Figs (Ficus) are a genus of about 800 species of woody trees, shrubs and vines in the family Moraceae, native throughout the tropics with a few species extending into the warm temperate zone. The genus includes one species, the Common Fig F. carica, that produces a commercial fruit called a fig; the fruit of many other species are edible though not widely consumed. Other examples of figs include the Banyan and the Peepul (or Bo) tree. Most species are evergreen, while those from temperate areas, and areas with a long dry season, are deciduous. A fig fruit is derived from a specially adapted flower. The fruit has a bulbous shape (an accessory fruit called a syconium) with a small opening (the ostiole) in the end and a hollow area inside lined with small red edible seeds. The fruit/flower is pollinated by small wasps that crawl through the opening to fertilise the fruit.









 
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The Common Fig Ficus carica, a native of southwest Asia (Turkey east to Afghanistan), is cultivated for its fruit. In the United States, figs are grown in California, Texas, Utah, Oregon, and Washington. Figs can be eaten fresh or dried, and used in jam-making. Figs come in two sexes: hermaphrodite (called caprifigs because only goats eat them) and female. Fig wasps grow in caprifigs; when they mature, they mate, and the females leave in search of immature figs to lay their eggs in. When the wasp finds one, she pollinates the female flowers but will not lay eggs in the edible fig, only in the caprifig. Thus the edible fig ripens without any wasp frass in it.

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