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  • Fig Shapes

    I have been looking through the available literature regarding fig shapes, as they apply to fig identification of unknown varieties. Identification of varieties comes up as new topic regularly, and seems to have wide interest on the forum. Perhaps it is just me, but I do not find a authoritative resource on what the different fig description actually resemble. I know that I can compare the descriptions found in the older works with the drawings / plates to see each authors approximation, but surely somebody must have collected all the fig shapes into one black and white stencil which can be used as authoritative resource. [Something similar to the one below which I found online, but specifically for figs]

    If I have just missed the link, I would appreciate a pointer to the location, else I would suggest that a community effort to create such resource may be appreciate, especially by less senior members. I would volunteer to make a start to such project but confess up-front that my understanding of these shapes are lacking. The following are names commonly found in fig descriptions - some seem obvious, but others less so: pear, pyriform (duplicate of pear?), elongated-pyriform, turbinate, oblique-turbinate, top-shaped, flat, ovate, egg (duplicate of ovate?), inverted egg, flat egg, round, round-oval, slanted-elongated.


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    A second issue I would like input on is description of size. Is there a accepted standard in the fig community as to what constitutes a small, medium, large and extra large fig. I.e. is there a scale of the gram value that would categorize one fig as small and another as medium that is not subjective and applicable throughout the world.
    (E.g 0 to 35 gram is small, 36 to 60 gram is medium, 61 to 80 gram is large, above 80 gram is extra large)

    Andrew. Pietermaritzburg KZN, South Africa - Zone 10a/10b
    Growing Figs, Grapes, Citrus, Olive, Avocado, Pecan Nut, Macadamia Nut, Pomegranate, Blueberry, Granadilla, Guava, Mango, Apricot, Coffee and loads more - not always successfully!

  • #2
    In this link to Condit's famous monograph on the fig, on page 60 he shows some drawings with shape names listed.
    http://reader.library.cornell.edu/do...ge/78/mode/1up
    Ed
    SW PA zone 6a

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    • AndrewG
      AndrewG commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks for the response. Internet is South Africa is a bit iffy at the moment as sea cables were damaged - will try get the page to load once back to normal.

  • #3
    Interesting that the text classifies figs by size in lengths, not by weight. I suppose that makes some sense, as the ratio of height to width would also compliment the shape evaluation.
    Zone 5 Omaha. WL - Michurinska green

    Comment


    • AndrewG
      AndrewG commented
      Editing a comment
      It might have something to do with the availability and accuracy of small (digital) scales. I suspect that when most of these works were written most home / kitchen scales just did not have the level of accuracy needed. Was much easier to take a linear measuring device to the orchid. I have seen newer text that does include average weight.

  • #4
    Shape of fruit varies a lot for many varieties depending on vigor and other factors.
    Alpine, Texas 4500ft elevation Zone 7
    http://growingfruit.org/

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    • #5
      Originally posted by fruitnut View Post
      Shape of fruit varies a lot for many varieties depending on vigor and other factors.
      Agree. Off my biggest tree you could possibly get every shape I mentioned above, but there is usually a dominant shape. I have been harvesting 45-65 gram figs since a week ago. Had 50 mm (2 inches) of rain a few nights ago, and now the ripe figs average 55 to 80 gram, with a plumper shape, and about 10 mm longer and wider. If one rainfall can change the fruit so drastically, different growing conditions will probably affect the fruit shape and size quite drastically. The point I was making was not that each tree can have only one shape to identify the variety, but rather that there appears to be different interpretations of same named shapes, and duplicate names for common shapes, and that it would be good to have a common reference point, like a Rosetta stone to work from. It appears there is such reference, and I will start using it as soon as I can get it to open.
      Last edited by AndrewG; 01-21-2020, 12:38 AM.
      Andrew. Pietermaritzburg KZN, South Africa - Zone 10a/10b
      Growing Figs, Grapes, Citrus, Olive, Avocado, Pecan Nut, Macadamia Nut, Pomegranate, Blueberry, Granadilla, Guava, Mango, Apricot, Coffee and loads more - not always successfully!

      Comment


      • fruitnut
        fruitnut commented
        Editing a comment
        Hey Andrew it sounds like you have a great setup and wonderful climate. But you must have more summer rains than California which gets nearly zero for 6 months in summer. Wish I could grow everything you do.

        50 mm is 2 inches. Still a big rain and hard on figs.

      • AndrewG
        AndrewG commented
        Editing a comment
        Old age catching up with me. Should know better than doing math at 12 in the evening. Will change the original post
        Last edited by AndrewG; 01-21-2020, 12:37 AM.

    • #6
      I think someone has got these shapes wrong. Pyriform is pear-shaped, yes, but with the peduncle - the stalk - at the 'top', thin end, just like with a pear.

      I've never heard of the word obpyriform, but that would mean with the stalk at the 'fat' end - and you'll never see a fig like that.

      So I suggest that pyriform and 'obpyriform' in the picture are the wrong way round.
      Don, Danmark

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      • arachyd
        arachyd commented
        Editing a comment
        I was thinking the same. Maybe the chart was meant for a specific type of non-fig fruit.

    • #7
      Originally posted by dondan View Post
      I think someone has got these shapes wrong. Pyriform is pear-shaped, yes, but with the peduncle - the stalk - at the 'top', thin end, just like with a pear.

      I've never heard of the word obpyriform, but that would mean with the stalk at the 'fat' end - and you'll never see a fig like that.

      So I suggest that pyriform and 'obpyriform' in the picture are the wrong way round.
      The diagram in the first post is not for figs - it is the morphology of Phytophthora species. [http://idtools.org/id/phytophthora/morphology.php] Not all shapes indicated are relevant or interpreted similar. But that is the point. A newby to figs who reads "pyriform" might do what most people do today - a Google search. This is what I done, and ended up with multiple interpretations for several of the shapes. I.e. the turbinate shape given for a seashell is not the same as that of a fig; likewise the pyriform shape in the diagram above is opposite to that usually associated. Most fruits have charts that indicate how the fruit is categorised. E.g. the tomato charts below [https://www.researchgate.net/figure/..._fig1_7096197] I was looking for the authoritative indicator for the interpretation of each of the shapes usually used in text about figs.

      This does exist for figs. eboone has graciously provided the link. Unfortunately it is not responsive for me at this time.

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      Andrew. Pietermaritzburg KZN, South Africa - Zone 10a/10b
      Growing Figs, Grapes, Citrus, Olive, Avocado, Pecan Nut, Macadamia Nut, Pomegranate, Blueberry, Granadilla, Guava, Mango, Apricot, Coffee and loads more - not always successfully!

      Comment


      • #8
        AndrewG -
        Identification of figs by morphology (physical traits) has a poor track record worldwide. The more fig cultivars are genetically tested in Spain, France, Italy, Israel, Turkey, Iran, Australia, and the U.S. -- the more we find they have been mis-identified by physical traits. Condit -- considered the world's expert on physical traits of figs (Fig characteristics: http://hilgardia.ucanr.edu/Abstract/?a=hilg.v14n01p001) -- has a poor track record with synonyms and identification when compared to genetic fingerprints.

        The common mistake made by fig collectors is that offspring of a fig should closely resemble the parent. This is not at all the case because there are two parents and each can bring different traits to the mix. A single syconium of seeds can give rise to an entire spectrum of traits; e.g. when the common fig is VdB and the caprifig is 80% Dottato.
        Fruit crazed in Vista CA. http://tangentvectors.org

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        • Richard
          Richard commented
          Editing a comment
          acerpictum -
          You are mistaken. There are dozens of academic papers in English discussing "morphology" vs. genetic fingerprints for identification of fig cultivars.

        • acerpictum
          acerpictum commented
          Editing a comment
          I understand that modern agricultural science is engaged in genetic research. These people will not return "to the XX century" if only because they other qualifications and it is impossible to get normal financing for such work. I meant that after Condit there were no people who knew figs as deeply as he did, and were able to continue his work, which is needed by so many of us. The identification problem will remain at the same level even if genetic tests of all existing varieties and forms of figs are carried out. But if we continue to use and develop the “external” method according to the phenotype, then beginner fig-growers will have a normal and affordable tool, and experts will have an “un-plowed field” to work for the benefit of society.

        • Richard
          Richard commented
          Editing a comment
          The "external" method is a proven failure. Genetic fingerprinting is now down to $100 per sample here in the US.

      • #9
        Originally posted by AndrewG View Post
        eboone has graciously provided the link. Unfortunately it is not responsive for me at this time.
        https://archive.org/details/ConditI.J.TheFig/page/n77

        Andrew

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        • acerpictum
          acerpictum commented
          Editing a comment
          Richard, I just duplicated the link from eboone which did not open.

        • eboone
          eboone commented
          Editing a comment
          Richard, the link I tried to provide was to a Condit publication which had drawings of the various fig shapes/nomenclature, in answer to the original poster's question. The monograph you linked uses the fig shape nomenclature without definitions of the words used.

        • Richard
          Richard commented
          Editing a comment
          Yes, however you referred to it as "Condit's famous monograph" -- which is the link I provided. Here's another classic Condit publication to be aware of: Fig characteristics useful in the identification of varieties, http://hilgardia.ucanr.edu/Abstract/?a=hilg.v14n01p001
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