Thursday, September 11, 2014

First Fig Fruit...

Fig (Ficus carica 'Brown Turkey')

At last my own fig tree bears fruits!  And it has a name - unlike the volunteer fig that has been planted by birds around my yard.  This one is 'Brown Turkey' which I chose because the tree is supposed to be a more compact than the other traditional varieties such as 'Mission' fig.

The fig fruit is very fascinating.  It is a synconium or an inverted fruit. The fig synconium is made up of multiple fruits that are fused together.  Each seed is an individual aggregate fruit.  It is similar to the strawberry, except the arrangement is reversed. The seeds in strawberry are on the surface of the fruit while the seeds in the figs are inside.  That description almost makes the fig a normal fruit.  But the fact that the fig flowers were never outside of the fruit makes it completely an odd fruit.  

Synconium:  the flowers open inside the fruit.  

Fig is probably among the earliest domesticated plants on earth.  It is mentioned multiple times in the Old Testament Bible as part of the life of mankind in the old days.  For example: the presence of a fig tree, is referred as one of the features of a good land (Deuteronomy 8:7-9); and the shade of a fig tree is symbolizes a place of safety (1 Kings 4:25).  Having a fig tree in my yard seems like owning a time machine that brings me back to that time in history.    

To eat figs off the tree in the morning, when they have been barely touched by the sun, is one of the exquisite pleasures of owning a fig tree.

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