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12-Mar-2016 03:19

The fig species discussed by Goor is the common edible fig (Ficus carica).This tree was cultivated for its fruit more than 5,000 years ago and is native to the region between the Mediterranean and Black Seas, sometimes referred to as the ancient region of Caria in Asia Minor.A note to fig biologists who might read this article.

There is also a parthenocarpic variety of sycomore fig (Ficus sycomorus) that bears ripe (edible), seedless fruit (syconia) without wasp pollination. It produces a heavy 2nd (main crop) late in the fall (October-November).It is a dioecious species with separate male and female trees, and a symbiotic pollinator wasp (Blastophaga psenes) that is propagated inside the fruits (syconia) of male trees called caprifigs.Then I expanded it to include figs in other parts of the world and fossil figs. The seed-bearing drupelets (nutlets) impart a superior nutty flavor to the fig newton (right).This is a very complicated subject, particularly the biology of fig pollination. The pollination process is accomplished by a minute, symbiotic wasp by the name of Blastophaga psenes Left: A dozen female Blastophaga psenes crammed into the ostiole of receptive profichi syconium of a caprifig. These winged female wasps came from the overwintering mamme crop on the caprifig tree.

This is similar to parthenocarpic varieties of the common fig (F. Left: 'Brown Turkey', a parthenocarpic variety (cultivar) of the common fig (Ficus carica). The syconia have a green outer skin and strawberry interior.

This is the most delicious, sweet fig that I have ever eaten.

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