Updated: Mar 6
#Figseason is almost over, y'all! I love figs so much, let me tell you all about their incredible glory:
🍐 Figs come from the genus Ficus, with Carica as the species for the ones that we eat. That's where the name of my business comes from....
🍐 All ficuses are special in that they don't have normal flowers, ever! They instead have their sexy parts on the inside of a protective thing called a synconium, which eventually turns into a ripe fig!! All those little sugar drenched nodules inside each fig is actually the "flowers".
🍐 So how do they reproduce if the flowers can't be pollinated by bugs? WELL! This is the most amazing part: Every single species of Ficus (over 800!) has co-evolved with a specific species of Fig Wasp, which is the only insect that can pollinate the fig, and also can only reproduce inside the fig! Divine synchronicity.
🍐 The wasps are teeny tiny, and a fertilized female is able to fit through that tiny hole at the bottom of the fig. Her wings get ripped off in the process though, so it's her last home. She fertilizes each of the "flowers" inside with pollen from her First Fig Home, lays her eggs within, then dies and is fully dissolved by the fig enzymes. Her eggs hatch, the male fig wasps sacrifice their lives to create an exit for their sisters, the females fill up on pollen from their OG fig, then exit through the hole to find another fig to repeat the process!
🍐 Ficuses are also usually #keystonespecies in the environments that they're in. So many animals, insects and plants all depend on some aspect of the trees and their ubiquitous fig wasps.
Isn't that just AMAZING?! There are so many varieties growing here in New Orleans - I think I've seen 5 different types this summer in my neighborhood. I can't wait to have fig arboretum one day.