The Elephant ear fig tree, scientifically known as Ficus auriculata, is an attractive legume that grows 20-30 feet tall and features unusual royal purple flowers. The tree's fruits are harvested for their sweet flavor and are commonly consumed by humans. In addition to its culinary uses, the tree is known for its medicinal properties, and its oil is used in herbal remedies.
This small tree prefers full sun to semi-shade and requires regular watering, but is otherwise easy to grow and is often used as an ornamental due to its spectacular foliage. It is also salt-tolerant, making it ideal for seaside locations. While it grows best in USDA Zone 9-11, it can be grown in a pot as long as the water and soil are kept moist.
The fruits of the elephant ear fig tree are not only delicious, but also offer several health benefits. Rich in dietary fibers, antioxidants, and essential vitamins, they can be eaten raw or used in recipes such as jellies, jams, and juices. Even the leaves of the tree contain vitamins and minerals and can be used to make tea. This small tree can produce up to 2000 fruits a year, making it a great addition to any garden.