Biblical fig tree in Kerala

We worked in the same newspaper years back. Then we lost touch as we changed jobs. As years rolled by we had forgotten that the other existed. And the other day he found me on Facebook and mailed me. That’s the way Ignatius Pereira, presently a senior correspondent with The Hindu, found me.

Having come to know of my interest in plants, he sent me an interesting item on a fig tree of the kind mentioned in the Bible, and now growing and fruiting in Kollam district.


fig tree

Growing luxuriantly at Kallar, a plantation belt within the Shendurney Wildlife Sanctuary in Kollam district of Kerala, the Mediterranean or common fig tree (ficus carica Moraceae) is mentioned time and again in the Bible and is the subject of much theological discussion and interpretation. It abundantly bears fruits which makes it an attractive sight for visitors.
Standing as a fine shade tree on the edge of an open ground in the midst of a rich clove estate it was planted by late Jacob Thaliyath, owner of the estate, who brought the sapling from West Asia many years ago. The exotic plant has adapted itself well to the tropical forest situation of Kallar region. Having grown into a sturdy tree it has started bearing fruits. The fruits flower in a brownish green hue and ripen to the size of apples sporting a purple hue.
Renju Thaliyath, the present owner of the estate, says they often enjoy the figs as a fine succulent meal.



4 thoughts on “Biblical fig tree in Kerala

  1. Rajesh

    Manthuruthy.P.O, Kottayam Dist, Kerala State,India.
    Ph: 0091 – 09495234232,
    For Very Good Varieties of Fruit Plants (Grafted, Bud and Seedling)

    Fruit Tree List

    1 African Pista
    2 Anona
    3 Avocado
    4 Bananas
    5 Bankok Chamba
    6 Baraba
    7 Bilumbi
    8 Bread Fruit (Sheema Chakka)
    9 Canistel Fruit (Egg Fruit)
    10 Cashew
    11 Cherimoya (Mullatha)
    12 Cherry
    13 Citrus Tree (Naarakam)
    14 Cocoa
    15 Custard Apple (Aatha)
    16 Elantha Fruit
    17 Gooseberry (Nelli)
    18 Granadilla (Passion Fruit)
    19 Guava
    20 Iranian Fig
    21 Jack Fruit
    22 Jamaican Star Fruit
    23 Jambul, Java Plum (Njavel)
    24 Jujube
    25 Karambola
    26 Kokam
    27 Lemon Tree (Naarakam)
    28 Loveloy
    29 Lychee
    30 Malay Apple (Chamba)
    31 Malaysian Durian
    32 Malaysian Filosan
    33 Malaysian Rambutan
    34 Mango Tree (10 Varieties)
    35 Mexican Chamba
    36 Mosambi
    37 Mulberry
    38 Noni
    39 Nutmeg (Jaathi)
    40 Orange
    41 Papaya
    42 Passion Fruit (Violet, Yellow)
    43 Persimmon
    44 Pomegranate Fruit (Mathala Naarakam)
    45 Pummelo (Kambili Naarakam)
    46 Sapote
    47 Soursop (Mullatha)
    48 Star Apple
    49 Strawberry
    50 Sugar Apple (Aatha)
    51 Surinam Cherry
    52 Sweet Mangosteen
    53 Sweet Tamarind
    54 Thailand Langsat
    55 Tree Tomato
    56 Ugli Fruit (Kambili Naarakam)
    57 Water Apple (Chamba)
    58 West Indian Cherry

    Nuts and Spices

    1 African Pista
    2 Black Pepper
    3 Cardamom (Elakka)
    4 Cashew
    5 Cinnamon (Karuva Patta)
    6 Clove (Grambu)
    7 Curry Leaves
    8 Garcinia Cambogia (Kudam Puli)
    9 Nutmeg (Jaathikka)
    10 Tamarind
    11 Turmeric

    Rajesh Karapalli
    Alan Gardens
    Manthuruthy.P.O, Kottayam Dist
    Kerala State, India.
    0091 – 09495234232

  2. Well, fig trees had been there in kerala in the olden days. Known as അത്തി in malayalam ( interestingly, very similiar to its arabic name, “Al-Teen “.) I think over a time these trees became uncommon like many other trees.

    Good to see the Nice photo of fig tree.

    Probably one day I will also plant a fig tree in my compuond!


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