Fig Tree Leaf Identification

Overview

Fig trees provide sweet fresh fruit that you can eat fresh, roast, dry or cook into jams and chutneys. Figs have a sweet taste and gritty texture; they pair well with cheese and other savory foods. Identify fig trees by their leaves, which have been an iconic symbol since the Bible story of Adam and Eve covering their nudity with the leaves of this tree.

Color

Fig leaves are bright green in color. The leaves are hairy, with the top of the leaves having a coarser hair than the underside of the leaves.

Size

Fig leaves can grow up to 12 inches long. The leaves have three to seven main lobes; each lobe has one vein that connects to the center of the fig leaf.

Shape

Fig leaves can have jagged or wavy edges; some varieties have narrow teeth. They are staggered on the branch in an alternating arrangement.

Fall Color

Fig trees are deciduous, meaning they lose their leaves in the fall and have a dormant period over the winter, before new leaves appear. According to Arizona Cooperative Extension of Mohave County, a fig tree's leaves naturally yellow in the late fall before dropping. If a fig tree's leaves turn yellow before fall, this may mean the tree is not getting enough water.

Tree Size

Fig trees tend to be small and shrubby. They average 10 to 30 feet in height but can grow up to 50 feet.

Fruits

In both the spring and fall, fig trees bear fruits. The fruits grow along the branches and can often be found at the base of the leaf stems. Figs vary in color from white or green to black or deep purple. If you find figs growing, you're certainly looking at a fig tree.

Geography

Fig trees perform best in a temperate climate. Native to the Mediterranean region, figs grow throughout Asia, South America and the warmer southern states in North America. Expect to find fig trees in California, Texas, Louisiana, Florida, Alabama and as far north as Virginia.

Keywords: fig tree leaves, fig tree identification, fruit tree identification

About this Author

Based in Northern California, Elton Dunn is a freelance writer and nonprofit consultant with 14 years' experience. Dunn specializes in travel, food, business, gardening, education and the legal fields. His work has appeared in various print and online publications. Dunn holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing and a Bachelor of Arts in English.