The Full Wiki

Common Fig: Wikis

Advertisements

Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.

Encyclopedia

(Redirected to Common fig article)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Common Fig
Common Fig foliage and fruit
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Rosales
Family: Moraceae
Tribe: Ficeae
Genus: Ficus
Subgenus: Ficus
Species: F. carica
Binomial name
Ficus carica
L.

The Common fig (Ficus carica) is a large, deciduous shrub or small tree native to southwest Asia and the eastern Mediterranean region (from Afghanistan to Greece). It grows to a height of 6.9–10 metres (23–33 ft) tall, with smooth grey bark. The leaves are 12–25 centimetres (4.7–9.8 in) long and 10–18 centimetres (3.9–7.1 in) across, and deeply lobed with three or five lobes. The fruit is 3–5 centimetres (1.2–2.0 in) long, with a green skin, sometimes ripening towards purple or brown. The sap of the fig's green parts is an irritant to human skin.[1]

Contents

Cultivation and uses

Fresh figs cut open showing the flesh and seeds inside

The Common Fig is widely grown for its edible fruit throughout its natural range in the Mediterranean region, Iran and northern India, and also in other areas of the world with a similar climate, including Louisiana, California, Oregon, Texas, South Carolina, and Washington in the United States, Nuevo León and Coahuila in northeastern Mexico, as well as Australia, Chile, and South Africa. Figs can also be found in continental climate with hot summer, as far north as Hungary, and can be picked twice or thrice per year. Thousands of cultivars, most unnamed, have been developed or come into existence as human migration brought the fig to many places outside its natural range. It has been an important food crop for thousands of years, and was also thought to be highly beneficial in the diet.

The edible fig is one of the first plants that was cultivated by humans. Nine subfossil figs of a parthenocarpic type dating to about 9400–9200 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 they may have been planted and cultivated intentionally, one thousand years before the next crops were domesticated (wheat and rye).[2]

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.

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.

Advertisements

Production statistics

Fig output in 2005
Fig, 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 3.30 g
Thiamine (Vit. B1) 0.085 mg (7%)
Riboflavin (Vit. B2) 0.082 mg (5%)
Niacin (Vit. B3) 0.619 mg (4%)
Pantothenic acid (B5) 0.434 mg (9%)
Vitamin B6 0.106 mg (8%)
Folate (Vit. B9) 9 μg (2%)
Vitamin C 1.2 mg (2%)
Calcium 162 mg (16%)
Iron 2.03 mg (16%)
Magnesium 68 mg (18%)
Phosphorus 67 mg (10%)
Potassium 680 mg (14%)
Zinc 0.55 mg (6%)
Percentages are relative to US recommendations for adults.
Source: USDA Nutrient database

FAO reports the 2005 fig-production was 1,057,000 tonnes; Turkey was the top fig-producer (285,000 tonnes), followed by Egypt (170,000 tonnes) and other Mediterranean countries.

Aydın, İzmir and Muğla region, which used to be called antique Caria region, are the top fig-producers in Turkey.

Cultivars

  • Alma
  • Brown Turkey
  • Celeste
  • Italian black
  • Italian white
  • Kadota: used in Fig Newtons, dries well
  • Lemon Fig: also known as Blanch, or Marseilles
  • Mission: black, sweet, commonly dried.
Dried figs

Nutrition

Figs are one of the highest 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 good source of flavonoids and polyphenols.[3] In one study, a 40-gram portion of dried figs (two medium size figs) produced a significant increase in plasma antioxidant capacity.[4]

Pollination, fruit, and propagation

Although commonly referred to as a fruit, the fig fruit is actually the flower of the tree, known as an inflorescence (an arrangement of multiple flowers), a false fruit or multiple fruit, in which the flowers and seeds grow together to form a single mass. The genus Dorstenia, also in the fig's family (Moraceae), exhibits similar tiny flowers arranged on a receptacle but in this case the receptacle is a more or less flat, open surface. The flower is not visible, as it blooms inside the fruit. The small orifice (ostiole) visible on the middle of the fruit is a narrow passage, which allows a very specialized wasp, the fig wasp, to enter the fruit and pollinate the flower, whereafter the fruit grows seeds. See Ficus: Fig pollination and fig fruit.

Two crops of figs are potentially produced each year.[5] The first or breba crop develops 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 than the breba crop. However, some cultivars produce good breba crops (e.g., Black Mission, Croisic, and Ventura).

There are basically three varieties of common figs:[6]

  • Caducous (or Smyrna) figs require pollination by the fig wasp and caprifigs to develop crops. Some cultivars are Calimyrna, Marabout, and Zidi.
  • Persistent (or Common) figs do not need pollination; fruit develop through parthenocarpic means. This is the variety of fig most commonly grown by home gardeners. Adriatic, Black Mission, Brown Turkey, Brunswick, and Celeste are some representative cultivars.
  • Intermediate (or San Pedro) figs do not need pollination to set the breba crop, but do need pollination, at least in some regions, for the main crop. Examples are Lampeira, King, and San Pedro.

Figs plants are easy to propagate through several methods. Propagation using seeds is not the preferred method since vegetative methods exist that are quicker and more reliable (that is, they do not yield the inedible caprifigs).

For propagation in the mid-summer months, air layer new growth in August (mid-summer) or insert hardened off 15–25 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. 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.

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 location.

Cultural aspects

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. Often these fig leaves were added by art collectors or exhibitors 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 language.

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 by Theodor 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'.[7]'}}.

There is a chapter in the Quran named after the fig tree, and the fruit is also mentioned in Qur'an in many places. The Quran mentioned figs and then the Prophet Muhammad [s] stated, "If I had to mention a fruit that descended from paradise, I would say this is it because the paradisiacal fruits do not have pits...eat from these fruits for they prevent hemorrhoids, prevent piles and help gout."[8]

Since the flower is invisible, there is a Bengali idiom as used in tumi jeno dumurer phool hoe gele, i.e., you have become (invisible like) the dumur flower. The derisive English idiom I don't care a fig probably originates from the abundance of this fruit.

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. 641–7). 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.[9]

Cato the Elder was a Roman statesman who urged the Romans to the Third Punic War to destroy Carthage. Before the Senate, he produced a handful of fresh figs, said to be from Carthage. This showed its proximity to Rome (and hence the threat)—figs are also associated with femininity (due to the appearance of the inside of the fruit), and an insult may have been intended.[10]

The word "sycophant" actually means "showing the figs" (derived by the Greek words σῦκον, sýkon, "fig", and φαίνω, phaínō, "to show") and was used in ancient Athens for those who informed against another for exporting figs (which was forbidden by law), or for stealing the fruit of the sacred fig-trees, whether in time of famine or on any other occasion (Plutarch, Life of Solon, 24, 2.). Figs from Attica were especially prized and were a valuable export commodity. As a result, Athens had decreed that the very profitable fig business was to be a state monopoly and all fig growers were obliged to sell their entire produce to the state. Falsely accusing someone of clandestine transactions with figs was therefore a convenient way to slander them before the courts.[citation needed]

The fig tree is sacred to Dionysus Sukites (Συκίτης). The Indian fig tree, Ficus bengalensis, is the National Tree of India.[11]

Picture gallery

Leaf & Fruit Fruit The Expulsion Cross-section

Common fig - leaves and green figs.jpg.jpg

Ficus carica0.jpg

Masaccio-TheExpulsionOfAdamAndEveFromEden-Restoration.jpg

Feige-Schnitt.png

Leaves and green fruit on common fig tree

Common Fig fruit

The Expulsion from the Garden of Edenfresco depicting a distressed Adam and Eve, with and without fig leaves, by Tommaso Masaccio, 1426-27

Cutaway-section displaying the fruit anatomy

See also

Footnotes

  1. ^ Purdue University: Horticulture & Landscape Architecture. Fig, Ficus carica.
  2. ^ Kislev et al. (2006a, b), Lev-Yadun et al. (2006)
  3. ^ Vinson (1999)
  4. ^ Vinson et al. (2005)
  5. ^ California Rare Fruit Growers: Fig
  6. ^ North American Fruit Explorers: Figs.
  7. ^ Old New Land by Theodor Herzl [1] Old New Land
  8. ^ "Foods of the prophet". IslamOnline. http://www.islamonline.net/english/Science/2000/6/article3.shtml.  The Quote by prophet Muhammad is from Bukhari.
  9. ^ κἀκανηφόρουν ποτ’ οὖσα παῖς καλὴ ‘χους’ / ἰσχάδων ὁρμαθόν.
  10. ^ http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00hdd5x/In_Our_Time_The_Destruction_of_Carthage/ bbc.co.uk
  11. ^ National Tree : India [2] india.gov.in

References

External links


Common Fig
File:Fig
Common Fig foliage and fruit
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Rosales
Family: Moraceae
Tribe: Ficeae
Genus: Ficus
Subgenus: Ficus
Species: F. carica
Binomial name
Ficus carica
L.

The Common fig (Ficus carica) is a large, deciduous shrub or small tree native to southwest Asia and the Mediterranean region (from Afghanistan to Portugal). It grows to a height of 6.9–10 metres (23–33 ft) tall, with smooth grey bark. The leaves are Template:Convert/– long and Template:Convert/– across, and deeply lobed with three or five lobes. The fruit is Template:Convert/– long, with a green skin, sometimes ripening towards purple or brown. The sap of the fig's green parts is an irritant to human skin.[1]

Contents

Cultivation and uses

[[File:|thumb|left|Fresh figs cut open showing the flesh and seeds inside]] The Common Fig is widely grown for its edible fruit throughout its natural range in the Mediterranean region, Iran, Pakistan and northern India, and also in other areas of the world with a similar climate, including Louisiana, California, Georgia, Oregon, Texas, South Carolina, and Washington in the United States, south-western British Columbia in Canada, Nuevo León and Coahuila in northeastern Mexico, as well as Australia, Chile, and South Africa. Figs can also be found in continental climate with hot summer, as far north as Hungary, and can be picked twice or thrice per year. Thousands of cultivars, most unnamed, have been developed or come into existence as human migration brought the fig to many places outside its natural range. It has been an important food crop for thousands of years, and was also thought to be highly beneficial in the diet.

The edible fig is one of the first plants that was cultivated by humans. Nine subfossil figs of a parthenocarpic type dating to about 9400–9200 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 they may have been planted and cultivated intentionally, one thousand years before the next crops were domesticated (wheat and rye).[2]

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.

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.

Production statistics

[[File:|thumb|left|Fig output in 2005]]

Fig, 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 3.30 g
Thiamine (Vit. B1) 0.085 mg (7%)
Riboflavin (Vit. B2) 0.082 mg (5%)
Niacin (Vit. B3) 0.619 mg (4%)
Pantothenic acid (B5) 0.434 mg (9%)
Vitamin B6 0.106 mg (8%)
Folate (Vit. B9) 9 μg (2%)
Vitamin C 1.2 mg (2%)
Calcium 162 mg (16%)
Iron 2.03 mg (16%)
Magnesium 68 mg (18%)
Phosphorus 67 mg (10%)
Potassium 680 mg (14%)
Zinc 0.55 mg (6%)
Percentages are relative to US recommendations for adults.
Source: USDA Nutrient database

FAO reports the 2005 fig-production was 1,057,000 tonnes; Turkey was the top fig-producer (280,000 tonnes), followed by Egypt (170,000 tonnes) and other Mediterranean countries.

Aydın, İzmir and Muğla region, which used to be called antique Caria region, are the top fig-producers in Turkey.

Cultivars

  • Alma
  • Brown Turkey
  • Celeste
  • Desert King
  • Italian black
  • Italian white
  • Kadota: used in Fig Newtons, dries well
  • Lemon Fig: also known as Blanch, or Marseilles
  • Mission: black, sweet, commonly dried.

[[File:|thumb|left|Dried figs]]

Nutrition

Figs are one of the highest 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 good source of flavonoids and polyphenols.[3] In one study, a 40-gram portion of dried figs (two medium size figs) produced a significant increase in plasma antioxidant capacity.[4]

Pollination, fruit, and propagation

Although commonly referred to as a fruit, the fig fruit is actually the flower of the tree, known as an inflorescence (an arrangement of multiple flowers), a false fruit or multiple fruit, in which the flowers and seeds grow together to form a single mass. The genus Dorstenia, also in the fig's family (Moraceae), exhibits similar tiny flowers arranged on a receptacle but in this case the receptacle is a more or less flat, open surface. [[File:|Bud of Ficus carica.|thumb|250px|right]] [[File:|Leaves and immature fruit of common fig|thumb|250px|right]]

File:Fig
250px

The flower is not visible, as it blooms inside the fruit. The small orifice (ostiole) visible on the middle of the fruit is a narrow passage, which allows a very specialized wasp, the fig wasp, to enter the fruit and pollinate the flower, whereafter the fruit grows seeds. See Ficus: Fig pollination and fig fruit.

Two crops of figs are potentially produced each year.[5] The first or breva crop develops 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 than the breva crop. However, some cultivars produce good breva crops (e.g., Black Mission, Croisic, and Ventura).

There are basically three varieties of common figs:[6]

  • Caducous (or Smyrna) figs require pollination by the fig wasp and caprifigs to develop crops. Some cultivars are Calimyrna, Marabout, and Zidi.
  • Persistent (or Common) figs do not need pollination; fruit develop through parthenocarpic means. This is the variety of fig most commonly grown by home gardeners. Adriatic, Black Mission, Brown Turkey, Brunswick, and Celeste are some representative cultivars.
  • Intermediate (or San Pedro) figs do not need pollination to set the breva crop, but do need pollination, at least in some regions, for the main crop. Examples are Lampeira, King, and San Pedro.

Figs plants are easy to propagate through several methods. Propagation using seeds is not the preferred method since vegetative methods exist that are quicker and more reliable (that is, they do not yield the inedible caprifigs).

For propagation in the mid-summer months, air layer new growth in August (mid-summer) or insert hardened off 15–25 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. 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.

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 location.

Cultural aspects

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. Often these fig leaves were added by art collectors or exhibitors 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 language.

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 by Theodor 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".[7].

There is a chapter in the Quran named after the fig tree, and the fruit is also mentioned in Qur'an in many places. The Quran mentioned figs and then the Prophet Muhammad [s] stated, "If I had to mention a fruit that descended from paradise, I would say this is it because the paradisiacal fruits do not have pits...eat from these fruits for they prevent hemorrhoids, prevent piles and help gout."[8]

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. 641–7). 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.[9]

Cato the Elder was a Roman statesman who urged the Romans to the Third Punic War to destroy Carthage. Before the Senate, he produced a handful of fresh figs, said to be from Carthage. This showed its proximity to Rome (and hence the threat)—figs are also associated with femininity (due to the appearance of the inside of the fruit), and an insult may have been intended.[10]

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. [11]

The fig tree is sacred to Dionysus Sukites (Συκίτης). The Indian fig tree, Ficus bengalensis, is the National Tree of India.[12]

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 jeno dumurer phool hoe gele, i.e., you have become (invisible like) the dumur flower. 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, गूलर का फूल (Gular ka phool i.e. flower of fig) means something that just would not ever see i.e. rare of the rarest[13] In Awadh region of Uttar Pradesh state of India apart from standard Hindi idiom a varinat is also used; in the region it is assumed that if some thing 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 means.

Gular ka phool (flower of fig) is a collection of poetry in written in Hindi by Rajiv Kumar Trigarti.[14]

Picture gallery

Leaf & Fruit Fruit The Expulsion Cross-section

File:Ficus

[[File:|120px|]]

[[File:|120px|]]

Leaves and green fruit on common fig tree

Common Fig fruit

The Expulsion from the Garden of Edenfresco depicting a distressed Adam and Eve, with and without fig leaves, by Tommaso Masaccio, 1426-27

Cutaway-section displaying the fruit anatomy

See also

File:Foods.jpg Food portal

Footnotes

  1. ^ Purdue University: Horticulture & Landscape Architecture. Fig, Ficus carica.
  2. ^ Kislev et al. (2006a, b), Lev-Yadun et al. (2006)
  3. ^ Vinson (1999)
  4. ^ Vinson et al. (2005)
  5. ^ California Rare Fruit Growers: Fig
  6. ^ North American Fruit Explorers: Figs.
  7. ^ Old New Land by Theodor Herzl [1] Old New Land
  8. ^ "Foods of the prophet". IslamOnline. http://www.islamonline.net/english/Science/2000/6/article3.shtml.  The Quote by prophet Muhammad is from Bukhari.
  9. ^ κἀκανηφόρουν ποτ’ οὖσα παῖς καλὴ ‘χους’ / ἰσχάδων ὁρμαθόν.
  10. ^ http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00hdd5x/In_Our_Time_The_Destruction_of_Carthage/ bbc.co.uk
  11. ^ [2] Online Etymology Dictionary
  12. ^ National Tree : India [3] india.gov.in
  13. ^ बालुरघाट में दिखा गूलर का विस्मयकारी फूल, Sep 20, 11:39 pm (Hindi version), (Translated version)
  14. ^ Gular ka phool by Rajiv Kumar Trigarti

References

External links


Advertisements






Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address
Message