You are on page 1of 44

Herbal Treatment

Alternative medicine and figs

Home and figs:

Figs from the fruit that came out section in the Koran.
They had an appreciation fruit since ancient times its dry form and soft green. And
native to Persia and Asia, Syria and Lebanon. And I've used it Phoenicians in their sea
and land trips. Currently, it is grown in all the Mediterranean Basin countries and in
most warm and temperate regions.

Figs appeared in drawings, engravings and sculptures. It is said that he had reached
the Greeks through a town called Caria in Asia and here we know that the label
resolved the name of the country that reached to the west figs which is called in Latin
Ficus Caria.

Was a major figs food when the Greeks have used it abundance Alaspartion in their
daily food tables. Athletes in particular adopted their food mainly on figs, in the belief
that it increases in strength. The Greek state has enacted at the time a law prohibiting
the export of figs and fruit excellent product from their country to other countries.

Figs came to Persia and entered Europe via Italy. Pliny gives in his writings details on
more than 29 varieties of figs were known in his time. And praising in particular
species produced in the town of Tarant town of Caria and Herculaneum.

Dried figs found in Pompeii in exploration campaigns conducted on the town that was
buried by sand (Greek town) and appeared figs in Aljdranih fees which included figs
as well as other groups of fruit. Pliny recalls that figs grown in home gardens was
used to feed slaves in order to provide them with energy and strength for the service,
and in particular was feeding on figs agricultural laborers and slaves who work in

Teen plays an important role in Latin Almithaluja any mythology. It was an offering
to the god Bacchus in religious rituals.

Wolf who is said to breastfeed Romlos Raemus Rumulus & Ramus rested under a fig
tree. And Romlos Raemus are the founders of the Roman Empire. Hence it was a fig
tree sanctity of the Romans. The Ovid in his writings that during the annual
celebrations of the New Year when the Romans had figs offers as a gift. The
population of the town of Cyrene on their heads crowns of figs when they were
sacrificed to Saturn, who they see as the discoverer of the fruit.

The Pliny wild figs that Homer wrote about and other celebrities and doctors such as
Dioscorides best known for his writings medical translated into Arabic. And agreed to
some of his information celebrities Arab doctors and others criticized and rejected it,
and proved the argument and evidence the reasons for rejection.

Currently dried figs exported to the world from Asia and Spain, Malta and France.
Dried ripe fruits under the sun, or in the form of dried chips through the slot and put
inside of the sun and the air shall be faster and better drought

Figs configuration:

- Principal component located is sugar Aldickstrozz Dextrose, which is 50%
of the composition of figs
- Vitamin A, B and C
- Contains high levels of iron and calcium salts, potassium, copper,
- Gives high prices. Every 100 grams Tina Green gives 70 calories, dry and gives the
same weight as 270 calories

Uses and benefits of medical figs:

- Figs laxative used for nature, and is used with other drugs such material is very
effective Senna and rhubarb Rhubarts for the manufacture of beverages laxatives,
particularly in Britain
- Mkra and Mjhie removes Puff and flatus
- For Anamha skin freshener and removes pimples. Tanning hair Shayeb topically
with food
- Removes the problems of cold and flu and their effects on the nose and throat
- Used to Boukhat figs dental abscesses, gum infections and tumors of the mouth and
- Using milk that comes out from the neck of the immature figs to remove warts that
milk is placed on the wart
- It wild and gardener mixed with fennel and anise and sesame eaten in the morning
helping the health and vigor and increases in weight
- Strengthens the liver and and removes enlarged spleen
- Treated diseases of the circulatory system, veins, and eaten and placed topically
- Activates the kidneys and increases in circulation fed by the performance of its
- Generates urine and heartbreaking gravel and sand
- Treats diseases of the chest and coughing, asthma and bronchial spasm and
- Addresses the diseases tachycardia. Prevents water pool in the heart and lungs and
body, which results in reducing the pressure gently and prevents bleeding
- Activates the brain and blood circulation in it who shall brain functions in a better
way, especially if eaten with phosphorus-rich materials such as nuts, almonds,
pistachios and pine
- Addresses the brain circulatory diseases such as strokes, Parkinson's and blotting
- Addresses skin diseases such as vitiligo
- Addresses the disease gout worked to remove uric acid salts from the body through
urine and through sweating. Treated diseases of the joints and pains
- Figs milk helps to eat dead flesh in the body such as the wart, is built on the harsh
meat becomes tender
- Handles figs mental illness, and works to calm the nerves, and the removal of types
of anxiety, fear, frustration and tension
Fig (Ficus carica L.)
treats Diabetes
Generic Name: Ficus carica
Herbs &Supplements

Caricae fructus, feigen, Ficus benjamina (weeping fig), Ficus carica, Ficus
elastica(rubber plant).
Figs are thought to have been first cultivated in Egypt. They spread to ancient Crete
and subsequently, to ancient Greece where they became a staple in the traditionaldiet.
Figs were regarded with such esteem that laws were created forbidding the export of
the best quality figs. Figs were respected in ancient Rome and thought of as a sacred
fruit. According to Roman myth, the twin founders of Rome, Romulus and Remus,
rested under a fig tree.
Traditionally, figs have been used to treat
constipation, bronchitis, hyperlipidemia(high cholesterol), eczema, psoriasis (chronic
skin disease), vitiligo (white skin patches), and diabetes (high blood sugar). Topically,
its latex has been used to remove warts and treat skin tumors.
At this time, there are no high quality human trials supporting the effectiveness of fig
for any indication. However, the antioxidant activity and cytotoxicity against various
cancer cell lines reported in fig are potentially promising in its future therapeutic uses.
DISCLAIMER: These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and
effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially
serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.

Diabetes (Type 1): Preliminary evidence suggests that fig has antioxidant properties
and may be beneficial in type 1 diabetes. Additional study is warranted in this area.
Grade: C
WARNING: DISCLAIMER: The below uses are based on tradition, scientific
theories, or limited research. They often have not been thoroughly tested in humans,
and safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions
are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.
There may be other proposed uses that are not listed below.
Antioxidant, cancer, hemostatic potency (stops bleeding), photosensitization
(abnormal sensitivity to sunlight).

Adults (over 18 years old)
There is no proven safe or effective dose for fig. However, as a tea decoction, 1 cup
daily of 13 grams of Ficus carica leaf has been used.
Children (under 18 years old)
There is no proven safe or effective dose for fig in children, and use is not
DISCLAIMER: Many complementary techniques are practiced by healthcare
professionals with formal training, in accordance with the standards of national
organizations. However, this is not universally the case, and adverse effects are
possible. Due to limited research, in some cases only limited safety information is

Avoid in individuals with a known allergy or hypersensitivity to fig or herbs in the
Moraceae family. Some oral allergy syndromes have been attributed to the cross-
sensitivity in people to grass and birch pollens. Food allergy to fig has also been
reported due to cross sensitization to weeping fig (Ficus benjamina), or mulberry.
Sensitization to fig with cross-sensitization to weeping fig and natural rubber latex has
also been reported.
Allergic reactions to fresh or dried figs can present as a consequence of primary
sensitization to airborne Ficus benjamina allergens independent of sensitization to
rubber latex allergens. Kiwi fruit, papaya, and avocado as well as pineapple and
banana may be other fruits associated with sensitization to Ficus allergens.
Side Effects and Warnings
There are few reports of adverse effects associated with fig. At least one report has
indicated no adverse effects in subjects who were treated with an oral (by mouth) fig
leaf decoction for one month. However, because fig leaf contains psoralens, it may
cause photodermatitis when applied on the skin. Excessive sunlight or ultraviolet light
exposure should be avoided while using products that contain fig leaf.
Many cases of occupational allergy to weeping fig in plant keepers have been
reported and side effects may include conjunctivitis, rhinitis, anaphylactic
shock orasthma.
Although rare, obstructive ileus (intestinal/bowel obstruction), hemolytic
anemia(deficiency of red blood cells), and retinal hemorrhages (bleeding of the retina)
have been reported. Use cautiously in patients with bleeding disorders.
Pregnancy & Breastfeeding
Fig, taken as a medicinal agent, is not recommended in pregnant or breastfeeding
women due to a lack of available scientific evidence. However, fresh or dried fruit is
likely safe when taken by mouth in amounts commonly found in foods
Common fig
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Ficus carica Common fig

Drawing of the common fig foliage and fruit
Conservation status

Least Concern (IUCN 3.1)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Rosales
Family: Moraceae
Tribe: Ficeae
Genus: Ficus
Subgenus: Ficus
Species: F. carica
Binomial name
Ficus carica
The common fig (Ficus carica) is a species of flowering plant in the genus Ficus, from
the family Moraceae, known as the common fig (or just
the fig), (Urdu),anjeer (Hindi), and dumur (Bengali). It is the source of
the fruit also called the fig, and as such is an important crop in those areas where it is
grown commercially. Native to the Middle East and western Asia, it has been sought
out and cultivated by man since ancient times, and is now widely grown throughout
the temperate world, both for its fruit and as an ornamental plant.[1][2]
It is a gynodioecious (functionally dioecious),[3] deciduous tree or large shrub,
growing to a height of 710 metres (2333 ft), with smooth white bark. Its
fragrantleaves are 1225 centimetres (4.79.8 in) long and 1018 centimetres (3.9
7.1 in) across, and deeply lobed with three or five lobes. The
complex inflorescence consists of a hollow fleshy structure called the syconium,
which is lined with numerous unisexual flowers. The flower itself is not visible
outwardly, as it blooms inside the infructescence. Although commonly referred to as a
fruit, the fig is actually theinfructescence or scion of the tree, known as a false
fruit or multiple fruit, in which the flowers and seeds are borne. It is a hollow-ended
stem containing many flowers. The small orifice (ostiole) visible on the middle of the
fruit is a narrow passage, which allows the specialized fig wasp Blastophaga psenes to
enter the fruit and pollinate the flower, whereafter the fruit grows seeds. See Ficus:
Fig pollination and fig fruit.
The edible fruit consists of the mature syconium containing numerous one-seeded
fruits (druplets).[3] The fruit is 35 centimetres (1.22.0 in) long, with a green skin,
sometimes ripening towards purple or brown. Ficus carica has milky sap (laticifer).
The sap of the fig's green parts is an irritant to human skin.[4]

Variegated fig

Leaves and immature fruit of common fig
The common fig tree has been cultivated since ancient times and grows wild in dry
and sunny areas, with deep and fresh soil; also in rocky areas, from sea level to 1,700
meters. It prefers light and medium soils, requires well-drained soil, and can grow in
nutritionally poor soil. Like all fig trees, Ficus carica requires wasp pollination of a
particular species of wasp (Blastophaga psenes) to produce seeds. The plant can
tolerate seasonal drought, and the Middle Eastern and Mediterranean climate is
especially suitable for the plant. Situated in a favorable habitat, old specimens when
mature can reach a considerable size and form a large dense shade tree. Its aggressive
root system precludes its use in many urban areas of cities, but in nature helps the
plant to take root in the most inhospitable areas. Common fig tree is mostly
a phreatophyte that lives in areas with standing or running water, grows well in the
valleys of the rivers and ravines saving no water, having strong need of water that is
extracted from the ground. The deep-rooted plant searches groundwater, in aquifers,
ravines, or cracks in the rocks. The fig tree, with the water, cools the environment in
hot places, creating a fresh and pleasant habitat for many animals that take shelter in
its shade in the times of intense heat.
Ficus carica is dispersed by birds and mammals that scatter their seeds in droppings.
Fig fruit is an important food source for much of the fauna in some areas, and the tree
owes its expansion to those that feed on its fruit. The common fig tree also sprouts
from the root and stolon issues.
The infructescence is pollinated by a symbiosis with a kind of fig wasp (Blastophaga
psenes). The fertilized female wasp enters the fig through the scion, which is a tiny
hole in the crown (the ostiole). She crawls on the inflorescence inside the fig and
pollinates some of the female flowers. She lays her eggs inside some of the flowers
and dies. After weeks of development in their galls, the male wasps emerge before
females through holes they produce by chewing the galls. The male wasps then
fertilize the females by depositing semen in the hole in the gall. The males later return
to the females and enlarge the holes to enable the females to emerge. Then some
males enlarge holes in the scion, which enables females to disperse after collecting
pollen from the developed male flowers. Females have a short time (<48 hours) to
find another fig tree with receptive scions to spread the pollen, assist the tree in
reproduction, and lay their own eggs to start a new cycle.
The edible fig is one of the first plants that was cultivated by humans.
Nine subfossil figs of a parthenocarpic (and therefore sterile) type dating to about
94009200 BC were found in the early Neolithic village Gilgal I (in the Jordan
Valley, 13 km north of Jericho). The find predates the domestication of wheat, barley,
and legumes, and may thus be the first known instance of agriculture. It is proposed
that this sterile but gustatively desirable type was planted and cultivated intentionally,
one thousand years before the next crops were domesticated (wheat and rye).[5]
Figs were also a common food source for the Romans. Cato the Elder, in his De Agri
Cultura, lists several strains of figs grown at the time he wrote his handbook: the
Mariscan, African, Herculanean, Saguntine, and the black Tellanian (De agri cultura,
ch. 8). The fruits were used, among other things, to fatten geese for the production of
a precursor of foie gras.
It was cultivated from Afghanistan to Portugal, also grown in Pithoragarh in the
Kumaon hills of India. From the 15th century onwards, it was grown in areas
including Northern Europe and the New World.[1] In the 16th century,
Cardinal Reginald Poleintroduced fig trees to Lambeth Palace in London.

Small fig tree
The common fig is grown for its edible fruit throughout the temperate world. It is also
grown as an ornamental tree, and the cultivar 'Brown Turkey' has gained the Royal
Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.[6]
Figs can be found in continental climates with hot summers as far north as Hungary
and Moravia, and can be harvested up to four times per year. Thousands ofcultivars,
most named, have been developed as human migration brought the fig to many places
outside its natural range.
Two crops of figs are potentially produced each year.[7] The first or breba
cropdevelops in the spring on last year's shoot growth. In contrast, the main fig crop
develops on the current year's shoot growth and ripens in the late summer or fall. The
main crop is generally superior in both quantity and quality to the breba crop.
However, some cultivars produce good breba crops (e.g., 'Black Mission', 'Croisic',
and 'Ventura').
There are basically three types of edible figs:[8]
Persistent (or common) figs have all female flowers that do not need pollination for
fruiting; the fruit can develop through parthenocarpic means. This is a popular
horticulture fig for home gardeners. Dottato (Kadota), Black Mission, Brown Turkey,
Brunswick, and Celeste are some representative cultivars.
Caducous (or Smyrna) figs require cross pollination by the fig wasp with pollen
from caprifigs for the fruit to mature. If not pollinated the immature fruits drop. Some
cultivars are Smyrne (Lob Incir in Turkey) - (Calimyrna in the Great Central
Valley USA), Marabout, Inchrio, and Zidi.
Intermediate (or San Pedro) figs set an unpollinated breba crop, but need pollination
for the later main crop. Examples are Lampeira, King, and San Pedro.
The fig likes dry sunny sites, the soil dry or drained. Excessive growth has to be
limited to promote the fruiting. It thrives in both sandy and rocky soil. As the sun is
really important it is better to avoid shades. Some varieties are more adapted to harsh
and wet climates.
Figs plants are easy to propagate through several methods. Propagation using seeds is
not the preferred method sincevegetative methods exist that are quicker and more
reliable, that is, they do not yield the inedible caprifigs. However, those desiring to
can plant seeds of dried figs with moist sphagnum moss or other media in a zip lock
bag and expect germination in a few weeks to several months. The tiny plants can be
transplanted out little by little once the leaves open, and despite the tiny initial size
can grow to 1 foot (30 cm) or more within one year from planting seeds.
Main vegetative propagation, or spring propagation: before the tree starts growth, cut
1525 cm (610 inch) shoots that have healthy buds at their ends, and set into a moist
mix of soil and peat-moss located in shade in first time, buried 3/4 of their length.
Larger diameter stems are better intermediate cuttings on branches can be done too
(up to diam. 3/4") but in this case the upper side must be cut inclined, thus marking
the upper part, to avoid planting upside-down. Grow one year in a nursery, in a pot or
in-ground spaced one foot apart, till winter. Before the plant starts growth, plant it in
the desired final location.
For propagation in the mid-summer months, air layer new growth in August (mid-
summer) or insert hardened off 1525 cm (6-10 inches) shoots into moist perlite or a
sandy soil mix, keeping the cuttings shaded until new growth begins; then gradually
move them into full sun. For spring propagation, before the tree starts growth, cut 15
25 cm (6-10 inches) shoots that have healthy buds at their ends, and set into a moist
perlite and/or sandy soil mix located in the shade. Once the cuttings start to produce
leaves, bury them up to the bottom leaf to give the plant a good start in the desired
An alternative propagation method is bending over a taller branch, scratching the bark
to reveal the green inner bark, then pinning the scratched area tightly to the ground.
Within a few weeks, roots will develop and the branch can be clipped from the mother
plant and transplanted where desired.
Mountain fig[edit]

Anjeer Kohi

Mountain fig tree in Zibad
Mountain fig or rock fig (called "Anjeer Kohi" in Persian) is a wild fig, naturally
growing in the rocky mountainous area of the Kavir desert of Iran, especially in
the KhorasanMountains of Kohestan.

Mountain fig
The only difference between the mountain fig and other figs is its tolerance of dry and
cold climates. It usually does not need any irrigation and is able to survive extremely
dry weather and temperatures of 40 C (40 F). The most productive and the oldest
mountain fig trees are located in the Zibad mountains.

Culinary use[edit]
Figs, dried, uncooked
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy 1,041 kJ (249 kcal)
Carbohydrates 63.87 g
- Sugars 47.92 g
- Dietary fiber 9.8 g
Fat 0.93 g
Protein 3.3 g
Thiamine (vit. B1) 0.085 mg (7%)
Riboflavin (vit. B2) 0.082 mg (7%)
Niacin (vit. B3) 0.619 mg (4%)
Pantothenic acid (B5) 0.434 mg (9%)
Vitamin B6 0.106 mg (8%)
Folate (vit. B9) 9 g (2%)
Choline 15.8 mg (3%)
Vitamin C 1.2 mg (1%)
Vitamin K 15.6 g (15%)
Calcium 162 mg (16%)
Iron 2.03 mg (16%)
Magnesium 68 mg (19%)
Manganese 0.51 mg (24%)
Phosphorus 67 mg (10%)
Potassium 680 mg (14%)
Sodium 10 mg (1%)
Zinc 0.55 mg (6%)
Link to USDA Database entry
Percentages are roughly approximated
using US recommendations for adults.
Source: USDA Nutrient Database

Figs can be eaten fresh or dried, and used in jam-making. Most commercial
production is in dried or otherwise processed forms, since the ripe fruit does not
transport well, and once picked does not keep well. The widely producedfig
newton or fig roll is a biscuit (cookie) with a filling made from figs.

"Schiocca": calabrian dried figs
Figs are among the richest plant sources of calcium and fiber. According to USDA
data for the Mission variety, dried figs are richest in fiber, copper, manganese,
magnesium, potassium, calcium, and vitamin K, relative to human needs. They have
smaller amounts of many other nutrients. Figs have a laxative effect and contain
many antioxidants. They are a good source of flavonoids and
polyphenols[9] including gallic acid, chlorogenic acid, syringic acid, (+)-
catechin, ()-epicatechin and rutin.[10] In one study, a 40-gram portion of dried figs
(two medium size figs) produced a significant increase in plasma antioxidant
Cultural aspects[edit]

Fresh figs cut open showing the flesh and seeds inside
In the Book of Genesis in the Bible,Adam and Eve clad themselves with fig
leaves (Genesis 3:7) after eating the "forbidden fruit" from the Tree of Knowledge of
Good and Evil. Likewise, fig leaves, or depictions of fig leaves, have long been used
to cover the genitals of nude figures in painting and sculpture. Art collectors and
exhibitors often added these depictions long after the original work was completed.
The use of the fig leaf as a protector of modesty or shield of some kind has entered the
The Book of Deuteronomy specifies the fig as one of the Seven
Species (Deuteronomy 8:7-8), describing the fertility of the land of Canaan. This is a
set of seven plants indigenous to the Middle East that together can provide food all
year round. The list is organized by date of harvest, with the fig being fourth due to its
main crop ripening during summer.
Also in the Bible (Matthew 21:1822 and Mark 11:1214, 1921) is a story of Jesus
finding a fig tree when he was hungry; the tree only had leaves on it, but no fruit.
Jesus, then, curses the fig tree, which withers.
The biblical quote "each man under his own vine and fig tree" (1 Kings 4:25) has
been used to denote peace and prosperity. It was commonly quoted to refer to the life
that would be led by settlers in the American West, and was used byTheodor Herzl in
his depiction of the future Jewish Homeland: "We are a commonwealth. In form it is
new, but in purpose very ancient. Our aim is mentioned in the First Book of Kings:
'Judah and Israel shall dwell securely, each man under his own vine and fig tree, from
Dan to Beersheba".[12] US President George Washington, writing in 1790 to
the Touro Synagogue of Newport, Rhode Island, extended the metaphor to denote the
equality of all Americans regardless of faith.[13]
Buddha achieved enlightenment under the bodhi tree, a large and old sacred fig tree
(Ficus religiosa, or Pipal).
Sura 95 of the Qur'an is named al-Tn (Arabic for "The Fig"), as it opens with
the oath "By the fig and the olive." The fruit is also mentioned elsewhere in the
Qur'an. Within the Hadith, Sahih al-Bukhari records Prophet Muhammad stating: "If I
had to mention a fruit that descended from paradise, I would say this is it because the
paradisiacal fruits do not have from these fruits for they
prevent hemorrhoids, prevent piles and help gout."[14]
In Greek mythology, the god Apollo sends a crow to collect water from a stream for
him. The crow sees a fig tree and waits for the figs to ripen, tempted by the fruit. He
knows that he is late and that his tardiness will be punished, so he gets a snake from
the stream and collects the water. He presents Apollo with the water and uses the
snake as an excuse. Apollo sees through the crow's lie and throws the crow, goblet,
and snake into the sky where they form the constellations Hydra, Crater, and Corvus.
In Aristophanes' Lysistrata one of the women boasts about the "curriculum" of
initiation rites she went through to become an adult woman (Lys. 6417). As her final
accomplishment before marriage, when she was already a fair girl, she bore the basket
as a kanephoros, wearing a necklace of dried figs.[15]
Top Fig Producing Countries - 2012
(in thousand metric tons)
Rank Country
1 Turkey 274,535
2 Egypt 171,062
3 Algeria 110,058
4 Morocco 102,694
5 Iran 78,000
6 Syria 41,224
7 United States 35,072
8 Brazil 28,010
9 Albania 27,255
10 Tunisia 25,000

World 1,031,391
Source: UN Food & Agriculture Organization [16]
In the course of his campaign to persuade the Roman Republic to pursue a third Punic
War, Cato the Elder produced before the Senate a handful of fresh figs, said to be
from Carthage. This showed its proximity to Rome (and hence the threat), and also
accused the Senate of weakness and effeminacy: figs were associated with femininity,
owing to the appearance of the inside of the fruit.[17]
The word "sycophant" comes from the Greek word sykophantes, meaning"one who
shows the fig". "Showing the fig" was a vulgar gesture made with the hand.[18]

Dried figs
The fig tree is sacred toDionysus Sukites ().
Since the flower is invisible, there are various idioms related to it in languages around
the world. In a Bengali idiom as used in tumi yna umurr phul hay. gl (
), i.e., 'you have become (invisible like) the fig flower (doomurer
phool)'. The derisive English idiom I don't care a fig probably originates from the
abundance of this fruit. There is a Hindi idiom related to flower of fig tree,

(glar k phl i.e. flower of fig) means something that just would not ever see i.e.
rare of the rarest[19] In Awadh region of Uttar Pradesh state of India apart
from standard Hindi idiom a variant is also used; in the region it is assumed that if
something or work or job contains (or is contaminated by) flower of fig it will not get
finished e.g. this work contains fig flower i.e. it is not getting completed by any
Gular ka phool (flower of fig) is a collection of poetry in written in Hindi by Rajiv
Kumar Trigarti.[20]
There is also a poem in Telugu written by Yogi Vemana, which says "Medi pandu
chuda melimayyi undunu, potta vippi chuda purugulundunu", It means"The fig fruit
looks harmless but once you open you find tiny insects [refers to the fig wasp] in
there". The phrase is synonymous to an English phrase"Don't judge a book by its

Fig, Common
Botanical: Ficus Carica (LINN.)

Family: N.O. Urticaceae
Medicinal Action and Uses

---Habitat---The Common Fig-tree provides the succulent fruit that in its fresh and
dried state has been valued from the earliest days. It is indigenous to Persia, Asia
Minor and Syria, but now is wild in most of the Mediterranean countries. It is
cultivated in most warm and temperate climates and has been celebrated from the
earliest times for the beauty of its foliage and for its 'sweetness and good fruit' (Judges
ix. 2), there being frequent allusions to it in the Scriptures. The Greeks are said to
have received it from Caria in Asia Minor - hence the specific name. Under Hellenic
culture it was improved and Attic figs became celebrated in the East. It was one of the
principal articles of sustenance among the Greeks, being largely used by the Spartans
at their public table; and athletes fed almost entirely on figs, considering that they
increased their strength and swiftness. To such an extent, indeed, were figs a part of
the staple food of the people in ancient Greece that there was a law forbidding the
exportation of the best fruit from their trees.
Figs were early introduced into Italy. Pliny gives details of no less than twentynine
kinds known in his day, and specially praises those of Tarant and Caria and also those
of Herculaneum. Dried Figs have been found in Pompeii in our days and in the wall-
paintings of the buried city Figs are represented together with other fruits. Pliny states
that homegrown Figs formed a large portion of the food of slaves, especially in the
fresh state for agricultural workers.
The Fig plays an important part in Latin mythology. It was dedicated to Bacchus and
employed in religious ceremonies. The wolf that suckled Romulus and Remus rested
under a Fig tree, which was therefore held sacred by the Romans, and Ovid states that
among the celebrations of the first day of the year by Romans, Figs were offered as
presents. The inhabitants of Cyrene crowned themselves with wreaths of Figs when
sacrificing to Saturn, holding him to be the discoverer of the fruit. Pliny speaks also of
Fig, Common
(Ficus Carica LINN.)
the Wild Fig, which is mentioned also in Homer, and further classical references to
the Fig are to be found in Theophrastus, Dioscorides, Varro and Columella.

---Description---Ficus Carica is a bush or small tree, rarely more than 18 to 20 feet
high, with broad, rough, deciduous, deeply-lobed leaves in the cultivated varieties,
though in wild forms the leaves are often almost entire.
Considered botanically, the Fig, as we eat it, is a very remarkable form of fruit. It is
actually neither fruit nor flower, though partaking of both, being really a hollow,
fleshy receptacle, enclosing a multitude of flowers, which never see the light, yet
come to full perfection and ripen their seeds - a contrary method from the strawberry,
in which the minute pistils are scattered over the exterior of the enlarged succulent
receptacle. In the Fig, the inflorescence, or position of the flowers is concealed within
the body of the 'fruit.' The Fig stands alone in this peculiar arrangement of its flowers.
The edge of the pear-shaped receptacle curves inwards, so as to form a nearlyclosed
cavity, bearing the numerous fertile and sterile flowers mingled on its surface, the
male flowers mostly in the upper part of the cavity and generally few in number. As it
ripens, the receptacle enlarges greatly and the numerous one-seeded fruits become
embedded in it. The fruit of the wild kind never attains the succulence of the
cultivated kinds. The Figs are borne in the axils of the leaves, singly.
---Cultivation---The Fig is grown for its fresh fruit in all the milder parts of Europe,
being cultivated in the Mediterranean countries, and in the United States of America.
With protection in winter, it succeeds as far north as Pennsylvania. (Prof. Nancy
Traill, York University, Toronto, Ontario, Canada points out.. "In some parts of
Pennsylvania, people bury the trees. In Philadelphia, a mulch is necessary, and the fig
is a "die-back" shrub. Ficus carica varieties have been grown in Southern Ontario for
many years. Though by no means very much north of Pennsylvania, it is still further
north. The figs need mulching, as in Philadelphia, and are die-back shrubs but they do
produce very sweet fruit. Some that I have seen will grow back to about 10 or more
feet in height, others about 6 or 7 feet, in a season. Some years the crop is quite heavy.
People who bury their trees, as some still do, or give them the shelter of a house wall
and some insulation, often have small trees, and these bear quite heavily.") It is said to
have been introduced into England by the Romans, but was probably introduced from
Italy early in the sixteenth century, when the Fig tree still growing in Lambeth Palace
garden is said to have been planted.
The trees live to a great age, and along the southern coast of England bear fruit
abundantly as standard trees, though in Scotland and many parts of England a south
wall is indispensable for their successful cultivation out of doors. Old quarries are
good situations for them. The roots are free from stagnant water and they are sheltered
from cold, while exposed to a hot sun, which ripens the fruit perfectly. The trees also
succeed well planted in a paved court against a building with a south aspect.
The best soil for a Fig border is a friable loam, not too rich, but well-drained; a chalky
subsoil is congenial to the tree. To correct the tendency to over-luxuriance of growth,
the roots should be confined within spaces surrounded by a wall enclosing an area of
about a square yard. Grown as a standard, the tree needs very little pruning. When
against a wall, a single stem should be trained to a height of a foot and a shoot be
trained to either side - one to the right and the other to the left.
The principal part needing protection in the winter is the main stem, which is more
tender than the young wood.
Fig trees are propagated by cuttings, which should be put into pots and placed in a
gentle hot-bed. They may be obtained more speedily from layers, and these when
rooted will form plants ready to bear fruit the first or second year after planting.
There are numerous varieties of Fig in cultivation, bearing fruit of various colours,
from deep purple to yellow or nearly white.
The Fig produces naturally two sets of shoots and two crops of fruit in the season. The
first shoots generally show young Figs in July and August but those in England rarely
ripen and should therefore be rubbed off. The late midsummer shoots also put forth
fruit buds which, however, do not develop till the following spring, ripening in late
September and October, and these form the only crop of Figs on which the English
gardener can depend.
There is sometimes a failure in the Fig crop, many immature receptacles dropping off
in consequence of the pistils of the florets not having been duly fertilized by the
pollen of the stamens. It is supposed that fertilization is caused naturally by the entry
of insects through the very small orifice which remains open in the flowering Fig. Fig
growers therefore adopt an artificial means of ensuring fertilization: a small feather is
inserted and turned round in the internal cavity, the pollen thus being brushed against
the pistils. This process is called 'Caprification,' from the Latin caprificus(a wild Fig),
as the same result was originally obtained in the countries where the Fig grows wild,
by placing branches of the Wild Fig in flower over the cultivated bushes, so that the
pollen might be shaken out over the orifices of their receptacles, thus ensuring the
development of the young fruit.
Most of our supplies of dried Figs come from Asia Minor, Spain, Malta and the South
of France. When the fruits are ripe, they are collected and dried in the sun. 'Natural'
Figs are those which are packed loose and retain to some extent their original shape.
'Pulled' Figs have been kneaded and pulled to make them supple; they are usually
packed for exportation in small square or circular boxes the latter being termed
'drums' - and are considered to be the best variety. A few bay leaves are put upon the
top of each box, to keep the fruit from being injured by a gnat which feeds on it and is
very destructive. 'Pressed' Figs have been closely packed into boxes so that they are
compressed into discs. Maltese Figs are very good, but those from Smyrna, which are
thin-skinned and soft (the best kind known as 'Elemi'), are most valued. Greek Figs
are thicker skinned, tougher and have less pulp.
---Constituents---The chief constituent of Figs is dextrose, of which they contain
about 50 per cent.
---Uses---Figs have long been employed for their nutritive value and in both their
fresh and dried state form a large part of the food of the natives of both Western Asia
and Southern Europe.
A sort of cake made by mashing up inferior Figs serves in parts of the Greek
Archipelago as a substitute for bread.
Alcohol is obtained from fermented Figs in some southern countries, and a kind of
wine, still made from the ripe fruit, was known to the Ancients and is mentioned by
Pliny under the name of Sycites.
---Medicinal Action and Uses---Figs are used for their mild, laxative action, and are
employed in the preparation of laxative confections and syrups, usually with senna
and carminatives. It is considered that the laxative property resides in the saccharine
juice of the fresh fruit and in the dried fruit is probably due to the indigestible seeds
and skin. The three preparations of Fig of the British Pharmacopoeia are Syrup of
Figs, a mild laxative, suitable for administration to children; Aromatie Syrup of Figs,
Elixir of Figs, or Sweet Essence of Figs, an excellent laxative for children and delicate
persons, is compounded of compound tincture of rhubarb, liquid extract of senna,
compound spirit of orange, liquid extract of cascara and Syrup of Figs. The
Compound Syrup of Figs is a stronger preparation, composed of liquid extract of
senna, syrup of rhubarb and Syrup of Figs, and is more suitable for adults.
Figs are demulcent as well as nutritive. Demulcent decoctions are prepared from them
and employed in the treatment of catarrhal affections of the nose and throat.
Roasted and split into two portions, the soft pulpy interior of Figs may be applied as
emolient poultices to gumboils, dental abscesses and other circumscribed maturating
tumours. They were used by Hezekiah as a remedy for boils 2,400 years ago (Isaiah
xxxviii. 21).
The milky juice of the freshly-broken stalk of a Fig has been found to remove warts
on the body. When applied, a slightly inflamed area appears round the wart, which
then shrivels and falls off. The milky juice of the stems and leaves is very acrid and
has been used in some countries for raising blisters.
The wood of the tree is porous and of little value, though a piece, saturated with oil
and spread with emery, is in France a common substitute for a hone.
Green Fig Jam is excellent. Choose very juicy Figs. Take off the stalks, but do not
peel them. Make a syrup of 1/2 lb. of sugar and a glass of water (1/2 pint) for each
pound of fruit. Put the Figs into it and cook them till the syrup pearls. Boil a stick of
cinnamon with them and remove it before pouring the jam into pots.
The Sycamore Fig (Ficus Sycamorus) is a tree of large size, with heart-shaped,
somewhat mulberry-like leaves. It is a favourite tree in Egypt and Syria, being often
planted along roads, deep shade being cast by its spreading branches. It bears a sweet,
edible fruit, somewhat like that of the Common Fig, but produced in racemes, on the
older branches. The Ancients, after soaking it in water, preserved it like the Common
Fig. The porous wood is only fit for fuel.
Our northern Sycamore tree is in no way related to this Sycamore Fig, but has
wrongly acquired its name, Prior says, through a mistake of the botanist Ruellius, who
transferred the Greek name, Sycamoros, properly the name of the Wild Fig, to the
great Maple.
'This mistake,' says Prior, 'arose perhaps from this tree, the great maple, being on
account of the density of its foliage, used in the sacred dramas of the Middle Ages to
represent the Fig tree into which Zaccheus climbed and that in which the Virgin Mary
on her journey into Egypt had hidden herself and the infant Jesus to avoid the fury of
Herod; a legend quoted by Stapel on Theophrastus and by Thevenot in his Voyage de
Levant: "At Mathave is a large sycamore or Pharaoh's Fig, very old, but which bears
fruit every year. They say that upon the Virgin passing that way with her son Jesus
and being pursued by the people, this Fig tree opened to receive her and closed her in
again, until the people had passed by and then opened again. The tree is still shown to
travellers." ' (See Cowper's Apocryphal Gospels.

Ficus carica
Back to Previous Page

Be the first to comment on this plant
More Images
Common Name: common fig
Type: Fruit
Family: Moraceae
Native Range: Mediterranean
Zone: 6 to 9
Height: 10.00 to 20.00 feet
Spread: 10.00 to 20.00 feet
Bloom Time: Seasonal bloomer
Bloom Description: Green
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium
Flower: Insignificant
Fruit: Showy, Edible
Invasive: Where is this species invasive in the US?
Garden locations
Figs are best grown in USDA Zones 8-10 in organically rich, moist, well-
drained soils in full sun to part shade. Figs may be grown in protected
locations in USDA Zones 6 and 7 (e.g., against south-facing walls) with root
mulch, but plants will usually show significant die back in cold winters. When
temperatures in winter dip below 15 degrees F., consider additional protection
for outdoor plants to the extent possible (e.g., clear plastic sheets or frames).
In USDA Zones 5 and 6, figs can be grown as low-branching shrubs that are
laid down in winter (branches are bent over and covered with soil with soil
also mounded over the main trunking). Many fig cultivars are now available,
with Brown Turkey and Chicago Hardy being noted for having unusually
good winter hardiness. In St. Louis, plants are best grown in containers in full
sun. Water regularly during the growing season but reduce watering in fall.
Containers must be brought indoors in winter. Large containers may be
overwintered in greenhouses, garages or basements.
Noteworthy Characteristics
Ficus carica, commonly called common fig, is a deciduous shrub (to 10-15
tall) or small tree (to 15-30 tall). It is noted for its spreading habit, attractive
foliage and edible fruit. Old trees with smooth silver-gray bark (sometime
gnarled with age) are ornamentally attractive. Large, palmate, hairy, 3-5 lobed
leaves (to 10 long) are rough dark green above and smooth light green
beneath. Non-showy greenish flowers form in spring inside hollow receptacles
near the branch growing tips. The fruit (edible fig) develops within each
receptacle. The main fruit crop ripens in late summer or fall on new wood. In
some areas, a lesser crop may appear in spring on new wood. Species plants as
well as most fig cultivars are parthenocarpic (fruits develop without cross
No serious insect or disease problems. Watch for root knot nematodes, scale,
aphids, mealybugs and spider mites. Leaf spots, rust and blight may occur.
Fruit can become a mess if not promptly harvested.
Garden Uses
Ornamental or fruit tree. In Missouri, plants may be grown in sheltered
locations outdoors with root mulch or in containers that are overwintered

American Heritage Dictionary:
fi cus
n., pl., ficus, or -cus es.
Any of numerous tropical trees, shrubs, or climbers of the genus Ficus, having
pearlike multiple fruits.
[Latin fcus, fig.]

The botanical name for fig.

This article is about the genus of woody plants. For the species commonly known as
the "ficus tree", see Ficus benjamina. For the genus of sea snails, see Ficus
(gastropod). For Monroe Ficus, see Too Close for Comfort. For the fruit of these
trees, see common fig.
"Figs" redirects here. For the acronym, see FIGS.
"Fig tree" redirects here. For other uses, see Fig Tree (disambiguation).
"Fig trees" redirects here. For the 2009 film, see Fig Trees.
Fig trees

Sycamore Fig, Ficus sycomorus
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Rosales
Family: Moraceae
Tribe: Ficeae[1]
Genus: Ficus
About 800, see text
Ficus (pron.: /fks/)[2] is a genus of about 850 species of
woody trees,shrubs, vines, epiphytes and hemiepiphytes in the family Moraceae.
Collectively known as fig trees or figs, they are native throughout thetropics with a
few species extending into the semi-warm temperate zone. The Common Fig (F.
carica) is a temperate species native to southwestAsia and the Mediterranean region
(from Afghanistan to Portugal), which has been widely cultivated from ancient times
for its fruit, also referred to as figs. The fruit of most other species are also edible
though they are usually of only local economic importance or eaten as bushfood.
However, they are extremely important food resources for wildlife. Figs are also of
considerable cultural importance throughout the tropics, both as objects of worship
and for their many practical uses.

Aerial root that may eventually provide structural support

A Ficus carica
Ficus is a pan-tropical genus of trees, shrubs and vines occupying a wide variety
of ecological niches; most are evergreen, but some deciduous species are endemic to
areas outside of the tropics and to higher elevations.[3] Fig species are characterized
by their uniqueinflorescence and distinctivepollination syndrome, which utilizes wasp
species belonging to the Agaonidae family for pollination.
The specific identification of many of the species can be difficult, but figs as a group
are relatively easy to recognize.[4] Many have aerial roots and a distinctive shape or
habit, and their fruits distinguish them from other plants. The fig fruit is an enclosed
inflorescence, sometimes referred to as asyconium, an urn-like structure lined on the
inside with the fig's tiny flowers. The unique fig pollination system, involving tiny,
highly specific wasps, known as fig wasps that enter via ostiole these sub-closed
inflorescences to both pollinate and lay their own eggs, has been a constant source of
inspiration and wonder to biologists.[5] Finally, there are three vegetative traits that
together are unique to figs. All figs possess a white to yellowish latex, some in
copious quantities; the twig has paired stipules or a circular stipule scar if the stipules
have fallen off; and the lateral veins at the base of the leaf are steep, forming a tighter
angle with the midrib than the other lateral veins, a feature referred to as "tri-veined".
There are no unambiguous older fossils of Ficus. However, current molecular
clock estimates indicate that Ficus is a relatively ancient genus being at least 60
million years old,[5] and possibly as old as 80 million years. The main radiation
of extant species, however, may have taken place more recently, between 20 and 40
million years ago.
Some better known species that represent the diversity of the genus include
the Common Fig which is a small temperate deciduous tree whose fingered fig leaf is
well known in art and iconography; the Weeping Fig (F. benjamina) a hemi-epiphyte
with thin tough leaves on pendulous stalks adapted to its rain forest habitat; the rough-
leaved sandpaper figs from Australia; the Creeping Fig (F. pumila), a vine whose
small, hard leaves form a dense carpet of foliage over rocks or garden walls.
Moreover, figs with different plant habits have undergone adaptive radiation in
different biogeographic regions, leading to very high levels of alpha diversity. In the
tropics, it is quite common to find that Ficus is the most species-rich plant genus in a
particular forest. In Asia as many as 70 or more species can co-exist.[6] Ficus species
richnessdeclines with an increase in latitude in both hemispheres.[7][8]
Ecology and uses

Ficus exasperata, fruits
Figs are keystone species in many rainforest ecosystems. Their fruit are a key
resource for some frugivores including fruit bats, capuchin
monkeys, langursand mangabeys. They are even more important for
some birds. Asian barbets,pigeons, hornbills, fig-parrots and bulbuls are examples
of taxa that may almost entirely subsist on figs when these are in plenty.
Many Lepidopteracaterpillars feed on fig leaves, for example several Euploea species
(Crow butterflies), the Plain Tiger (Danaus chrysippus), the Giant
Swallowtail (Papilio cresphontes), the Brown Awl (Badamia exclamationis),
and Chrysodeixis eriosoma, Choreutidae and Copromorphidae moths. The Citrus
long-horned beetle (Anoplophora chinensis), for example, has larvae that feed
on wood, including that of fig trees; it can become a pest in fig plantations. Similarly,
theSweet Potato Whitefly (Bemisia tabaci) is frequently found as a pest on figs grown
as potted plants and is spread through the export of these plants to other localities. For
a list of other diseases common to fig trees, see List of foliage plant diseases

Leaves of the Sacred Fig (F. religiosa)
The wood of fig trees is often soft and the latex precludes its use for many purposes. It
was used to makemummy caskets in Ancient Egypt. Certain fig species (mainly F.
cotinifolia,F. insipida and F. padifolia) are traditionally used in Mesoamerica to
produce papel amate (Nahuatl: matl).Mutuba (F. natalensis) is used to
produce barkcloth in Uganda. Pou (F. religiosa) leaves' shape inspired one of the
standard kbach rachana, decorative elements in Cambodian architecture. Indian
Banyan (F. bengalensis) and the Indian Rubber Plant, as well as other species, have
use in herbalism.

A page from the Mexican Huexotzinco Codex, painted on matl
Figs have figured prominently in some human cultures. There is evidence that figs,
specifically the Common Fig (F. carica) and Sycamore Fig (F. sycomorus), were
among the first if not the very first plant species that were deliberately bred for
agriculture in the Middle East, starting more than 11,000 years ago. Nine subfossil F.
carica figs dated to about 94009200 BC were found in the
early Neolithic village Gilgal I (in the Jordan Valley, 13 km north of Jericho). These
were a parthenogenesistype and thus apparently an early cultivar. This find predates
the cultivation ofgrain in the Middle East by many hundreds of years.[9]
Cultural and spiritual significance
Further information: Fig leaf and Figs in the Bible
Fig trees have profoundly influenced culture through several religious traditions.
Among the more famous species are the Sacred Fig tree (Pipal, Bodhi, Bo, or
Po, Ficus religiosa) and the Banyan Fig (Ficus benghalensis). The oldest living plant
of known planting date is a Ficus religiosa tree known as the Sri Maha Bodhi planted
in the temple at Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka by King Tissa in 288 BC. The common fig
is one of the two sacred trees of Islam, and there is a sura in Quran named "The Fig"
or At-Tin ( ). In East Asia, figs are important
in Buddhism, Hinduismand Jainism. The Buddha is traditionally held to have
found bodhi (enlightenment) while meditating under a Sacred Fig (F. religiosa). The
same species was Ashvattha, the "world tree" of Hinduism. The Plaksa Pra-
sravana was said to be a fig tree between the roots of which the Sarasvati River sprang
forth; it is usually held to be a Sacred Fig but more probably seems to be a Wavy-
leaved Fig (F. infectoria). The Common Fig tree is cited in the Bible, where in
Genesis 3:7, Adam and Eve cover their nakedness with fig leaves. The fig fruit is also
included in the list of food found in the Promised Land, according to the Torah
(Deut. 8). Jesus cursed a fig tree for bearing no fruit (Mark 11:1214). The fig tree
was sacred in ancient Cyprus where it was a symbol of fertility.
Fig pollination and fig fruit
See also: Common Fig

A Common Fig's syconium (fruit)
Many fig species are grown for their fruits, though only Ficus carica is cultivated to
any extent for this purpose. The fig fruits, important as both food and traditional
medicine, contain laxative substances, flavonoids, sugars, vitamins A and C, acids and
enzymes. However, figs are skin allergens, and the latex is a serious eye irritant. The
fig is a false fruit or multiple fruit, in which the flowers and seeds grow together to
form a single mass. The genusDorstenia, also in the figs family (Moraceae), exhibits
similar tiny flowers arranged on a receptacle but in this case the receptacle is a more
or less flat, open surface. Propagating figs can be done by seeds, cuttings, air-layering
or grafting. However, as with any plant, figs grown from seed are not necessarily
genetically identical to the parent and are only propagated this way for breeding
Depending on the species, each fruit can contain up to several hundred to several
thousand seeds.[10]

Cut through ripe fig, with ostiole
Figs, fresh
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy 310 kJ (74 kcal)
Carbohydrates 19 g
- Sugars 16 g
- Dietary fiber 3 g
Fat 0.3 g
Protein 0.8 g
Percentages are relative to
US recommendations for adults.
Source: USDA Nutrient Database

Figs, dried
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy 1,041 kJ (249 kcal)
Carbohydrates 64 g
- Sugars 48 g
- Dietary fiber 10 g
Fat 1 g
Protein 3 g
Percentages are relative to
US recommendations for adults.
Source: USDA Nutrient Database
A fig "fruit" is derived from a specially adapted type of inflorescence (an arrangement
of multiple flowers). In this case, it is an involuted, nearly closed receptacle with
many small flowers arranged on the innersurface. Thus the actual flowers of the fig
are unseen unless the fig is cut open. In Chinese the fig is calledw hu
gu (simplified Chinese: ; traditional Chinese: ), "fruit without
flower".[11] In Bengali, where the Common Fig is called dumur, it is referenced in a
proverb: tumi jeno dumurer phool hoe gele ("You have become [invisible like]
the dumurflower").
The syconium often has a bulbous shape with a small opening (the ostiole) at the
outward end that allows access to pollinators. The flowers are pollinated by very
small wasps that crawl through the opening in search of a suitable place to lay eggs.
Without this pollinator service fig trees could not reproduce by seed. In turn, the
flowers provide a safe haven and nourishment for the next generation of wasps. This
accounts for the frequent presence of wasp larvae in the fruit, and has led to
a coevolutionary relationship. Technically, a fig fruit proper would be only one of the
many tiny matured, seed-bearing gynoecia found inside one fig if you cut open a
fresh fig, individual fruit will appear as fleshy "threads", each bearing a single seed
Fig plants can be monoecious (hermaphrodite) or gynodioecious (hermaphrodite and
female).[12] Nearly half of fig species are gynodioecious, and therefore have some
plants with inflorescences (syconium) with long styled pistillate flowers, and other
plants with staminate flowers mixed with short styled pistillate flowers.[13] The long
flowers styles tend to prevent wasps from laying their eggs within the ovules, while
the short styled flowers are accessible for egg laying.[14]
All the native fig trees of the American continent are hermaphrodites, as well as
species like Indian Banyan (F. benghalensis), Weeping Fig (F. benjamina), Indian
Rubber Plant (F. elastica), Fiddle-leaved Fig (F. lyrata), Moreton Bay Fig (F.
macrophylla), Chinese Banyan (F. microcarpa), Sacred Fig (F. religiosa)
and Sycamore Fig (F. sycomorus).[15]
On the other hand the Common Fig (Ficus carica) is a gynodioecious plant, as well as
Lofty fig or Clown fig (F. aspera), Roxburgh Fig (F. auriculata), Mistletoe Fig (F.
deltoidea), F. pseudopalma, Creeping Fig (F. pumila) and related species.
The hermaphrodite Common Figs are called "inedible figs" or caprifigs; in traditional
culture in the Mediterranean region they were considered food for goats (Capra
aegagrus). In the female fig trees, the male flower parts fail to develop; they produce
the "edible figs". Fig wasps grow in Common Fig caprifigs but not in the female
syconiums because the female flower is too long for the wasp to successfully lay her
eggs in them. Nonetheless, the wasp pollinates the flower with pollen from the
caprifig it grew up in. When the wasp dies, it is broken down by enzymes (Ficain)
inside the fig. Fig wasps are not known to transmit any diseases harmful to humans.
When a caprifig ripens, another caprifig must be ready to be pollinated. In temperate
climes, wasps hibernate in figs, and there are distinct crops. Common Fig[verification
needed] caprifigs have three crops per year; edible figs have two. The first
(breva)[16] produces small fruits called olynth. Some parthenocarpic cultivars of
Common Figs do not require pollination at all, and will produce a crop of figs
(albeit sterile) in the absence of caprifigs or fig wasps.
There is typically only one species of wasp capable of fertilizing the flowers of each
species of fig, and therefore plantings of fig species outside of their native range
results in effectively sterile individuals. For example, in Hawaii, some 60 species of
figs have been introduced, but only four of the wasps that fertilize them have been
introduced, so only four species of figs produce viable seeds there and can
become invasive species. This is an example ofmutualism, in which each organism
(fig plant and fig wasp) benefit each other, in this case reproductively.
The intimate association between fig species and their wasp pollinators, along with
the high incidence of a one-to-one plant-pollinator ratio have long led scientists to
believe that figs and wasps are a clear example of coevolution. Morphological and
reproductive behavior evidence, such as the correspondence between fig and wasp
larvae maturation rates, have been cited as support for this hypothesis for many
years.[17] Additionally, recent genetic and molecular dating analyses have shown a
very close correspondence in the character evolution and speciationphylogenies of
these two clades.[5]
Recently, molecular techniques including the combined use of microsatellite markers
in combination with mitochondrial sequence analyses have suggested that the one-to-
one relationships between figs and their pollinators may not be as strict as once
believed[18] The discovery of multiple genetically distinct, cryptic wasp species
paired with individual fig species supports this concern, particularly considering that
not all cryptic species are sister taxa and thus must have experienced a host shift at
some point.[18] These cryptic species lacked evidence of
genetic introgression or backcrosses indicating limited fitness for hybrids and
effective reproductive isolation and speciation.[18]
The existence of cryptic species suggests that neither the number of symbionts nor
their evolutionary relationships are necessarily fixed ecologically. Fifty percent of fig
species host multiple wasp pollinators thus are not tied inextricably to any single
symbiont.[19] On the other hand, species of wasps have been shown to pollinate
multiple host fig species[20] While the morphological characteristics that facilitate the
fig-wasp mutualisms are likely to be shared more fully in closer relatives, the absence
of unique pairings would make it impossible to do a one-to-one tree comparison and
difficult to determine cospeciation.

Fig, plant of the genus Ficus, of the mulberry family (Moraceae), especially Ficus
carica, the common fig. Ficus carica, which yields the well-known figs of commerce,
is indigenous to an area extending from Asiatic Turkey to northern India, but natural
seedlings grow in most Mediterranean countries. It is a bush or small tree, from 1 m
(3 feet) to 10 to 12 m (33 to 39 feet) high, with broad, rough, deciduous leaves that
are deeply lobed or sometimes nearly entire.
Fig fruits are borne singly or in pairs above the scars of fallen leaves or in axils of
leaves of the present season. Flowers are staminate (male) or pistillate (female). Long-
styled female flowers are characteristic of the fruits of most garden and orchard fig
trees. Short-styled female flowers are found only in fruits of the caprifig tree and are
adapted to the egg-laying habits of the fig wasp, or Blastophaga. Male flowers, which
produce pollen, are found in caprifigs, usually near the apex.
In addition to the caprifig, there are three other horticultural types of
fig: Smyrna, White San Pedro, and Common. Smyrna-type figs develop only when
fertile seeds are present, and these seeds account for the generally excellent quality
and nutty flavour of the fruit. Figs of the White San Pedro type combine the
characteristics of both the Smyrna and the Common type on one tree. First-crop figs
develop without flower pollination, while second-crop figs in axils of leaves require
it. Common figs such as the Dottato, Fraga, and Brown Turkey do not require
pollination of flowers of either crop, the seeds in the mature fruit usually being
hollow. The flowers of such figs were once regarded as incapable of fecundation and
were therefore designated as mule flowers; but it has been proved that all common
figs can produce fertile seeds if the flowers are pollinated.
The varieties of figs grown in various parts of the world run into the hundreds. Their
nomenclature is very much confused, since the same fig is often grown in
neighbouring provinces under entirely different names. When a fig is introduced into
other countries, a new name is commonly coined. Thus Lob Injir of Smyrna became
Calimyrna in California, and Dottato of Italy became Kadota. The Italian San Piero is
known in England as Negro Largo, in France as Aubique Noire, and in California as
San Pedro Black, Brown Turkey, or Black Spanish.
The fig was one of the earliest fruit trees cultivated by primitive peoples, and its
cultivation spread in remote ages over all the districts around the Aegean Sea and
throughout the Levant. The Greeks are said to have received it from Caria (hence the
specific name); Attic figs became celebrated in the East, and special laws were made
to regulate their exportation. The fig was one of the principal articles of sustenance
among the Greeks; the Spartans especially used it at their public tables. Pliny the
Elder enumerates many varieties and describes those of home growth as furnishing a
large portion of the food of slaves. In Latin myth the fig was held sacred to Bacchus
and employed in religious ceremonies; the fig tree that overshadowed the twin
founders of Rome in the wolf s cave was an emblem of the future prosperity of the
In Mediterranean countries the fig is so widely used, both fresh and dried, that it is
called the poor mans food. The fruit contains significant amounts of calcium,
potassium, phosphorus, and iron.
Fig trees are propagated from cuttings of dormant wood taken in February in the
Northern Hemisphere and planted in nursery rows. These grow in one season to a
height of 1 m (3 feet) and are ready to transplant at the end of the growing season.
The trees thrive in a wide range of soil types and in most Mediterranean countries
receive water only from the natural rainfall. Some varieties produce only one crop, in
summer or fall. Some bear two crops, the first maturing in June or July on wood of
the previous growth and the second ripening in summer or fall in the axils of the
leaves of the same season. In cool climates such as those of England and central
France, most varieties mature only the first crop. Pot culture of figs in greenhouses
has long been practiced in England and other countries.
In most districts, figs are gathered when they fall and placed on trays for drying.
Turning and manipulating during the drying process improves the texture and quality
of the product. In the Old World, figs are grown commercially in Italy, Turkey,
Algeria, Greece, Portugal, and Spain.

Fiddle Leaf Fig
Botanical Name: Ficus lyrata
Enormous leaves shaped like violins make Fiddle Leaf Fig a dramatic accent.
In its native habitat, this fig tree from the Moraceae family will reach 40 ft (12 m)
tall. Fortunately, it grows very slowly and stays much shorter when grown
Controlling its height is easy to do. Prune off the top of young plants to promote
branching and to control its growth. You can also control its size by keeping it in a
small container.
You don't have to cut it back, though. The broad leaves of this fig tree make it a
beautiful, live structural accent in a room with high ceilings.
Its bold, prominently veined leaves grow to 12 in (30 cm) long and 6 in (15 cm)
wide with wavy edges. Keep the naturally glossy leaves clean by wiping them
often with a damp cloth. This tropical native also loves to be misted.
Repot only when necessary in spring, using the smallest pot that will contain its
roots. Use a heavy container to keep it from toppling over. This plant can get top-
Brown leaf tips are sometimes caused by dry soil. Use a container with a
drainage hole and water the plant thoroughly until water drains out the bottom.
This is the only way to be sure that all the roots are watered.
Dropped Leaves?
If you just brought your plant home from the nursery and it dropped some of its leaves, don't worry. With
good care, it'll grow new leaves.
Leaf drop is fairly common with ficus plants, especially when they're moved to a
new environment. Changes in light levels and temperature can cause leaves to
drop, so it's a good idea to put your plant in a bright spot, out of direct sunlight
and leave it there. Also keep it away from heat/AC vents or drafts from
entryways. It may take a few weeks for your plant to adjust to a new place, so
don't give up on it.
While it may be tempting to repot, overwater or fertilize a shedding fig tree, don't
do it. It'll only cause more stress to the tree and make the problem worse.
A couple pests may invade figs trees. Scale are small brown insects that cling to
stems and leaves, secreting a sticky residue on the plant. Also watch for webbing
between branches and leaves, they're a tell-tale sign of a spider mite invasion.
Although a bit fussy, fig plants make long-lived and beautiful indoor trees. Give
your plant what it wants and you'll enjoy your Fiddle Leaf Fig for many years.
Fiddle Leaf Fig Care Tips
Origin: Western Africa
Height: 3-10 ft (90 cm - 3 m) indoors
Light: Bright indirect light year-round. Give your
plant a quarter turn every week or so to expose all
sides to light.
Water: Keep soil evenly moist. Drooping yellow
leaves are a sign of overwatering.
Humidity: Average room humidity.
Temperature: Average room temperatures 60-
75F, 16-24C.
Soil: Any good potting mix.
Fertilizer: Feed 3 times a year during the growing season (spring-summer-fall)
with a balanced liquid fertilizer diluted by half.
Propagation: Stem tip cuttings and air layering. Propagating large-leaf fig trees
is not easy for the amateur to do at home. These trees are slow to root from
either method.

Ficus carica, Common fig, Edible fig, Fig,
Scientific name: Ficus carica L.
Common name: Common Fig, Edible Fig
Hebrew name:
Arabic name: ,Tin
Plant Family: Moraceae,

Life form: Phanerophyte,tree

3-9 m tall; multiple branched shrub, muscular,
twisting branches, spreading wider than they
are tall; twigs terete, pithy rather than woody
Leaves: Alternate, dissected once, dentate or serrate

Syconium, a hollow, spherical or flask-shaped
inflorescence lined on the inside with numerous
minute, apetalous, unisexual flowers
Flowers: Green
Fruits / pods:

The mature fig syconium is also called a
multiple fruit because it is composed of
numerous ripened, seed-bearing ovaries derived
from numerous female (pistillate) flowers
Flowering Period: April, May, June, July
Habitat: Humid habitats

Mediterranean Woodlands and Shrublands,
Semi-steppe shrublands, Deserts and extreme
Chorotype: Med - Irano-Turanian
Summer shedding: Perenating

Derivation of the botanical name:
Ficus, Latin for Ficus carica. The Latin words for fig - ficus, fica (and
from them the English word "fig"), derive from the Hebrew word pag ,
meaning "unripe fig". Today the word pag refers to a premature infant.
carica of or pertaining to Caria, a Roman province now south west
Turkey around Dalaman river, known for its cultivation of figs.
The standard author abbreviation L. is used to indicate Carl Linnaeus
(1707 1778), a Swedish botanist, physician, and zoologist, the father of
modern taxonomy.


Ficus carica:Commonly
known as the common fig or edible fig, this is a
member of the mulberry family (Moraceae). Native
to the Mediterranean region, this deciduous tree can
be seen in bed J in the Preview Garden. It grows
from 10 to 30 feet tall but can be trained to a smaller
size. It has small flowers and its leaves are 4 to 9
inches long with three to five lobes. It bears fruit
once in the early summer on the previous years
wood and once in the fall on new growth. It is used
as a shade tree, an ornamental, in containers and as
an espalier along a wall. It attracts birds, squirrels
etc. that like the fruit and is deer resistant. It grows
in rocky areas, in the woods and in scrub on hot dry
soils including clay soils. It requires no water once
established and should be planted in part shade or
full sun. It can be pruned for interesting shapes and it
resists oak root fungus. It was labeled an invasive
weed by the California Exotic Pest Plant Council in
1999. Figs provide food and its leaves are used to
produce a yellow dye. Remnants of figs have been
found in excavations of sites traced to at least 5,000
B.C. This plant is pollinated by tiny wasps. Our
specimen came from a cutting from the San Gabriel
Mission c1788 which was planted in the SLO
Mission orchard. That tree fell over one night in
1974 and some cuttings were saved. Ours was
donated by Jeanette and John Austin in 1997