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Any plant of the genus Ficus, in the mulberry family, especially Ficus carica, the common fig. Yielding the well-known figs of commerce, F. carica is native to an area from Asiatic Turkey to northern India, but natural seedlings grow in most Mediterranean countries, where figs are used extensively, both fresh and dried. It is a bush or small tree with broad, rough, deciduous leaves (seedeciduous tree). Hundreds of different varieties are grown in various parts of the world. The fig was one of the first fruit trees to come under cultivation. Its fruit contains significant amounts of calcium, potassium, phosphorus, and iron.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on fig, visit Britannica.com.