Ficus is a genus of 850 species of woody trees, shrubs, vines, epiphytes and hemiepiphytes in the family of Moraceae (in which genera are found). Collectively Known as fig trees or figs, they are natives throughout the tropics with some species that extend into the semi-quente temperate zone. The Common Fig Tree (F. Carica) is a temperate species originating in southwestern Asia and the Mediterranean region (from Afghanistan to Portugal), which has been widely cultivated from antiquity by its fruit, also known as figs. The fruit of most other species are also edible which are usually of local economic importance or are eaten as Bushfood. However, they are extremely important food resources for wildlife. Figs are also of considerable cultural importance throughout the tropics, both as objects of worship and for their many practical uses.
Ficus is a tropical genus of trees, shrubs and vines that occupy a wide variety of ecological niches; Most are green, but some deciduous species are endemic to areas outside the tropics and higher elevations. The species of fig trees are characterized by their unique inflorescence and their characteristic pollination syndrome, which uses species of Wasas belonging to the Agaonidae family for pollination.
The specific identification of many species can be difficult, but figs as a group are relatively easy to recognize. Many have aerial roots and a distinctive form or habit, and their fruits distinguish them from other plants. The Fruit of the fig tree is a closed inflorescence, occasionally referred to as a syconium, an urn-shaped structure lined inside with tiny fig flowers. The pollination system of a single Fig, which implies small and very specific Wasas, known as Fig Wasas that enters through the Ostiol these sub enclosed inflorescences to pollinate and put their own eggs, has been a constant source of inspiration and Admiration for biologists. Finally, there are three vegetative traits that together are unique to figs. All figs have a latex white to yellowish, some in copious quantities; The Branch has stipulated matched or a circular stipules scar if the stipulations have been dropped; and the lateral veins at the base of the leaf are steep, forming a tighter angle with the central nerve than the other lateral veins, a characteristic referred to as “Tri-veinado “.
There are no unambiguous older fossils of Ficus. However, current estimates of the molecular clock indicate that Ficus is a relatively old genus that is at least 60 million years old, and possibly as aged as 80 million years. The main radiation of existing species, however, may have occurred more recently, between 20 and 40 million years ago.
Some known species that represent the diversity of the genus include the common fig, a small, temperate deciduous tree whose fig leaf is well known in art and iconography; The chorous Fig (F. Benjamina), a Hemi-epiphyto with fine hard leaves in pendulosas stems adapted to its tropical forest habitat; Australia’s hard-sheet figs; And Creeping Fig (F. pumila), a vine whose small, hard leaves form a dense carpet of foliage on the rocks or walls of the garden.
In Addition, figs with different plant habits have undergone adaptive radiation in different biogeographic regions, leading to very high levels of alpha diversity. In the tropics, it is quite common to discover that Ficus is the plant genus richest in species in a particular forest. In Asia, up to 70 or more species can coexist. The richness of the Ficus species decreases with an increase in latitude in both hemispheres.