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All About the Sensational Black Mission Fig

Figs are often considered simply a snack wrapped in a sugary batter in the grocery store. But this versatile fruit has long been the star of many main meals, salads, side dishes, and desserts!

Read on to learn how this variety of fig looks and tastes and how you can incorporate this yummy fruit into your diet. And with two harvests per year, you’ll want to consider growing a fig tree!

Purchase Black Mission Fig starter plants to plant on your property!

Close up view of full fresh black mission figs and split ones in a small brown pot on the left side on colorful background

Origins of the Black Mission Fig Tree

The Black Mission fig has been grown in the U.S. longer than America has had its independence!

Franciscan friars brought the fig to California in 1768. Those same early friars continued to cultivate it. It eventually became the largest commercial variety of figs in California.

Because of its origins with the Franciscan friars, it is commonly called the Franciscan Fig.

Description and Taste

A black mission fig sliced in half to show the inside of the fruit.  The halves are propped up against a whole, uncut fig to show the exterior of the fruit.

This yummy fruit is known for its distinctly dark purple skin, which can be borderline black, with a strawberry-hued interior. This coloring, combined with a soft texture, means they’re ripe and ready to be eaten!

This tree is known for its beauty, making it a great addition to any property. Its large signature leaves have been compared to tropical leaves, providing plenty of shade.

The taste of this variety of fig is sweet and rich and has been compared to eating the dessert crème brûlée. Their moist and chewy texture makes them perfect for eating raw or cooked. These figs are sometimes said to have a hint of a berry flavor.

Seasons and Availability

The Black Mission fig is hard to find in most grocery stores. Growing your own is one way to ensure you will always have them on hand! However, high demand makes you unlikely to find starter plants at the local nursery.

Despite this, you can purchase four live plants on Amazon.

These figs can be grown on the coast or inland and are considered one of the highest quality figs grown within the U.S. They can be harvested in both spring and the early fall.

They can be grown outdoors or in a container with proper care and are considered an everbearing variety of fruit when planted in the right climate.

Ways to Savor the Black Mission Fig

With its sweet flavor, there are countless ways for you to enjoy eating the Black Mission fig!

Chop or puree them in desserts, cook them on the grill, or add them to your next charcuterie board! These figs are also easily dehydrated. Or they can be frozen for up to a year. Another popular way to enjoy this fig is by canning them or turning them into preserves.

Host the perfect meal with this Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Fig, Prosciutto, and Sage Butter Stuffing recipe! These figs make a spotlight appearance in this classic, yummy main dish. It will leave your family asking for more.

Try this Warm Quinoa Salad with Fresh Figs, Walnuts, and Capers for a lighter meal. The sweetness of the figs pairs excellently with the crunch of the nuts and earthy grains. Make it your own by adding some of your other favorite vegetables!

When it’s time for dessert, try the Honey-Baked Black Mission Figs with Orange and Ginger! This delicious confection is fantastic.

Grow Your Own Black Mission Fig Tree

The great news about this fig is that the trees are easy to grow. Once established, they require little care, with minimal pruning and fertilizing needed.

When planting your tree, do so in well-drained soil in a spot where it will get good air circulation. Be sure the tree receives full or partial shade, with at least 4 hours of sunshine daily.

To plant several trees together, plant them approximately 5 feet apart.

Once established, these trees need little supplemental watering and are drought-resistant. The trees can grow up to 30 ft in height. The years to bear fruit are one.

The best part about the Black Mission fig tree is that it produces two yearly harvests! The spring and the early fall. This tree loves to produce fruit!

These trees also grow well in containers in the northern regions, where the winters are a bit colder. Their height is easily controlled when grown in a container. You can bring the plant into an unheated garage or unheated porch in the wintertime. However, do not bring them inside a heated area. They do need winter dormancy.

When watering, use the finger test to determine if they need to be watered. This is done by sticking your finger into the soil up to the 2nd knuckle. Does it feel dry? Time to water! If it’s still moist, then skip watering that day.

In early spring, do a renewal prune by removing dead branches and thick or old stems.

Frequently Asked Questions

Side view of black mission figs in a small brown pot on the right side on blue background

Is there a benefit to growing a Black Mission fig tree on my property?

There is! If you wish to keep your property clear of bigger wilderness animals, these trees are deer resistant. However, they are great for attracting songbirds! Grab your binoculars and do some bird-watching while your figs grow.

Are there any nutritional benefits to eating the Black Mission fig?

Absolutely. These figs have potassium, minerals like magnesium, Vitamin C, and other important B Vitamins, and a healthy amount of fiber! You can rest easy knowing you’re meeting your health goals with this sweet and delicious fruit.

Enjoy the Black Mission Fig

Now that you’re equipped with everything there is to know about the Black Mission fig, it’s up to you to get creative and add them to your diet or garden! How will you eat it?

To learn more about fig trees, from how to grow them to the different types, visit our Fig Tree page!