eyes on this fig, you notice its striped fruits that are a mix of pale yellow and green. Inside, the fig fruit’s flesh is dark red and tastes like a mix of strawberry and raspberry. The Panache Tiger Stripe fig is quite productive if it gets ample sunlight and grows in well-drained soil.

Pros
  • Suits smaller yards and containers
  • Does well in hot areas
  • Produces fleshy and sweet figs
Cons
  • Not suitable for colder regions

6. Excel Fig

Hardiness Zones: 7 to 10
Full Growth Height: 12 to 15 feet
Fruit Size: Up to 5 inches

While many fig trees have been around for a long time, the Excel fig is a fairly recent species. It’s a hybrid of the Kadota figs dating back to 1975. The good news is this fig does well in numerous areas with a hardiness zone of 7 to 10.

A fully mature tree can reach heights of up to 15 feet and produces sweet figs. These fruits are medium-sized with a yellow-green outer layer. The inner flesh is amber and tends to taste like honey.

One advantage is that these fruits are relatively resistant to splitting even in drought and other harsh conditions. It’s perfect for adding lush and greenery to your backyard, giving you a spread of 15 to 20 feet.

Pros
  • Very hardy fig tree
  • Fruits don’t crack easily
  • Yields sweet and flavor-filled figs
  • Heat tolerant species
Cons
  • Not ideal for planting near the house

7. Osborne Prolific Fig

Hardiness Zones: 7 to 9
Full Growth Height: 12 to 20 feet
Fruit Size: Up to 4 inches

The Osborne Prolific fig lives up to its name since it’s quite a prolific tree that tends to produce a bumper crop. It does well in areas with less sunlight hence suitable for colder regions. You can even plant one in an area with partial shade.

The fig tree will grow to heights of 12 to 20 feet, giving you medium-sized purple figs. These purple figs have amber flesh that tastes like honey with hints of caramel.

As a cold-hardy tree, you can plant it in areas with a hardiness zone of 7 to 9 and get a mature spread of 12 to 20 feet. It’s a low-maintenance species resistant to diseases and can be a statement piece for your yard.

Pros
  • Cold-hardy tree species
  • Exquisite figs
  • Low maintenance
  • Disease resistant
  • Provides excellent shade
Cons
  • Slow to moderate growth rate

8. Kadota Fig

Kadota figs
Image Credit: Dr Ajay Kumar Singh, Shutterstock
Hardiness Zones: 7 to 9
Full Growth Height: 15 to 25 feet
Fruit Size: 4 to 5 inches

Have you ever come across the Fig Newton cookies? Well, those figs that come in these tasty treats are the Kadota figs from the Kadota fig tree.

Generally, this is another of the cold-hardy fig trees that you can plant in areas that receive moderate sunlight. The regions with a hardiness zone of 7 to 9 do well, giving you a fully mature tree that’s 15 to 25 feet tall.

The fig fruit tends to have yellowish-green skin and amber flesh that gets sweeter at the height of summer. This highly adaptable fig tree works even in containers, provided you protect it in winter.

Pros
  • Provides excellent shade
  • Has moderate water needs
  • Tolerant to medium sunlight
  • Ideal for poor soil areas
  • Good humidity tolerance
Cons
  • Susceptible to leaf blight

9. LSU Purple Fig

Hardiness Zones: 8b to 11
Full Growth Height: 8 to 10 feet
Fruit Size: Up to 2.5 inches

The Louisiana State University AgCenter is the brains behind the LSU Purple fig, which they introduced in 1991. They wanted a tree species that was more formidable against diseases while producing the sweetest figs.

The LSU Purple is well-liked since it produces many sweet fruits within two years of planting the tree. In fact, it can produce up to 3 crops each year in warmer climates. A fully mature tree reaches heights of 10 feet and produces purple fruit with raspberry-colored flesh. It grows quite fast, producing a stronger root system and many branches to hold lots of fruits.

Pros
  • Ideal for containers due to small size
  • Can produce figs three times annually
  • Disease resistant
  • Requires minimal attention
  • Early fruit production
Cons
  • Tends to produce flavorless figs

10. Celeste Fig

Celeste fig
Image Credit: Eric Buermeyer, Shutterstock
Hardiness Zones: 6 to 10
Full Growth Height: 5 to 10 feet
Fruit Size: Up to 2.5 inches

When searching for a fig tree whose fruits tend to take less time to ripen, take a look at Celeste. The fig tree is quite special since it’s among the few types that can produce fruits a year after you plant it.

It only grows to a mature height of 10 feet but still tends to carry a bumper crop each season. The tree has large green leaves and small to medium-sized figs. The figs have purplish-bronze skin and red-pinkish flesh when cut open. It’s a cold-hardy tree species that does well even with minimal sunlight in colder regions.

Pros
  • Improved variety
  • Cold-hardy species
  • Disease resistant
  • Healthy supply of fiber
  • Sweet honey flavor
Cons
  • Smaller figs

11. Black Mission Fig

Black Mission fig
Image Credit: Akvals, Shutterstock
Hardiness Zones: 7 to 10
Full Growth Height: 15 to 30 feet
Fruit Size: Up to 4 inches

Here is a high-quality fig variety that’s quite popular, especially on the West Coast. Fruit farmers in California are fond of the Black Mission for its adaptability. Such areas tend to be dry and hot most of the time, which are the ideal conditions for this fig tree.

It can grow as tall as 30 feet bearing figs that are a dark-purplish color with red-pinkish flesh. It does well in high temperatures and tends to suffer in frosty areas, and can crack if the fruits aren’t picked when ripe. The fig tree gives two crops every year, which are the Breba crop and the early fall giving more fruits.

Pros
  • Works as a container plant
  • Sweet berry flavor
  • Self-fruiting tree
  • Ideal for hotter climates
Cons
  • Ripe fruits tend to crack

12. Chicago Hardy Fig

Chicago hardy fig
Image Credit: Karen Dole, Shutterstock
Hardiness Zones: 5 to 10
Full Growth Height: 10 to 12 feet
Fruit Size: Up to 4 inches

Imagine a fig tree whose rootstock can survive temperatures of negative 20 degrees F. The Chicago Hardy lives up to its name since it can survive in colder regions with hardiness zones of 5 to 10 feet.

It only grows to a mature height of 12 feet and suits a backyard or container. This is an easy-going fig tree whose fruit has versatile use, including preservation.

It gives an abundant yield of medium-size figs with burgundy-purple skin. The flesh inside is light pink. You can have fruits 1 or 2 years after planting the tree in well-drained soil with a pH of 6.0 to 6.5. Plant it in partial shade in a south-facing area.

Pros
  • Cold-hardy tree
  • Self-pollinates
  • Medium size ideal for containers
  • Produces abundant yield
  • Long lifespan
Cons
  • Ripe fruits easily crack

13. Smyrna Fig

Hardiness Zones: 7 to 10
Full Growth Height: 10 to 30 feet
Fruit Size: 4 to 5 inches

With the wide variety of figs, you can easily encounter unique species like the Smyrna. This fig tree thrives in hardiness zones of 7 to 10 and requires daylight in the summer months to produce fruits. It has the potential of reaching 30 feet as a fully mature tree.

However, it’s possible to keep it small and grow in a container by pruning regularly. The tree produces medium-sized figs with a purplish-black outer layer and red, pinkish flesh. It’s a self-fruiting tree that requires no pollination and is hardy to 5°F.

Pros
  • Thrives in warm climate
  • Fleshy and tasty figs
  • Hardy variety
  • Widely adaptable fig tree
  • Provides excellent shade
Cons
  • Not a disease-resistant variety

14. Corky’s Honey Delight Fig

Hardiness Zones: 7 to 10
Full Growth Height: 10 to 12 feet
Fruit Size: Up to 3”

Monrovia nursery came up with the Corky’s Honey Delight fig variety that’s quite a fast grower. This fig tree takes moderate time to reach a full height of about 12 feet in areas of a hardiness zone of 7 to 10.

The tree has a foliage of grayish green leaves and produces a bountiful of figs. These fruits are green at the beginning before they turn a yellowish color as they ripen. The ripe figs have a pinkish flesh that tastes as sweet as honey.

It can do well in cold climates of up to 5°F and can thrive in containers placed in a south-facing area. Full sunlight while bearing fruits is crucial for them to ripen.

Pros
  • Hardy variety
  • Can remain small in a container
  • Adaptable to different climates
  • Tasty figs
  • Easy care requirements
Cons
  • Has a moderate growth rate
  • Requires extensive sunlight

15. LSU Gold Fig

Hardiness Zones: 8 to 11
Full Growth Height: 8 to 15 feet
Fruit Size: Up to 6 inches

The southern parts of the US are the best areas to grow the LSU Gold type of fig tree. It’s a product of the Louisiana State University AgCenter and it went into circulation in 2001.

It’s among the top fig trees giving an abundant yield each year. It does well in areas that are dry and tend to have a hotter climate.

A fully mature LSU Gold can reach heights of up to 15 feet with a hardiness zone topping 11. These conditions make it possible to get large figs that are quite fleshy with a yellow-green skin. Inside the flesh is rosy red or pinkish with a sweet flavor. It won’t do well in cold areas since its hardiness is 15 to 20°F.

Pros
  • Heat resistant tree
  • Tolerant to dry weather conditions
  • Bears large figs
  • Disease resistant
  • Excellent foliage
Cons
  • Ripe fruits crack easily

16. Olympian Fig

Hardiness Zones: 6 to 10
Full Growth Height: 6 to 10 feet
Fruit Size: Up to 5 inches

The Olympian fig is originally from Olympia in Washington. It was discovered by Denny McGauhy. The excellent news is this is quite an adaptable type of fig that does well in cold and hot climates. It can yield two good crops each year.

The fig fruits are quite large for this dwarf fruit tree. They have a striped greenish-purple exterior. Inside, the flesh is red to violet and has an unforgettable honey-like taste. It’s compact size and shape works in small gardens or containers.

Pros
  • Adaptable to multiple climates
  • Bears large fruits
  • Sweet flavor figs
  • Small stature
  • Regrows in spring
Cons
  • Susceptible to fungi attack

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Final Takeaway

Fig trees are excellent to have around your house or property. The small to medium-sized trees are quite hardy and thrive in different climatic conditions. Most of the types listed above bear abundant and sweet-tasting fruits twice a year.

The fig tree does well in well-drained soil with a pH of 6.0 to 6.5. You can grow it on the ground or on a container to minimize its height. Figs are nutritious and full of essential fiber.


Featured Image Credit: Couleur, Pixabay

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