Types of Fig Tree’s Species and Popular Kinds

Fig Tree Varieties range from sweet Celeste to versatile Brown Turkey and the unique Common figs to honey like Chicago Hardy. Explore the flavorful world of figs and get immersed in their unique tastes, colors, and uses.

Types Of Fig Trees

Philary/Jasenka Arbanas/Minh Hoang Cong/gettyimages


Fig trees, known for their delectable fruits and lush foliage, are a captivating addition to any orchard or garden. These ancient trees have a vast history dating back thousands of years, cherished for their nutritious and sweet figs and the shade they provide.


You can find different types of fig trees, but some of the most popular figs include:


  • the Black Mission Fig, celebrated for its sweet, jammy flesh and deep purple skin
  • the Kadota Fig, loved for its honey-like sweetness and green skin
  • the Adriatic Fig, prized for its delicate, honeyed taste and light yellow skin
  • the Brown Turkey Fig, known for its nutty, earthy flavor and versatility.


Broadly, these fig species offer an enticing selection for ornamental and culinary purposes.


Fig Tree Varieties – Your Guide To The Finest Figs Awaits!

  1. Common Fig (Ficus carica)
  2. Brown Turkey Fig (Ficus carica ‘Brown Turkey’)
  3. Celeste Fig Tree (Ficus carica ‘Celeste’)
  4. Mission Fig (Ficus carica ‘Mission’)
  5. Chicago Hardy Fig (Ficus carica ‘Chicago Hardy’)
  6. Black Madeira Fig Tree
  7. Olympian Fig Tree
  8. Desert King Fig Tree
  9. Weeping Fig Tree
  10. Kadota Fig Tree
  11. LSU Purple Fig Tree


This guide will take you through the captivating world of fig trees, exploring some popular varieties in detail and uncovering their culinary uses and distinct characteristics.


You might also want to get yourself adept at growing fig trees if you wish to enjoy these fruits fresh from your garden.


1. Common Fig (Ficus carica)


Identification Features

The Common fig tree boasts of palmate, large leaves with deep lobes resembling a human hand. They are about four to ten inches long. Their fruit is pear-shaped, ranging from green to purple-black when ripe, with a size varying from 1 to 2.5 inches in length.


Where Do Common Fig Trees Grow Best?

The Common Fig thrives in full sun. They need at least six to eight hours of direct sun every day. You must plant them in a soil with pH between 6.0 and 6.5. Their growing soil must be well-drained and loamy.


Fortunately, they are adaptable to several climates, but they flourish in warm Mediterranean-like conditions. However, they can endure mild winters and hot summers.


Where Are Common Figs Used?

Its well-known cultivars include Celeste, Brown Turkey, and Black Mission. These fig tree species are versatile and enjoyed fresh, dried, or in preserves.


They can add sweetness to both dessert and savory dishes. You will find them a staple of Mediterranean cuisine.


2. Brown Turkey Fig (Ficus carica ‘Brown Turkey’)


Identification Features

The Brown Turkey Fig, a variety of Ficus Carica, is recognized by its lobed, large leaves and pear-shaped fruits that transition from green to brown-purple when ripe.


What Climate Zone Do Brown Turkey Figs Grow In?

They thrive in USDA hardiness zones seven through eleven, making them suitable for various climates. However, they cherish well-drained soil, rich in organic matter, and need regular watering to maintain soil moisture. But they can endure short periods of drought.


Are Brown Turkey Figs Good To Eat?

These are celebrated for their rich, sweet flavor, with hints of berry and honey, making them a delightful addition to savory and sweet dishes.


In cooking, they complement salads and cheeses. You can use them in jams or as topping for desserts like ice creams and tarts, accentuating their depth of flavor and natural sweetness.


3. Celeste Fig Tree (Ficus carica ‘Celeste’)


Identification Features

The Celeste Fig, a cultivar of Ficus carica, is recognized by its small to mid-sized, lobed leaves and brownish-purple, petite fruits that are tender and sweet when ripe.


Celeste Fig Growing Conditions

Celeste fig tree varieties thrive in warm temperatures, especially in USDA hardiness zones seven through ten. In these regions, they receive long and hot summers. Celeste Figs cherishes sandy, loamy, well-drained soil.


In addition, they seek consistent watering, especially during dry spells, to maintain the soil moisture levels.


How Do You Eat Celeste Figs?

Celeste Figs are prized for their intensely sweet flavor and small size, typically linked to sugar or honey. They are ideal for snacking straight from the tree. These figs are best for eating fresh.


They add a burst of sweetness to charcuterie boards and salads. You can also employ them in making desserts, jams, and preserves because of their superior natural sweetness and unique taste profile.


4. Mission Fig (Ficus carica ‘Mission’)


Identification Features

A cultivator of the Ficus Carica, the Mission Fig is distinguished by its dark green, deeply lobed leaves and fruit, which metamorphoses from green to rich, dark purple when fully ripe.


Where Do Mission Figs Grow?

Almost all the different types of fig trees thrive in warm climates and so do the Mission Fig trees. You can grow them in USDA hardiness zones seven through nine, where they can benefit from an extended growth season.


Mission Figs love loamy, well-drained soil with a slightly alkaline pH. They benefit from full sun exposure for at least six to eight hours every day.


How Do You Use Fresh Mission Figs?

Mission Figs are known for their complex, intense flavor profile. These kinds of fig trees feature notes of caramel and berry. Mission Figs have a subtle earthiness, making them a delectable treat straight from the trees.


You can enjoy them fresh, in salads, or as pizza toppings. Some even cherish them in desserts like fig tarts. You can also wrap them in prosciutto or stuff with cheese for a unique delicacy. They also make exceptional preserves and jams because of their sweet, bold taste.


5. Chicago Hardy Fig (Ficus carica ‘Chicago Hardy’)




Identification Features

Chicago hardy figs can be identified by their medium-sized, deeply lobed leaves and fruit that mature from green to brown-purple. Its fruits are known for their honeyed and sweet flavor.


Chicago Hardy Fig Growing Conditions

These fig tree varieties are notably adaptable. They can thrive in various regions across USDA hardiness zones five through ten, making them one of the few varieties that can endure colder temperatures.


Chicago Hardy Fig prefers well-drained soil rich in organic matter. They cherish regular pruning for maintenance. It also helps boost fruit production and gives an aesthetic appearance to the tree.


Such trees are prized for their ability to endure harsh winters. They can survive in temperatures as low as -10°F (-23°C), provided you take adequate measures to guard them.


However, not all varieties are the same. So, winter fig care is something that becomes important to look into.


Chicago Hardy Fig Taste & Intake

The Chicago Hardy Figs are ideal for fresh consumption. They have a honey-like, sweet taste. You can also preserve them by drying them or using them in jams. These figs can add a unique flavor to several culinary creations.


6. Black Madeira Fig Tree


Identification Features

From the different types of fig trees, the Black Madeira Figs can be distinguished by their dark green, deeply lobed leaves and celebrated fruit that ripens to a deep, almost black-purple color.


Growing Conditions

These are better suited for Mediterranean climates and thrive in USDA hardiness zones seven through nine. Black Madeira Figs benefit from full sun exposure. They need at least six to eight hours of sunlight daily.


How Do You Eat Black Mission Figs?

Such figs are esteemed for their rich, exceptional flavor, typically described as having wine-like notes with hints of honey and berry.


You can enjoy these dried or fresh. Some even use them in preserves, as their unique taste profile can accentuate both savory and sweet dishes.


7. Olympian Fig Tree


Identification Features

These can be recognized by their deep green, large, glossy leaves, and distinctive pear-shaped fruit, turning to purple-black when fully ripe.


Growing Olympian Fig Tree

The Olympian fig tree varieties thrive in regions with a Mediterranean-like climate, typically in USDA hardiness zones seven through nine. They cherish well-draining soil full of organic matter.


Such figs need full sunlight exposure for approximately six to eight hours of direct sun. It helps with their optimal growth.


What Does Olympian Fig Taste Like?

Olympian Figs are celebrated for their sweet, lush flavor. These feature a delectable blend of earthy, berry, and honey notes. You can cherish them in salads or eat them fresh.


They also taste delicious when paired with charcuterie or cheese. Some even use the Olympian figs for making tasty fig preserves. They are an excellent addition to different dessert recipes.


8. Desert King Fig Tree


Identification Features

These are distinguished by their medium to large, deeply loved leaves with a bright green hue. Its fruit, when ripe, takes on a golden-yellow color with a pink blush.


Where Does The Desert King Fig Tree Grow Best?

These fig tree species are best suited for regions with Mediterranean climates and do best in USDA hardiness zones seven through ten.


They flourish in sandy, loamy, but well-draining soil and enjoy abundant sun, typically six to eight hours of direct sun daily for optimal growth.


What Does Desert King Fig Taste Like?

Desert King Figs are cherished for their honey-like, sweet flavor. These offer a delightful balance of fruity and floral notes. You can enjoy them fresh, either as are, or use them in salads for a subtle sweetness.


They also make excellent additions to baked goods, chutneys, and jams, presenting their unique taste in different culinary creations.


9. Weeping Fig Tree


Identification Features

Scientifically called the Ficus benjamina, The Weeping Fig tree can be recognized by its drooping but graceful branches covered in glossy, small, elliptical leaves with a deep green color.


Is Weeping Fig An Indoor Plant?

These are best suited for indoor cultivation, as they thrive in consistent, moderate temperatures. People usually grow them as houseplants.


However, when grown outdoors, the Weeping Fig trees prefer subtropical to tropical climates, with consistently warm temperatures and partial to dappled sun.


These plants need well-draining potting soil and regular watering to preserve soil moisture. Pruning can help maintain their graceful shape. Further, they can boost indoor air quality by filtering out the typical pollutants.


You might also like to learn more about how to care for fig trees.


10. Kadota Fig Tree


Identification Features

These kinds of fig trees can be identified by their bright green, elongated leaves with shallow lobes. Their fruit is distinguished by pear-shaped and green skin.


Growing Kadota Figs

Kadota Figs flourish in regions with a Mediterranean-like climate. They thrive in USDA hardiness zones seven through nine.


These varieties cherish sandy, loamy, well-drained soil and need ample sun exposure for at least six to eight hours daily for optimal growth.


What Does Kadota Fig Taste Like?

Kadota Figs are known for their honeyed, mild sweetness, making them desirable for fresh consumption. These figs are usually enjoyed in preserves. You can also consume them fresh or dried.


The Kadota Figs are also a versatile addition to the charcuterie boards, desserts, and salads, where their sweet but subtle flavor adds a delightful touch.


Related: Fig Tree Lifespan


11. LSU Purple Fig Tree


Identification Features

A Ficus carica cultivar, the LSU Purple Figs are easily identified by their dark green, deeply lobed leaves. Their fruit matures to a deep, glossy, purple color when ripe.


Growing LSU Purple Fig

LSU Purple Figs thrive in humid and warm climates. They are best suited for USDA hardiness zones seven through ten. You must plant them in loamy, well-drained soil.


The LPU Purple Fig trees need full sun exposure, typically between six and eight hours of direct sun daily, for optimal growth.


What Does LSU Purple Fig Taste Like?

LSU Purple fig tree varieties are esteemed for their sweet, rich flavor with subtle berry undertones. They have a unique taste and are usually enjoyed in preserves.


People also consume them fresh or as additions to different culinary creations, such as cheese pairings, salads, or desserts. Their sweet and bold flavor profile lends well to plenty of culinary applications.