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Q.Why are figs on a Ficus carica not edible, and how toxic are they please?

Zone Lowestoft UK | Anonymous added on August 6, 2019 | Answered

Recently my wife bought a Ficus Carica Mediterra fig plant at a flower show and the label says “for decoration and not for consumption” which we didn’t realize at the time. We assumed the figs would be edible. Why is the fruit of this particular fig inedible and how poisonous are they please?

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Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on August 7, 2019

The Ficus family is quite large, but Ficus carica is the edible fig, though I couldn't find any information on a 'Mediterra' variety. The leaves on your fig don't look as deeply lobed as the edible variety. Since yours is ornamental, it may not produce any fruit. And if the tag says not for consumption, I surely would not eat it. The latex from the unripe fruit and leaves can be very irritating to the skin. Workers wear gloves when handling the fruit.

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