Name: Fig tree
Scientific name: Ficus carica
The fig tree is very common in Asia, the Middle East and the Mediterranean countries. It thrives in areas with warm and cool climates. It is a deciduous tree with large, fleshy leaves, deep green and shiny on the upper surface and covered with very small and hard hairs on the underside. The tree reaches 8 meters and its trunk is not straight. It has rich deep roots, growing even into rock crevices to find water. Fertilization of the fig tree follows a peculiar cycle that takes place with the participation of the insect Blastophaga grossorum (commonly known as the fig weevil). The insect enters the fruits of the tree, inside which are the male and female flowers. It carries pollen from the male flowers located near the hole at the base to the female flowers, which are located deep in the fruit. The plant is propagated by cuttings. Its beneficial fruits, the figs, are harvested from July to September and eaten fresh or dry.
Usage & History:
The plant already existed in prehistoric times in Europe. The fig tree, in ancient Greece was a symbol of fertility and of the god Dionysus. According to the Greek mythology, one of the Titans was Sycaeus, who, in order to escape the wrath of Zeus, was buried under the ground by his mother Earth. In the place where Sycaeus hid, the fig tree ("syci" in greek) grew.
The Athenians loved figs and for this reason their export was prohibited by law. There were special rewards for those who reported theft of figs, who were called sycophants (slanderers). The historian Herodotus mentions that the main reason for the campaign of the Persian king Xerxes was the conquest of Attica, so that he could eat not only dried, but also fresh figs.
In the Christian tradition, the fig tree was associated with the myth of Adam and Eve.