Ficus carica - L.
Common Fig
Other English Common Names: Edible Fig
Other Common Names: edible fig
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Ficus carica L. (TSN 19093)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.134667
Element Code: PDMOR0A020
Informal Taxonomy: Plants, Vascular - Flowering Plants - Mulberry Family
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Plantae Anthophyta Dicotyledoneae Urticales Moraceae Ficus
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Concept Reference
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Concept Reference: Kartesz, J.T. 1994. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. 2nd edition. 2 vols. Timber Press, Portland, OR.
Concept Reference Code: B94KAR01HQUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Ficus carica
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: GNR
Global Status Last Changed: 22Mar1994
Rounded Global Status: GNR - Not Yet Ranked
Nation: United States
National Status: NNA
Nation: Canada
National Status: NNA (19Sep2016)

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
United States Alabama (SNA), California (SNA), District of Columbia (SNA), Florida (SNA), Georgia (SU), Kentucky (SNA), Louisiana (SNA), Maryland (SNA), Massachusetts (SNR), Michigan (SNA), Mississippi (SNA), New York (SNA), North Carolina (SNA), Pennsylvania (SNA), South Carolina (SNA), Tennessee (SNA), Texas (SNA), Virginia (SNA)
Canada Ontario (SNA)

Other Statuses

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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U.S. States and Canadian Provinces

Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
Color legend for Distribution Map
NOTE: The distribution shown may be incomplete, particularly for some rapidly spreading exotic species.

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States ALexotic, CAexotic, DCexotic, FLexotic, GA, KYexotic, LAexotic, MA, MDexotic, MIexotic, MSexotic, NCexotic, NYexotic, PAexotic, SCexotic, TNexotic, TXexotic, VAexotic
Canada ONexotic

Range Map
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Ecology & Life History Not yet assessed
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Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
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Management Summary Not yet assessed
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Population/Occurrence Delineation Not yet assessed
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Population/Occurrence Viability
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U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank)
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Disclaimer: While I-Rank information is available over NatureServe Explorer, NatureServe is not actively developing or maintaining these data. Species with I-RANKs do not represent a random sample of species exotic in the United States; available assessments may be biased toward those species with higher-than-average impact.

I-Rank: Medium
Rounded I-Rank: Medium
I-Rank Reasons Summary: Dependent on a host-specific pollinator, Ficus carica has negative effects over only a limited portion of the entire range (CA). There is great potential for F. carica to become a serious problem in HI if the pollinator is introduced.
Subrank I - Ecological Impact: Medium/Low
Subrank II - Current Distribution/Abundance: Medium
Subrank III - Trend in Distribution/Abundance: High/Medium
Subrank IV - Management Difficulty: High/Medium
I-Rank Review Date: 19May2004
Evaluator: Fellows, M.
Native anywhere in the U.S?
Native Range: Native to Tropical and Temperate Asia, Northern Africa (Weber 2003), probably originally around Arabia (Bossard et al. 2000).

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Screening Questions

S-1. Established outside cultivation as a non-native? YES
Comments: (Kartesz 1999).

S-2. Present in conservation areas or other native species habitat? Yes
Comments: Invaded many nature preserves and parks in CA (Bossard et al. 2000).

Subrank I - Ecological Impact: Medium/Low

1. Impact on Ecosystem Processes and System-wide Parameters:Low significance/Insignificant
Comments: Not reported to have ecosystem-level effects, therefore inferred to be a low or insignificant rank.

2. Impact on Ecological Community Structure:Low significance
Comments: Up to 10 m tall, with multiple trunks, forms dense thickets (Weber 2003).

3. Impact on Ecological Community Composition:Medium/Low significance
Comments: Displaces native trees and shrubs while the dense shade prevents establishment of native plants (Weber 2003). The fig wasp was also introduced to pollinate the flowers (Bossard et al. 2000).

4. Impact on Individual Native Plant or Animal Species:Unknown

5. Conservation Significance of the Communities and Native Species Threatened:Moderate significance
Comments: Invades and dominates riparian forests, streamside habitats and man-made water features (Bossard et al. 2000). Riparian forests are rare in CA, 95% have been converted to cropland (Bossard et al. 2000).

Subrank II. Current Distribution and Abundance: Medium

6. Current Range Size in Nation:High significance
Comments: Throughout the southeast including TX, north to NY and MI, also CA (Kartesz 1999).

7. Proportion of Current Range Where the Species is Negatively Impacting Biodiversity:Low significance
Comments: So far, Ficus carica is not having negative impacts in HI because of no reproduction, as the result of the host-specific pollinator not being present, however, negative impacts are assoicated with Ficus carica infestions in California (Bossard et al. 2000; Starr et al. 2003).

8. Proportion of Nation's Biogeographic Units Invaded:High significance
Comments: Potentially occurs in more than 40 ecoregions - inferred from Kartesz (1999) and TNC (2001).

9. Diversity of Habitats or Ecological Systems Invaded in Nation:Moderate significance
Comments: Riparian habitats, forests, disturbed sites (Weber 2003). Riparian areas, coastal flats, coastal scrub (Bossard et al. 2000).

Subrank III. Trend in Distribution and Abundance: High/Medium

10. Current Trend in Total Range within Nation:Medium/Low significance
Comments: Rapidly expanding local stands (Bossard et al. 2000), usually in naturally disturbed sites.

11. Proportion of Potential Range Currently Occupied:Medium significance/Insignificant
Comments: In HI, widely planted, but not escaped (Starr et al. 2003). Invasive in mild, warm, temperate climates along river corridors (Starr et al. 2003). Inferred from current distribution (Kartesz 1999).

12. Long-distance Dispersal Potential within Nation:High/Moderate significance
Comments: Seeds are dispersed by birds (Weber 2003) and people - cultivated for fruit (Bossard et al. 2000).

13. Local Range Expansion or Change in Abundance:High significance
Comments: Rapidly expanding local stands (Bossard et al. 2000).

14. Inherent Ability to Invade Conservation Areas and Other Native Species Habitats:High/Low significance
Comments: Invades and dominates riparian forests, streamside habitats and man-made water features (Bossard et al. 2000). Was found in pristine oak riparan forest on the Cosumnes River Preserve (Bossard et al. 2000) however this population appears to have been eliminated (Starr et al. 2003). On the East Coast, Ficus carica is "persistent after cultivation" (Radford 1968).

15. Similar Habitats Invaded Elsewhere:High/Low significance
Comments: Escaped and established in Australia, maybe in Europe, southern Africa and the Atlantic Islands (Weber 2003).

16. Reproductive Characteristics:Moderate significance
Comments: Fast growing, spreads vegetatively (Bossard et al. 2000; Weber 2003) and may begin to produce fruit 2 to 3 years post germination (Bossard et al. 2000). Non-cultivated plants rarely produce many fruit and seeds need to be removed from fruit to germinate (Bossard et al. 2000). May produce viable fruit 2 to 3 times a year (Bossard et al. 2000). May produce up to 1600 seeds per fruit (Morton 1987).

Subrank IV. General Management Difficulty: High/Medium

17. General Management Difficulty:High/Moderate significance
Comments: Resprouts vigorously after cutting, may eventually exhaust stores by repeated cuttings, chemcial control only effective over several years (Weber 2003). After repeated cuttings and treatments with herbicides, plants still alive (Bossard et al. 2000). Cuttings may resprout making Ficus carica very difficult to control (Bossard et al. 2000; Starr et al. 2003).

18. Minimum Time Commitment:High/Low significance
Comments: Resprouts vigorously after cutting, may eventually exhaust stores by repeated cuttings, chemcial control only effective over several years (Weber 2003). After repeated cuttings and treatments with herbicides, plants still alive (Bossard et al. 2000). Cuttings may resprout making Ficus carica very difficult to control (Bossard et al. 2000; Starr et al. 2003).

19. Impacts of Management on Native Species:High/Moderate significance
Comments: Often grows as an epiphyte on other trees, which means that you cannot control it without damage to host tree (Starr et al. 2003).

20. Accessibility of Invaded Areas:High/Low significance
Comments: This is the edible fruit producing tree which is widely cultivated for fruit (Bossard et al. 2000). Often trees grow in out of reach or on difficult terrain (Starr et al. 2003).
Authors/Contributors
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Botanical data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs), The North Carolina Botanical Garden, and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

References
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  • Bossard, C.C., J.M. Randall, and M. Hoshovsky. (eds.) 2000. Invasive Plants of California's Wildlands. University of California Press, Berkeley, CA.

  • Flora of North America Editorial Committee. 1997. Flora of North America north of Mexico. Vol. 3. Magnoliophyta: Magnoliidae and Hamamelidae. Oxford Univ. Press, New York. xxiii + 590 pp.

  • Kartesz, J.T. 1994. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. 2nd edition. 2 vols. Timber Press, Portland, OR.

  • Kartesz, J.T. 1999. A synonymized checklist and atlas with biological attributes for the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. First edition. In: Kartesz, J.T., and C.A. Meacham. Synthesis of the North American Flora, Version 1.0. North Carolina Botanical Garden, Chapel Hill, N.C.

  • Little, E.L., Jr. 1979. Checklist of United States trees (native and naturalized). Agriculture Handbook No. 541. U.S. Forest Service, Washington, D.C. 375 pp.

  • Morton, J. 1987. Fruits of warm climates. Miami, FL

  • Radford, A.E., H.E. Ahles, and C.R. Bell. 1968. Manual of the vascular flora of the Carolinas. Univ. North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill, NC. 1183 pp.

  • Starr, F., K. Starr and L. Loope. 2003. Plants of Hawai'i Reports- Ficus carica. United States Geological Survey, Biological Resources Division. Haleakala Field Station, Maui, Hawaii. Online. http://www.hear.org/starr/hiplants/reports/html/ficus_carica.htm. Accessed 2/19/04.

  • The Nature Conservancy. 2001. Map: TNC Ecoregions of the United States. Modification of Bailey Ecoregions. Online . Accessed May 2003.

  • Weber, E. 2003. Invasive plant species of the world: a reference guide to environmental weeds. CABI Publishing, Cambridge, Massachusetts. 548 pp.

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