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Holy Grail of Fig Trees - Sycamore Fig Tree (fig-mulberry) Ficus sycomorus

Northern Tanzania Locality

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  • Item # 2788329
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Description

Thriving young seedling tree.  This is northern Tanzania locality, Ficus sycomorus, the sycamore fig or the fig-mulberry (because the leaves resemble those of the mulberry), a fig species that has been cultivated since ancient times. Native to central Africa, it was brought to Egypt and cultivated there in large quantities as fruit bearing tree. Some believe you can force the syconium to ripen by gently slicing the skin at a certain stage in development. 

In the Bible, the sycomore is referred to seven times in the Old Testament [Hebrew שקמה shiqmah) and once in the New Testament (Greek: συκομoραία sykomoraia or συκομορέα sykomorea). Though it was not as common in Palestine, the sycomore was a very popular and valuable fruit tree. The Tree of the Virgin" at Matariya where the Holy Family visited and stayed under its shadow, still survives as one of the most important historical places in Cairo; At that spot Jesus created a well, blessed it, and drank from it. Mary also bathed Jesus from the water of it and in the place where she poured out the water grew a balsam tree. The tree is now used for the preparation of the chrism or holy Myron.

This variety is very hard to come by in the US. I haven't found it advertised anywhere. This is my only Sycamore fig tree available at this time.

Per online info Hardy to USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 °C (25 °F), & USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 °C (30 °F). My largest specimen sat under my porch (protected from frost) and experienced temperatures below 30°F showing signs of stress but no leaf drop.

Some of you may know me in Arizona, I've been collecting and raising rare Ficus species for about a decade, fruiting fig tree varieties, as well as other plants and trees. I've had multiple fantastic transactions on fig bid, it really is a fantastic website to share ficus. I'm a member on ourfigs, generally as an observer so best to contact me on here.

Greg Knoell