Fig Facts

Fig Facts
Fig is a flowering plant that belongs to the genus Ficus. This plant is native to Middle East and western parts of Asia. Today, figs are grown commercially throughout the world. New varieties of figs were created via selective breeding. Biggest productivity and sweetest fruit are associated with warm, temperate regions that have enough sunny periods during the day. Besides being used in human diet, figs are used in pharmaceutical industry in the manufacture of different creams and lotions. People also cultivate figs for ornamental purposes.
Interesting Fig Facts:
Fig is a medium-sized tree that can reach 10 to 30 feet in height. Occasionally (under exceptional climate conditions), fig can grow up to 50 feet.
Fig has large leaves that are divided in three to five lobes. They are easily recognized because, according to the Bible, Adam and Eve used leaves of fig to cover their nudity.
Root of the fig is usually located near the surface of the ground. Diameter of the root is 3 times bigger than the crown.
Certain figs, such as those living in South Africa, have incredible deep roots. Deepest recorded root reaches the depth of 400 feet.
Fruit of fig is actually inverted flower which blooms inside the fleshy structure. Flower is not visible from the outside. Scientific name for this type of flower is infructescence.
Figs are pollinated by special type of wasp which enters the infructescence through a tiny passage. Various animals eat figs and disperse their seed via feces.
All figs are divided in four categories based on the type of flower and method of reproduction. Only one type of fig, called caprifig, produces pollen while other three types depend on its pollen. Figs can reproduce without pollen in the process called parthenogenesis (produced fruit is sterile).
Besides from seeds, fig can develop from cuttings, tissue cultures and grafts. This type of reproduction (called vegetative) is faster compared to the reproduction via seed.
Figs normally produce fruit on the branches. Certain types of figs in Philippines are able to develop fruit on the stem.
Figs are rich source of fibers, mineral and vitamins. Figs have pleasant and sweet taste. They can be consumed raw, dried or as a part of sweet and salty meals.
Figs also have several health benefits. Fruit can be used in the treatment of chest congestion and as a facial mask (that tightens the skin). Juice extracted from the leaves can be used to soothe insect bites.
Figs are recommended to the people who would like to quit smoking. Due to high alkalinity of the fruit, figs diminish desire for cigarettes.
People also use figs as a substitute for coffee.
Milky sap produced in the green parts of the fig can induce skin irritations.
Cultivated figs can survive around 35 years.

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