I have this several year old fig tree, should be coming up on 6-7 years. It's about 18 feet tall perhaps, and for the last several years it has produced figs. They get tender on the skin but when I cut them open they're always full of dry things that look like seeds.

Is the plant still gearing up to produce fully ripe figs a few years down the road or did I get a dud?

Is this dry interior a fleeting phase or is this some kind of male/female tree thing?

What sort of figs do these appear to be?

figs uncut figs cut open close up figs cut open figs on the tree

2 Answers 2


I'm wondering where you got this fig plant from - the interior looks very like what's called a caprifig, which only produces inedible fruit. Its female flowers are host to a wasp which is the pollinator for other, edible figs. The male wasp never leaves the caprifig fruit, but the female, having laid her eggs, does leave, and in so doing, carries pollen with her. It's a complicated business, the way figs are fertilized, and its described here http://www.raysfigs.com/figsex.html. Fruits on a caprifig do ripen as usual, just as any other fig, but they are, as you've discovered, quite different internally.

If yours is a caprifig, it will be doing a good job fertilizing any other fig plants in the neighbourhood, but I'm sure that's of no comfort to you. Images of the interior of a profichi (means spring crop) caprifig, complete with wasp eggs in varying stages, are lower down in this thread https://figs4funforum.websitetoolbox.com/post/the-profichi-caprifig-7367621

  • It was a neighborhood salvage dig up. It just sprung up spontaneously along the sidewalk of a neighbor's fence down the street and I dug it up to save it since it was poking out of a bunch of ivy and would get the chop next time the landscapers cleaned up. There seems to be these small sliver shiny black bugs in some of the fruits. They're on the scale of ants but slimmer and more agile I want to say I'll study them closer next time as fig wasps. I never knew there were inedible figs. I wonder if I can graft an edible one into it.
    – jxramos
    Commented Jul 10, 2017 at 6:30
  • @jxramos: usually there is no need to graft figs. Just plant a new one. Figs plants are vigorous, dry-resistant and as far I know no specific root deceases, so grafting is just counter-productive. The plant seems just a "new variety", created by crossing various neighbor figs. Just a bad variety for human food. -- Note: It is better to just taking a branch from a good variety, it will root easily. Commented Jul 10, 2017 at 7:25
  • @jxramos ah, well the story of how you acquired it makes me even more sure its a caprifig - these do tend to pop up on their own, which is not the case with edible figs.
    – Bamboo
    Commented Jul 10, 2017 at 10:26
  • raysfigs.com seems not available anymore.
    – DarkTrick
    Commented Jan 21, 2023 at 2:52

It may be the variety of fig. My "Anna" has much less seeds and more soft tissue.

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