fig tree

A fig tree at Euston.

Trees of London


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              It was while seated beneath one of these trees, or a close relative, the Bodhi tree, over two and a half thousand years ago that Gautama Siddhartha received the enlightenment which gave birth to a new religion. He is more famously known as Buddha.

              The fig is so often found growing next to walls or railings that one would almost be forgiven for thinking that they need this extra type of support in order to grow. This is not the case; they do grow upright and support themselves.

              I believe that the fig tree is one of the easiest to identify. Its leaf is quite unique, being extra-large and lobed, and of course has been made famous by hundreds and hundreds of paintings, where it is used to maintain the modesty of nude subjects. When you see this leaf and its size, you quickly realize that it is more than able to perform this task, much more effective than an ample pair of underpants. The other distinguishing feature of the fig is its windy branches, which never reach a great height. They are also of a pale grey.

              On this site there are three fig trees; there are a few more on the opposite side of the road at the same place. It is often difficult to tell how many fig trees there are, because the branches sometimes do spring from under the ground like shoots. This is possibly why the fig tree is grown close to walls because you often give the strange effect of the tree growing on either side, with all the roots and sprouts, presumably, directly under the wall or fence.

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Other Trees at Euston

tree of heaven      horse chestnut      Turkey oak

ash      red oak      whitebeam


Tree Identification

Ficus Carica:

alternate; very large with pronounced lobes.

fig leaf
fruit from fig tree

nuts/fruit: purple shaped, edible fruit; quite common in shops, though in Britain they rarely ripen beyond the green.


not conspicuous.
fig bark bark:
smooth, grey.
grows to 10 metres; usually grown by walls and railings, though they are round when growing natuarlly
general: its leaf is famous for being used to maintain the modesty of nude subjects in classical paintings.

Behind the the two stone shed structures
which are either side of the entrance for buses,
there are examples on both sides.
There are several where map is makred in blue.

Trees of London        A James Wilkinson Publication ©