Botanical Nerd Word: Syconium

the fruit of the fig tree

Syconium: A multiple fruit developed from numerous flowers imbedded in a fleshy receptacle, as in the fig.*

The fruits on the Ficus carica (hardy fig) are just beginning to ripen in the garden. Fig flowers don’t face outward like most other flowers. Their entire development from opening, to fertilisation, to seed production all takes place inside the enclosure of the syconium. In the end, when you eat a fig, you’re actually eating a pouch filled with hundreds of tiny fruits.

*”syconium, n.” OED Online. Oxford University Press, September 2016. Web. 21 October 2016.