Growing "Ice Crystal" Figs from Seeds

I am sure it is easy; but will it grow true to type? And also, someone sells seeds of Ice Crystal Fig on Etsy, is it really variety which can be reproduced by seeds? Thanks

Any particular reason you want to start from seeds? With rooted cuttings you can get fruit the same year - from seeds I hear it can take several years.

No. Grown for foliage. Much better eating figs out there. A cutting to get the same plant. It could be a male plant from seed. Half will be. What male was it crossed with? No it is impossible for it to be true to type. There are many male figs out there and all have an influence on offspring.

Just for fun I want to play with seeds to see maybe some variations; I am just unsure about this particular Ice Crystal it could be “cultivar” (or hybrid) which cannot be propagated by seeds, and it could be real variety passing genes by seeds; not sure about figs

I already have potted Ice Crystal, bought this year; in 7-Gal fabrics pot

NOTE: Ice Crystal Fig ‘documented’ as needing wasp from California in order to produce fruit, so male vs. female… I am in Ontario

To answer about Ice Crystal seeds, most likely they will not germinate unless the seller is overseas (in which case import would require a permit and the package may be confiscated by the USDA) or California. Aside from hand pollination a specialized wasp is the only thing that pollinates figs, most varieties sold do not require pollination to set fruit and have hollow seeds that will not grow.

If you do want to grow something like Ice Crystal from seed, then you could buy dried persian figs and try growing seeds from those figs. They should be close to true to type, because they are truly wild and the population is close to what you would call a “land race” where the males are closely related to the females over many generations so their DNA is more similar than cultivated figs. But best case scenario, only 25% of the seeds will be females that do not require pollination, they could all need pollination in fact, or all could be males. Without knowing the pollen parent it is impossible to know the odds.

I’ve gotten lots of variation from seeds, some are like the mother though, and some traits are more dominant than others. For instance, all seedlings from Negretta have red petioles. It was quite a bit of work to raise a male that did not need pollination and produce seeds from known parents, and I’m still not 100% sure of what I’m going to get as far as pollination requirements, it is a bit of a mysterious subject.


Ice Crystal fig is Smyrna type. I am just beginner. Will “Smyrna” (male) fruits be on the same plant? I believe figs mostly are ‘bisexual’, at least this is what I’ve seen since childhood, two different types of figs inSpring and in Fall. On the same plant.

Wasp from California just triggers producing female-fruit, doesn’t really pollinate. This is interesting article about Carnivorous figs:
Carnivorous Figs: The Relationship Between Wasps and Figs

Another quote:

“Some commercial growers place baskets of caprifigs, along with the fig wasps that the small caprifigs are hosting, near their Smyrna fig trees to ensure that pollination will take place.”

My main question was… is Ice Crystal “cultivar” (hybrid, sport, etc.) or “variety” (true to type if grown from seeds)? And also this seller on Etsy, I believe he resells seeds from somewhere else, very expensive.

WHat I found is this: Smyrna types will produce fruit only when there is wild Caprifig nearby and Blastophaga wasp (although I’ve read some people use trick with toothpick and olive oil to trigger fruit production)

Therefore, “babies” will always be “hybrids” for Smyrna type? (perhaps if I plant thousand seeds I may get few similar to “mother” babies)

Yes. And for common types too, they can be pollinated too.
I agree what HB said too. All my figs produce seed, all of the seeds are hollow, but some give a nice seed crunch when you eat them.
It would be a fun experiment and yes some would be close, maybe even better looking.
Some of the plants I have seen from seed are cool looking. One produced these giant finger leaves, very cool. I currently only have one seedling. I like to grow stuff from seed.
I did have one grow from Turkish dried figs. And it turned out to be common even. But it’s not special in looks and taste of the figs. I’m going to cull it. Started another from a guy in California who used only premium figs. It was 2 year old seed and only one germinated.
I call it Orphan fig. The leaves are huge on this little tyke!

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I think the term you’re looking for is bifara (not bisexual) and unifera. The former means 2 crops (breba & main) and the later just mean 1 crop (main) per season.

Smyrna types are female fig trees that will only produce edible figs when pollinated. They can’t produce figs with pollen (male fruits as you call it).
Caprifigs are male fig trees that produces inedible figs (there are exceptions) and whose profichi crop, are figs with pollen.

In order for viable seeds to form inside a fig, pollination must take place.


Good job, I hate all the fancy names, I pretty much refuse to use them. But you’re correct. A lot of false info you corrected.

If the mother is Smyrna, that isn’t supposed to matter, it is the male that carries the gene for persistence, according to the literature. If the pollen parent carries the gene for persistence then half of the seedlings should be persistent, if not then none of them will. But even Smyrnas can ripen some fruit without pollination, so it may not be an all or nothing situation.

Males are actually hermaphrodites, which means they can pollinate each other, seedlings that have 2 caprifig parents can therefore have 2 male genes, and that means that all of the seedlings they produce will be male. Raising a thousands seeds is a lot of work, you would not want to do it without knowing what you should expect.

@Drew51 Orphan is already a named fig, it came out of the UCD breeding program.

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Darn! OK Cofig 19, it grew up in isolation. It’s continuing to grow!