38. Ficus carica Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 2: 1059. 1753.
无花果 wu hua guo
Shrubs, 3-10 m tall, many branched. Bark grayish brown, distinctly lenticellate. Branchlets straight, strong. Stipules red, ovate-lanceolate, ca. 1 cm. Leaves alternate; petiole strong, 2-5 cm; leaf blade broadly ovate, usually with 3-5 ovate lobes, 10-20 × 10-20 cm, thickly papery, abaxially densely covered with small cystoliths and short gray pubescence, adaxially scabrous, base ± cordate, margin irregularly toothed; basal lateral veins 2-4, secondary veins 5-7 on each side of midvein. Figs axillary on normal leafy shoots, solitary, purplish red to yellow when mature, pear-shaped, large, 3-5 cm in diam., apical pore concave, sessile; involucral bracts ovate. Male flowers: near apical pore; calyx lobes 4 or 5; stamens (1 or)3(-5). Gall flowers: style lateral, short. Female flowers: calyx lobes 4 or 5; ovary ovoid, smooth; style lateral; stigma 2-branched, linear. Achenes lenslike. Fl. and fr. May-Jul.
Cultivated. throughout China [native to the Mediterranean region eastward to Afghanistan].
This species was introduced to China during the Tang Dynasty (618–906 CE) and is grown particularly in Xinjiang for its edible fruit.