Ficus carica

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Author: Pascal @ RouteYou

GR | | Public | Dutch

Source: Trew, C.J

Ficus carica or Sikia is a very common tree in Greece. Arsitotle mentioned that the milky sap coagulated milk in cheese making. It is still used for this today. The sap has healing properties to cure warts and skinn ulcers. But did you know that the fig is not a fruit. Tehcnically, it's a synconium. It's a fleshy, hollow, pearshaped recempacle with a small opening at the apex where pollonating insects enter. Tiny flowers mass on the inside wall. Most garden varieties are self-pollinating. The 'Smyrna' varieties used to produce dry figs, needs a specific gall wasp (Blastophaga grossorum). The pregnant female forces herself through the apex, after losing limbs doing so. She removes pollen from the female flowers as she lays her eggs there. The grubs hatch and feed inside the fruits developing inside into adults. As the fruit matures the male wasp fertilises the females then help them espace the fig cutting special holes. The females brush the male flowers on theri way out, dusting them with pollen. When they enter another fig, the procedure starts again. 



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