This spring I hope to plant my first fig tree. I found one that is supposed to be hardy to zone 4. I have never eaten a fig (unless you count Fig Newtons), and I have no experience personally yet with this plant. I have seen the fruit (once, in a health food store) when it was dried, but I’ve seen only photos of fresh figs. I assume the fresh fruit is too delicate to transport to supermarket shelves. All of this means that my understanding of figs is superficial at this point.
However, I do know that the related ficus houseplant can be braided into interesting forms when young and pliable, then it grows to hold those forms with age. (Comment from Lila: Nice. Similar to the resilient orange tree branches in this respect. Fig is for yoga students and teachers in its quality of flexibility.)
Immigrants to the U.S. used to bring fig twigs with them on ships crossing the Atlantic. Then after months in transit, they were able to stick those twigs in the ground and wait for them to root. Thus figs are incredibly adaptable, able to withstand a great deal and survive. The only other tree I’m aware of that can do this is willow, a traditional painkiller (containing salicin, inspiration for pharmaceutical aspirin) that can be used to help root the cuttings other plants. So one could theorize that Fig, as a fruiting plant, may also be useful in helping anyone who eats that fruit (birds, mammals, bugs) to survive harsh circumstances and adapt to their surroundings.
Fig has a reputation for being sweet yet hardy, easily portable the next time you’re trekking across the desert on a camel and need a convenient energy source. I’LL REMEMBER THAT ON MY NEXT TREK! The fruit forms in the shape of a drop, like a candy treat, and like a big, soft teardrop. VERY KEEN INSIGHT. This makes me think it could be classified as a nutritive demulcent (sweetly softening and fortifying).
The fruit itself is soft, and the colors can be soft browns, light caramels and dusty rose. Everything about the fig fruit seems to suggest soft comfort.