University of California

The structure and development of flowers in Ficus carica L.


Ira J. Condit

Author Affiliations

Ira J. Condit was Associate Professor of Subtropical Horticulture.

Publication Information

Hilgardia 6(14):443-481. DOI:10.3733/hilg.v06n14p443. April 1932.

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Abstract does not appear. First page follows.

The botanical and horticultural literature of the cultivated fig is voluminous and had its beginning in ancient times. Some ancient writers treated such subjects as caprification, varieties, and pests in greater or less detail. Recent European investigators have added materially to our knowledge of fig morphology and the peculiar relations existing between the fig, the caprifig, and the pollinating insect.

Perusal of the literature, however, reveals many discrepancies and gaps in our knowledge of the structure and development of fig flowers. Accounts of the development of the macrogametophyte are very incomplete and practically nothing is found concerning the development of the microgametophyte. It is the purpose, therefore, of this paper to cover as completely as possible the detailed floral morphology of Ficus carica, both by description and by illustration. This may help to prevent in the future such confused accounts as are now current in botanical and horticultural textbooks written by authors who are not personally familiar with the peculiar life history of the fig.

Before proceeding with the morphological details it may. be well to review briefly some of the facts regarding the nature of the fig and the caprifig and the habits of the pollinating insect. Such facts are of common knowledge to growers of Smyrna. figs and to practical horticulturists in fig districts but are somewhat shrouded in mystery or lacking in clarity to many others.

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Condit I. 1932. The structure and development of flowers in Ficus carica L.. Hilgardia 6(14):443-481. DOI:10.3733/hilg.v06n14p443
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