Friday, December 14, 2007

Random plant event: Ficus maclellandii flowers

Maybe it's more like, the Ficus fruits, since the fruit and the flower are kinda the same thing with Ficus (see Wikipedia). Either way, I guess.

Sadly, I won't be able to watch this fruit develop, because when I asked a co-worker to confirm whether it was an actual fig or some kind of weird growth, he did so by pulling the fruit off the tree, cutting it open, and then throwing it away before I could protest or even get a photo. (He also was under the impression, or seemed to be, that the wasps which pollinate Ficus somehow spontaneously generate themselves in the fruit, because he said there should be a wasp in the fruit he sliced open. The wasps are actually a very specialized species which aren't found in North America -- or if they've been introduced, they're still not in Iowa -- so there's no reason why there should have been.) There are two more fruits forming on the same branch, which I'm just not going to show to him; we'll see if maybe that protects them from the knife-happy co-worker.

(Full profile on Ficus maclellandii here.)


Anonymous said...

That's pretty cool. I've seen the fruits on some mature F. benjaminas, but never on a binnendijkii. Actually, I would have guessed from the photo that that was an 'alii'. How do you tell them apart?

mr_subjunctive said...

I was under the impression that 'Alii' was a cultivar of F. binnendijkii. In this, I disagree with my growers' guide, which calls this plant F. maclellandii and gives "Alii" as the common name. The growers' guide doesn't mention F. binnendijkii at all, though, so I'm inclined to think there's only one species involved here, whatever it's actual name is.

I went with binnendijkii mostly because I enjoy typing it.

MrBrownThumb said...

Cool entry.

There's a pretty nice documentary that airs on PBS about the relationship that figs have with wasps and ants and now that I need to remember I can't think of the name of it.