The black or green orb we eat is called a syconium
. It is what botanists call an "enclosed inflorescence" because hundreds of tiny thread-like male and female flowers grow inside the urn-like fruit.
Ficus is characterized by its unique flask-like urceolate inflorescence (fig or syconium) with internal staminate and pistillate flowers and a small circular or split-shaped terminal orifice, the ostiolum, barred by stiff bracts, through which the symbiotic pollinating wasps must pass to reach the syconial cavity, oviposit in some of the female florets that become galls, where their larvae develop, and pollinate some of them that become seeds.
Each syconium was individually enclosed in a tightly capped jar.
Fig breeding studies for the development of new fig tree selections are costly since the pomological characteristics of the flowers are located within a closed receptacle (syconium
) that has a small opening, making pollination difficult.
Smallest recorded fig, syconium
the size of a mote of dust, only detectable if you stare at a bright light and allow your eyes to unfocus and swim in the haze.
Based on this information, this work presents preliminary results on Ficus mexiae pollination by Pegoscapus sp 1 and Pegoscapus sp 2 that occurs simultaneously in the plant's syconium
After working with outreach organisation Syconium
, Nathan then set up his own community project with funding from the Trust and made a documentary about gang and drug violence to educate children.
They reviewed the differing mutualisms amongst symbiotic associations and in some symbiotic systems other than lichens, for example the genus Ficus and the wasps that pollinate the syconium
(flower head), both wasps and species of Ficus are similarly species diverse (Berg & Wiebes, 1992; Proctor et al., 1996).
They may lose wings and/or antennae or even get stuck in the "opening" (Valdeyron, 1984), but they may visit more than one syconium
in sequence (Giberneau et al., 1996).
Currently, unknown genes still determine whether a seed from a single syconium
will be a caprifig or an female fig.
2005), are proovigenic; that is, all the eggs are mature and ready to be layed at female emergence (Nefdt 1989), oviposit one egg per female floret and usually lay all the eggs in a bout inside the same syconium