Ficus palmata 'Icebox'

Icebox Hardy Palmate Fig

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Item #: 13044

Zones: 7b to 9b, at least

Dormancy: Winter

Height: 360" tall

Culture: Sun to Part Sun

Origin: India

Pot Size: 3.5" pot (24 fl. oz/0.7 L)

We are excited by our 2017 Plant Delights/JLBG introduction of this new selection of the widespread Himalayan Punjab fig, Ficus palmata ssp. virgata, that's been incredible in our trials. Ficus 'Icebox' is a Plant Delights selection from a Chris Chadwell seed collection (CC6807) at 6,900' elevation in Kumaon, India. Although Ficus 'Icebox' is usually a dieback perennial in our climate, it survived 7 degrees F, unprotected, to re-grow to 12' tall x 18' wide the following summer. The large 1' long x 1' wide leaves, held along the very fuzzy stems, feel like sandpaper on the top and velvet on the back. Without a mild winter, we probably won't see the early spring-borne fruit this far north, but the quality of the small, purple-black, slightly astringent fruit is regarded as on par with Ficus carica. In fact, some taxonomists regard Ficus palmata as a possible ancient parent of our current edible fig. While the fruits can also be used as a laxative and bladder curative, we value Ficus palmata 'Icebox' more as a large, bold-leaf, tropical accent specimen for the warm temperate garden. In warmer climates, it can reach a whopping 30' tall, so plan more Ficus roxburghii envy for us!