Fig Plants – Inedible

Q: I’ve become interested in figs. I seem to recall hearing that there are both edible and inedible figs. Is there any way to tell if a fig plant is inedible? Are the inedible ones poisonous?

A: Among the hundreds of species of “fig”, there are lots of inedible fig fruits. In fact, there are many more unpalatable fig species than edible ones. Even so, edible figs have been cultivated and consumed for thousands of years. If you have a fig that is hardy outdoors in Georgia, you’re growing an edible fig, probably ‘Celeste’ or ‘Brown Turkey’. In some years the fruit may stay hard and not ripen but I wouldn’t call it poisonous. There are dozens of less common but delicious figs that grow in Georgia. Fig expert Ray Givan hosts a fig website and sells a very informative booklet at
Rays Figs.