Fig is rich in natural health benefiting phytonutrients, antioxidants, and vitamins. It has short-styled female flowers that are adapted to the egg-laying habits of the fig wasp (Blastophaga) and also contains male flowers near the apex. Botanically figs belong to the mulberry family (Moraceae), in the genus: Ficus. Hawaii fascinates you? 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. Entirely developed and ripe fig features bell or pear shape with succulent, juicy flesh inside. Pollen from the caprifigs is carried by the fig wasps to pollinate both the edible and inedible figs. 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. 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. The flesh of a fig is typically red, and the entirety of the fruit is edible. The species has become naturalized in scattered locations in Asia and North America. Dried figs, indeed, are a highly concentrated source of minerals and vitamins. In addition to the caprifig, there are three other horticultural types of figs: Smyrna, White San Pedro, and Common. 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. Their nomenclature is very much confused, since the same fig is often grown in neighbouring provinces under entirely different names. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. The flavors of fresh figs, tangy goat cheese, salty almonds, sweet honey, and balsamic vinegar contrast to make these a delicious and very pretty … It’s worth the drive to Ripley! 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. Hurry! By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. Explore. Valid until Sunday. FIG started to make community masks that were designed in responses to the growing pub... Hawaii fascinates you? Please select which sections you would like to print: Corrections? Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). Updates? Pot culture of figs in greenhouses has long been practiced in England and other countries. The life cycle of the fig wasp (family Agaonidae). Native to the Mediterranean and western Asia, it has been sought out and cultivated since ancient times and is now widely grown throughout the world, both for its fruit and as an ornamental plant. Thus, Lob Injir of Smyrna became Calimyrna in California, and Dottato of Italy became Kadota. Fig definition is - an oblong or pear-shaped syconium fruit of a tree (genus Ficus) of the mulberry family. In the Old World, figs are grown commercially in Italy, Turkey, Algeria, Greece, Portugal, and Spain. The trees thrive in a wide range of soil types and in most Mediterranean countries receive water only from the natural rainfall. Figs of the White San Pedro type combine the characteristics of both the Smyrna and the Common type on one tree. In June 1991, the first issue (Number 0) appeared under the sole direction of the FIG. When a fig is introduced into other countries, a new name is commonly coined. Fig, (Ficus carica), plant of the mulberry family (Moraceae) and its edible fruit. Fig, (Ficus carica), plant of the mulberry family (Moraceae) and its edible fruit. The fruit is commonly eaten. This article was most recently revised and updated by, National Gardening Association - Figs: Plant Care and Collection of Varieties, University of Maryland Extension - Home and Garden Information Center - Figs, fig - Children's Encyclopedia (Ages 8-11), fig - Student Encyclopedia (Ages 11 and up).