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Glossary


Glossary

 
Accession

A new item added to an existing collection. In the case of fig varieties, it is the addition of a specific sample. A fig variety name may be associated with the accession, but accessions are usually tracked through a unique identifier that keeps specific samples separate from others which may have the same name. For example, the NPGS has the specific identifier DFIC 63 for a submission of the Violette de Bordeaux variety.

Achene

Though, the fig, itself, is not technically a fruit, but a casing (the syconium or receptacle) that encloses dozens or hundreds of tiny fruits called "pips", drupes, or most properly, achenes. An achene is a dry, indehiscent, one-seeded fruit. Each achene contains a single seed, surrounded by a hard ovary wall.

Acid

A chemical substance that neutralizes alkalis, dissolves some metals, and turns litmus red. At the chemical level, it is a molecule that can donate a proton or accept an electron pair in reactions. Acidity is measured by pH. A pH below 7 is acidic. The lower the pH, the higher the acidity. Acids with lower pH's can be hazardous. pH plays an important role in fig growth. Soils which are overly acidic can stunt fig tree growth and may require amendments (often via garden lime or wood ash). Acidity is also a factor in fig flavor. Acidic figs have a "sharpness" or "tartness", usually attributed to vitamin C (ascorbic acid). Some enjoy this flavor, especially when balanced with sugar and other flavors. Others have a clear preference for avoiding acidic figs.

Acrophyll

In a climbing plant, a leaf produced by the mature plant, which is physically distinct from the leaves produced by the immature plant.

Acumen

A prolonged apex, usually narrowed.

Acuminate

Taper-pointed; gradually tapering.

Acute

Sharp-pointed.

Adriano Ferreira

The AF "strain" of the Genovese Nero is attributed to him.

Adriatic Fig Family

One of the family of fig varieties that are grouped into categories of similar characteristics. Sometimes called Adriatic Type. Varieties of the Adriatic Family are most easily identified by the green skin, sometimes turning yellow when ripe, and the red interior. Often with a dense strawberry flavor.

Adventitious

Out of the proper or usual place.

Air Layer

Propagation by wrapping moss around branches still attached to tree. Often referred to within the fig community as "air layering".

Alkali

Also referred to as "base". A chemical compound that neutralizes or effervesces with acids and turns litmus blue. At the chemical level, it is a molecule that can readily receive a proton or donate an electron pair in reactions. Alkalinity is measured by pH. A pH above 7 is alkaline. The higher the pH, the higher the alkalinity. Alkalis with higher pH's can be hazardous. pH plays an important role in fig growth. Fig trees prefer soils which are alkaline. Acidic soils can stunt fig tree growth and may require amendments (often via garden lime or wood ash) to increase the alkalinity. Latex (fig sap) is alkaline and can be caustic, even burning the skin, especially when exposed to sunlight. Unripe figs can have an excess of latex, and produce a very distasteful flavor and even an unpleasant sensation on the tongue and lips. In contrast, see Acid.

Allele

An allele is a variation of the same sequence of nucleotides at the same place on a long DNA molecule. The word "Allele" is a short form of "allelomorph".

Alternate

Only one at a place, as leaves.

Anastomosing

Veins forming a network.

Andreas Pratras

Andreas Pratras from Patra, Peloponnisos, Greece: He sheds a lot of light on Greek varieties and there may be a few fig varieties circulating within the US that are sourced from him.

Androgynous

Both male and female flowers in the same cluster.

Anecdotal

Evidence that is merely from a single or few accounts. It is considered a logical fallacy to draw accurate conclusions or generalizations based upon anecdotal evidence, not considering the many variables that contribute to a single or very narrow range of examples, time, etc. Anecdotal evidence is considered subjective versus an objective scientific study.

Anjir

An edible fig, usually Ficus carica, but can be of other species. "Fig" is often in variety names, in other languages:

  • Arabic: Teen
  • Catalan: Fig; plural: Figues
  • Chinese: wu hua guo
  • French: Figue; plural: Figues
  • German: Feige; Essfeige
  • Greek: Sýko; (or Siko) plural: Sýka (or Sika)
  • Hebrew: Te'enah; plural: Tnm
  • India (Hindi): Anjir
  • Italian: Fica (feminine); Fico (masculine)
  • Portuguese: Figo; plural: Figos
  • Spanish: Higo; plural: Higos
  • Turkish: Incir
Annulus

A ring, or ringlike structure.

Apiculate

Ending in a short-pointed tip.

Apogamy

Apomixis. Seed production without fertilization of the flower. Asexual reproduction.

Appellation d'Origine Protegee

This is the European Union's new designation, meant to replace the old Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée for recognition across the member states. It was officially adopted in January 2016. As Bordeaux wine must be produced in the Bordeaux region of France, and Champagne must be produced in the Champagne region, some fig variety names fall under AOP protection (e.g. Figue de Sollies, which is often sold as Violette de Sollies to avoid conflict with AOP protection). AOP applies to the fig "fruit", not to the variety of trees. Though not technically under AOP, other varieties outside of the European Union may also fall under protected status (e.g. Djebba has a protected variety name in Tunisia). See Protected/controlled designation of origin (PDO/AOC) for more details.

Arcuate

Moderately curved.

Areole

Area with a distinct boundary.

Asperous

Rough to the touch.

Atreano Fig Family

One of the family of fig varieties that are grouped into categories of similar characteristics. Sometimes called Atreano Type. This family is very balanced, which includes the features from the other more predominant characteristics of the other fig families: honey, fruitiness, and light berry.

Attenuate

Gradually narrowed or drawn out.

Aureous

Golden.

Auricled

Auriculate. With ear-like lobes. Having two lobes, often curved, often near the base.

Autumn Crop

The second main crop of figs that occurs in autumn. Sometimes called "second main crop", "fall crop", or "autumn crop".

Axil

Angle of leaf or fruit with stem.

Axillary

Occurring in an axil.

 
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