Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Figs-Ficus Anjeer -----

Figs-Ficus Anjeer WE relate to Anjeer easily as a dry fruit or in ice cream -and Fig syrup for digestion given to children esp even today. Many think of Fig leaf and covering in Adam &Eve only .
At Taj-Vivanta Kovalam two years ago , I took a few pics of a Java Fig tree which had been imported  from Java -in the wide gardens of the locaton -see pics. In the last 3 years I have studied the available data on figs esp the history and find it dates back 1000 years or more BC in recorded History---and in fact stretches from Europe to US - to -West Asia-Middle East to  India---all the way to  South Pacific Java etc. Dates and usage in so many cultures and ways is well recorded. 
Figs have an  amazing story as it is connected in all places across the world and acrossTIME-
Some interesting facts:
FIGS have 3  vegetative characteristics- 
a.Figs possess a white to yellowish sap (latex), some in copious quantities.
b.The twig has paired stipules or a circular stipule scar if the stipules have fallen off.
c.the lateral veins at the base of the leaf are steep, that is they form a tighter angle with the midrib than the other lateral veins, a feature referred to as a "tri-veined".
This is a Java Fig tree pic--taken  at Taj Vivanta Kovalam -Sept 2010.
Pics  taken in Uma Maheshwari temple, Mangalore Feb 2011;
See esp    close up pics of Oudamber "Moracea"  Tree &-leaves with Wasps effect on leaves ..Wasps  pollinate them -fig- tree  connection is amazing.
Figs are Tropical in origin -inc Mddle East and Temperate climates esp South Europe -Mediterannean (Common  Fig-F Carica F ) Many other kinds of figs and berries are seen;  most are edible or used for medicinal value and eaten by birds, primates & bats  and have served as food & nutrition for dry lands esp few others.

Figs have religious and cultural importance in worship and for their many practical and medicinal uses. 
There is no clear evidence from older fossils of Ficus trees, but a  "molecular clock study and carbon dating process" estimates ( indicates) that Ficus is a very ancient genus; maybe even millions of years old.
However  it is without doubt an Ancient Tree genus and about 800 kinds are recorded  over the world with so many legends and folk lore even attached.--
Readers choice to decide.

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