Ficus is largely a tropical genus comprising of trees, shrubs and vines. With 800 species all over the world, Ficus is the largest genera of flowering plants.
Figs are ecosystems within themselves. The fruit of most species are edible and are extremely important as food sources for a plethora of wildlife. Figs serve as the keystone species in several ecosystems of the country, feeding a wide array of frugivores such as birds, monkeys and bats, and forming the very cradle of life in most of wild India. Figs live in very close interdependent complex associations with their pollinators – the fig wasps.
Figs are also of considerable cultural importance throughout the tropics, both as objects of worship and for their many practical uses. Here’s a little ode to the fig!