[Sca-cooks] Neolithic fig agriculture and storage find
ranvaig at columbus.rr.com
Sun Nov 19 22:41:54 PST 2006
>So what is the advantage of growing a parthenocarpic plant, compared
>to the regular version? It sounds like they take more effort to raise
>than the regular version. Is it just the advantage of not having to
>deal with a seed?
The structure of the fig inflorescence (flower structure) is unusual.
The flowers are inside the "synconium" or enlarged stem base. It is
this synconium that forms the fig fruit. In order for the fig to form
viable seeds, a small wasp must enter the synconium from an opening
at the end, lay her eggs inside the fruit, and in the process
pollinate the small flowers that line the interior of the fruit. Most
people don't like the idea of eating the small (maggot-like) wasp
larvae, so fig breeders have developed varieties of figs that do not
require pollination and thus have no wasp larvae inside. Without
pollination, no viable seeds are formed.
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