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It is eaten by the poorer classes and by shepherds in plains where it grows alone." In addition it does not survive cold winters like Ficus carica, and Ficus carica has a much wider range, particularly in colder regions of Iraq and northward.nother excellent article about ancient fig cultivation was written by J.Galil entitled "An Ancient Technique for Ripening Sycomore Fruit in East-Mediterranean Countries" (Economic Botany 22: 178-190, 1978).
Dried figs could be squeezed into loafs or placed on strings and used as food during long, arduous journeys across the desert. In ancient times people carried strings of dried figs such as these on long arduous journeys across the desert.
The figs provided them with a nutritious high protein, high carbohydrate food source in a region where food was actual edible "fruit" of a fig tree is called a syconium--a hollow structure lined on the inside with hundreds of tiny unisexual flowers.
According to some fig connoisseurs, pollination produces a more delicious fig with a superior nutty flavor due to the seeds.
There is also a parthenocarpic variety of sycomore fig (Ficus sycomorus) that bears ripe (edible), seedless fruit (syconia) without wasp pollination. It produces a heavy 2nd (main crop) late in the fall (October-November).
When the term "fig gashing" in the Near and Middle East is mentioned in various articles and books (including the Bible), it most likely refers to the sycomore fig (Ficus sycomorus), a species that is actually native to eastern Central Africa.
Although the true East African pollinator wasp is not present in the Holy Land, an ovipositing, nonpollinator wasp does induce parthenocarpic fruits containing wasps instead of seeds.Although it is parthenocarpic, my figs contain seeds because fig wasps are living in a nearby caprifig (male tree) at my home!n excellent article entitled "The History of the Fig in the Holy Land from Ancient Times to the Present" was written by Asaph Goor in Economic Botany 19: 124-135 (1965).Goor (1965) stated that Ficus carica grew wild in the Holy Land thousands of years ago; however, this doesn't necessarily mean that it was truly native (indigenous) to the Holy Land.It may have been introduced by people to this region, either by seeds or cuttings.Then I expanded it to include figs in other parts of the world and fossil figs. The seed-bearing drupelets (nutlets) impart a superior nutty flavor to the fig newton (right).This is a very complicated subject, particularly the biology of fig pollination. The pollination process is accomplished by a minute, symbiotic wasp by the name of Blastophaga psenes Left: A dozen female Blastophaga psenes crammed into the ostiole of receptive profichi syconium of a caprifig. These winged female wasps came from the overwintering mamme crop on the caprifig tree.A note to fig biologists who might read this article.It was originally designed to be a light account of fig trees in the "holy land" region of the Middle East with a little humor injected into the article. A wasp-pollinated Calimyrna fig containing numerous seed-bearing drupelets (minute ripened ovaries).I am not certain which fig species the Bible refers to; however, Ficus carica is known from that time and historic region, and it does produce several crops of edible fruit per year.The fig is native to Caria--an ancient region of Asia Minor between the Mediterranean and Black Seas.