MYSORE FIG

Also Known As
ENGLISH:
Brown-Woolly Fig [1,6]
Hairy Fig, Red Fig [1]
Mysore Fig
INDIA:
- Marathi: बुराली वड Burali-Wad
- Tamil: Sonnai-ala, Kal-ala
- Malayalam: ചെലാ Chela
- Kannada: Goni-Mara
SYNONYMS
:
Ficus drupacea var. pubescens
Ficus mysorensis [a commonly used species name found in many publication to date]
Ficus mysorensis var. pubescens
Ficus mysorensis var. subrepanda
Ficus payapa
Ficus pilosa
ETYMOLOGY: "The species name drupacea means fleshy fruit, which refers to the fact that the figs look like fleshy fruits." [6] 


Order:   Rosales
Family:   Moraceae
Genus:    Ficus
Species: drupacea

Florida s

Edible Parts
Fruit Caution
Animal Interaction
Bird
Other Uses
Mug Medicinal Ferment Dynamic accumulator Ornamental Cordage
I have not seen many of these gargantuan trees during my travels across Florida, but when I do, I sure remember meeting them. Between the massive spread of the crown, the large aboveground root system, the large prolific fruits that drop to the ground, and the unusually hairy underside of the leaves, this species is spectacular. You will find them in the warmer parts of the state. Contrary to what many websites claim, the fruits are quite edible and make a delicious, albeit unusually-flavored jelly. In India, they are consumed raw and made into a wine. The state champion tree is located in Estero. You can visit the property owner's proud website, mysorefigtree dot com, and even pop by to visit the tree. These folks often have some Mysore Fig jelly to sample... yum. The second largest tree in the state may be seen at the Ford-Edison Estate in Fort Myers. The roots have medicinal uses, and the wood, fibers, and latex have other uses.



CAUTION: Know the mature size of this massive tree before planting. The root system will grow to over 100' in diameter and raise sidewalks no problemo. The large amounts of fruit fall to the ground, which I would love to gather and make into jelly, but some would find too much to handle. They ferment on the ground and attract many insects and animals if not gathered almost daily in season. Still, I would love to see more of these beauties planted in warmer parts of the state.  
EDIBLE FRUITS: The University of Florida writes,  “The fruits are bitter in taste and not edible.” [1] On the other hand, Plant Resources of Southeast Asia list the fruit as being consumed raw, being "rather tasteless." Also, mysorefigtree.com  says that the two inch long fruits are edible and are made into jelly when they are “purple or black” and soft. [2] “People in India use the figs mainly in winemaking but have been known to make jelly from them also.” [2] mysorefigtree.com writes, “We in Estero [Florida] have invented a process to bring out the natural flavor of the fruit through a juicing process. We then use the juice to make excellent jelly. This jelly is not like any you have had in the past as its flavor is very unusual. People have different ideas of what it tastes like. They range from strawberry to grape to honey but all find it a very smooth, sweet, clean tasting jelly. If you are in the area come by and give it a try. We offer free samples to anyone that would like to try it.” [2] - IN DRINKS: I feel that we should experiment with these ripe fruits by adding them to juices and fruit-added ferments such as kombucha.
MEDICINAL ROOTS: The roots are an effective vulnerary when powdered and applied to wounds. [Plant Resources of Southeast Asia] 
ANIMAL FEED: “The San Diego Zoo uses this species as browse for Zoo primates whenever it is available; its fruits are offered to hatchlings in their Avian Propagation Center.” [2] 
USEFUL LATEX: “It is said that latex can be made from the leaves when they are at a certain stage.” [2] 
USEFUL WOOD: “I have been told that the wood is excellent for woodworking because of it dense features.” [2]
USEFUL FIBERS: "A fibre is obtained from the bark." [Plant Resources of Southeast Asia] 

More Details

NATIVE TO: Mysore, India [2] "E. Asia - Southern China, Indian subcontinent, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam,. Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, New Guinea, Australia, Solomon Isles." [5]
DESCRIPTION: Evergreen, “upward branching”  tree. [1] “Mostly with numerous buttressed trunks and large horizontal surface roots.” [1]
- HEIGHT: Reported in the wilds of India to 120' tall.
In the warmest parts of Florida it should reach 100' tall, and a crown spread of To 150’ or more. A tree in Hawaii is “about 75’ tall” with “a crown spread of 125.’ ” [2] A tree in Fort Myers, at the Ford-Edison Estate, is 105’ tall, with a crown spread of 116.’ [2] The Florida state tree is in Estero, and is 100’ tall, with a crown spread of 104’. [2]
- FEW OR NO PROP ROOTS: IFAS writes, “No aerial nor prop roots.”  [1] “Prop roots not numerous or present in most cases.” [1]
- TWIGS: Short bristly red-brown hairs on young stout twigs]. Old twigs become gray and nearly hairless.
- STIPULES: Deciduous, paired, convolute. Dark pubescent when dormant. Rustic colored when opening then mostly 3.0-5.0 inches long.
- LEAVES: Blade: Entire, slightly obovate to elliptical. Large, usually 6.0-10/12” long and 5.0-6.0” wide, the surface is puberulent when young, but glossy, glabrous and dark green when mature. Apex: Gradually acute, abruptly long-pointed. Base: Slightly notched or rounded. Petiole: Stout, 0.25 inch thick, and mostly 1.0-3.0 inches long, pubescent when young, puberulent when mature. The "owners" of the state champion tree in Estero write, "Once a year usually in February/March there is a two to three week period in which all the leaves will fall from the tree." [2]
- FRUITS: “These start out green then change to yellow, orange, red, purple and finally [ochre-yellow], red, or] black.” [2] Axillary, sessile, large oblong, paired or single. Covered by bristly red, or orange-red hairs, or smooth and hairless. About 2.0 [to 2.5”] [2] inches long and 1.25” [to 1.5”] [2] in diameter. Fruits present much of the year but abundant in the summer when they litter the ground beneath a tree.” [1] It “will have a major crop twice a year. One crop will usually be May/June and the other November/December.” [2]
A SACRED TREE IN INDIA: “The people of India are very religious and worship this tree. The older people will build benches around the tree so they can sit under the tree to worship it.” [2]
CULTURE:
- RATE OF GROWTH: Fast. [2]
- PROPAGATION: “Palomar College in San Marcos, California has been able to propagate the Mysore Fig tree from cuttings.” [2] By seed in it's native regions. [5]
VISIT THE FLORIDA STATE CHAMPION TREE IN ESTERO: Fruit of the Earth, 9011 Broadway Ave. East, Estero, FL 33928 [mysorefigtree dot com] 


Fruiting Calendar
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Habitat
Cultivated in well drained places
Native?
Non-Native


Plant Form
Woody Evergreen Perennial Overstory Tree
Height
100 feet
Width
150 feet
Root type
Fibrous Root
Rate of Growth
Fast


Hardiness Zone
10a to 11b
Ease of growth
Easy
Light
Part Sun Full Sun
Soil
Well-Drained
Spacing
50 feet


When to Harvest
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References

[1] IFAS, University of Florida Extension 
[2] mysorefigtree.com 
[3] Wikispecies 
[4] theplantlist.org 
[5] Useful Tropical Plants [tropical.theferns.inf] 
[6] Flowers of India 
[7] Wikipedia 
Last Updated: October 28, 2017