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Fig

Ficus carica. Fig trees have been entwined with the human race since early times. Maybe that's why the leaves of the fig tree are immediately identifiable to almost every person on the planet. The fig is sometimes called a fruit without a flower, but it's actually a flower without a fruit. The edible portion of the fig tree is stem tissue that has enclosed the numerous tiny flowers. Scrabble players please note: the botanical term is syconium.

The deeply lobed leaves provide a unique texture in the landscape and the fresh fruit is nothing short of marvelous. Two crops per season can be achieved by careful pruning. The first crop, known as breba, is carried on the prior season's wood in midsummer. The second crop appears on new wood about six weeks later.