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Fig trees
Sycomoros old.jpg
Sycamore figFicus sycomorus
Scientific classificatione
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Rosids
Order: Rosales
Family: Moraceae
Tribe: Ficeae
Genus: Ficus
About 800, see text

Ficus (/ˈfkəs/[1] or /ˈfkəs/[2][3]) is a genus of about 850 species of woody treesshrubsvinesepiphytes and hemiepiphytes in the family Moraceae. Collectively known as fig trees or figs, they are native throughout the tropics with a few species extending into the semi-warm temperate zone. The common fig (F. carica) is a temperate species native to southwest Asia and the Mediterranean region (from Afghanistan to Portugal), which has been widely cultivated from ancient times for its fruit, also referred to as figs. The fruit of most other species are also edible though they are usually of only local economic importance or eaten as bushfood. However, they are extremely important food resources for wildlife. Figs are also of considerable cultural importance throughout the tropics, both as objects of worship and for their many practical uses.


Aerial root that may eventually provide structural support

Ficus is a pan-tropical genus of trees, shrubs and vines occupying a wide variety of ecological niches; most are evergreen, but some deciduous species are endemic to areas outside of the tropics and to higher elevations.[4] Fig species are characterized by their unique inflorescence and distinctive pollination syndrome, which utilizes wasp species belonging to the family Agaonidae for pollination.

The specific identification of many of the species can be difficult, but figs as a group are relatively easy to recognize.[5] Many have aerial roots and a distinctive shape or habit, and their fruits distinguish them from other plants. The fig fruit is an enclosed inflorescence, sometimes referred to as a syconium, an urn-like structure lined on the inside with the fig’s tiny flowers. The unique fig pollination system, involving tiny, highly specific wasps, known as fig wasps that enter via ostiole these sub-closed inflorescences to both pollinate and lay their own eggs, has been a constant source of inspiration and wonder to biologists.[6] Finally, there are three vegetative traits that together are unique to figs. All figs possess a white to yellowish latex, some in copious quantities; the twig has paired stipules or a circular stipule scar if the stipules have fallen off; and the lateral veins at the base of the leaf are steep, forming a tighter angle with the midrib than the other lateral veins, a feature referred to as “tri-veined”.

There are no unambiguous older fossils of Ficus. However, current molecular clock estimates indicate that Ficus is a relatively ancient genus being at least 60 million years old,[6] and possibly as old as 80 million years. The main radiation of extant species, however, may have taken place more recently, between 20 and 40 million years ago.

Some better-known species that represent the diversity of the genus include the common fig, a small temperate deciduous tree whose fingered fig leaf is well known in art and iconography; the weeping fig (F. benjamina), a hemi-epiphyte with thin tough leaves on pendulous stalks adapted to its rain forest habitat; the rough-leaved sandpaper figs from Australia; and the creeping fig (F. pumila), a vine whose small, hard leaves form a dense carpet of foliage over rocks or garden walls.

Moreover, figs with different plant habits have undergone adaptive radiation in different biogeographic regions, leading to very high levels of alpha diversity. In the tropics, it is quite common to find that Ficus is the most species-rich plant genus in a particular forest. In Asia as many as 70 or more species can co-exist.[7] Ficusspecies richness declines with an increase in latitude in both hemispheres.[8][9]

Ecology and uses[edit]

common fig‘s syconium (fruit)

Cut through ripe common fig

Figs are keystone species in many rainforest ecosystems. Their fruit are a key resource for some frugivoresincluding fruit batscapuchin monkeyslangurs and mangabeys. They are even more important for some birdsAsian barbetspigeonshornbillsfig-parrots and bulbuls are examples of taxa that may almost entirely subsist on figs when these are in plenty. Many Lepidoptera caterpillars feed on fig leaves, for example several Euploeaspecies (crow butterflies), the plain tiger (Danaus chrysippus), the giant swallowtail (Papilio cresphontes), the brown awl (Badamia exclamationis), and Chrysodeixis eriosomaChoreutidae and Copromorphidae moths. The citrus long-horned beetle (Anoplophora chinensis), for example, has larvae that feed on wood, including that of fig trees; it can become a pest in fig plantations. Similarly, the sweet potato whitefly (Bemisia tabaci) is frequently found as a pest on figs grown as potted plants and is spread through the export of these plants to other localities. For a list of other diseases common to fig trees, see List of foliage plant diseases (Moraceae).

The wood of fig trees is often soft and the latex precludes its use for many purposes. It was used to make mummy caskets in Ancient Egypt. Certain fig species (mainly F. cotinifoliaF. insipida and F. padifolia) are traditionally used in Mesoamerica to produce papel amate (Nahuatlāmatl). Mutuba (F. natalensis) is used to produce barkcloth in UgandaPou (F. religiosa) leaves’ shape inspired one of the standard kbach rachana, decorative elements in Cambodian architecture. Indian banyan (F. bengalensis) and the Indian rubber plant, as well as other species, have use in herbalism.

Figs have figured prominently in some human cultures. There is evidence that figs, specifically the common fig(F. carica) and sycamore fig (Ficus sycomorus), were among the first – if not the very first – plant species that were deliberately bred for agriculture in the Middle East, starting more than 11,000 years ago. Nine subfossilF. carica figs dated to about 9400–9200 BCE were found in the early Neolithic village Gilgal I (in the Jordan Valley, 13 km north of Jericho). These were a parthenogenetic type and thus apparently an early cultivar. This find predates the first known cultivation of grain in the Middle East by many hundreds of years.[10]


In 2014, world production of raw figs was 1.14 million tonnes, led by TurkeyEgyptAlgeria, and Morocco as the four largest producers, collectively accounting for 64% of the world total.[11]

Production of raw figs – 2014(tonnes)
 Turkey 300,282
 Egypt 176,105
 Algeria 128,620
 Morocco 126,554
 Iran 72,672
 World 1,137,730
Source: United Nations FAOSTAT[11]


In a 100 gram serving, raw figs provide 74 calories, but no essential nutrients in significant content, all having less than 10% of the Daily Value (DV) (table). When dried (uncooked), however, 100 grams of figs supply 249 calories with the dietary mineralmanganese, in rich content (24% DV) and several other minerals and vitamin K in moderate amounts of the DV (table).

Figs, raw
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy 310 kJ (74 kcal)
19.2 g
Sugars 16.3 g
Dietary fiber 2.9 g
0.3 g
0.75 g
Vitamin A equiv.


7 μg


85 μg

Thiamine (B1)

0.06 mg

Riboflavin (B2)

0.05 mg

Niacin (B3)

0.4 mg

Pantothenic acid (B5)

0.3 mg

Vitamin B6

0.11 mg

Folate (B9)

6 μg

Vitamin C

2 mg

Vitamin E

0.11 mg

Vitamin K

4.7 μg


35 mg


0.37 mg


17 mg


0.13 mg


14 mg


232 mg


1 mg


0.15 mg

Percentages are roughly approximated using US recommendations for adults.
Figs, dried, uncooked
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy 1,041 kJ (249 kcal)
63.9 g
Sugars 47.9 g
Dietary fiber 9.8 g
0.93 g
3.3 g
Vitamin A equiv.

0 μg

Thiamine (B1)

0.085 mg

Riboflavin (B2)

0.082 mg

Niacin (B3)

0.62 mg

Pantothenic acid (B5)

0.43 mg

Vitamin B6

0.11 mg

Folate (B9)

9 μg

Vitamin C

1 mg

Vitamin E

0.35 mg

Vitamin K

15.6 μg


162 mg


2 mg


68 mg


0.51 mg


67 mg


680 mg


10 mg


0.55 mg

Percentages are roughly approximated using US recommendations for adults.

Fig fruit and reproduction system[edit]

Many fig species are grown for their fruits, though only Ficus carica is cultivated to any extent for this purpose. The fig fruits, important as both food and traditional medicine, contain laxative substances, flavonoids, sugars, vitamins A and C, acids and enzymes. However, figs are skin allergens, and the latex is a serious eye irritant.

A fig “fruit” is a type of multiple fruit known as a syconium, derived from an arrangement of many small flowers on an inverted, nearly closed receptacle. The many small flowers are unseen unless the fig is cut open. In Chinese the fig is called wú huā guǒ (simplified Chinese无花果traditional Chinese無花果), “fruit without flower”.[12] In Bengali, where the common fig is called dumur, it is referenced in a proverb: tumi jeno dumurer phool hoe gele (“You have become [invisible like] the dumur flower”).

The syconium often has a bulbous shape with a small opening (the ostiole) at the outward end that allows access to pollinators. The flowers are pollinated by very small wasps that crawl through the opening in search of a suitable place to lay eggs. Without this pollinator service fig trees could not reproduce by seed. In turn, the flowers provide a safe haven and nourishment for the next generation of wasps. This accounts for the frequent presence of wasp larvae in the fruit, and has led to a coevolutionary relationship. Technically, a fig fruit proper would be only one of the many tiny matured, seed-bearing gynoecia found inside one fig – if you cut open a fresh fig, individual fruit will appear as fleshy “threads”, each bearing a single seed inside. The genus Dorstenia, also in the fig family (Moraceae), exhibits similar tiny flowers arranged on a receptacle but in this case the receptacle is a more or less flat, open surface.

Fig plants can be monoecious (hermaphrodite) or gynodioecious (hermaphrodite and female).[13] Nearly half of fig species are gynodioecious, and therefore have some plants with inflorescences (syconium) with long styled pistillate flowers, and other plants with staminate flowers mixed with short styled pistillate flowers.[14] The long flowers styles tend to prevent wasps from laying their eggs within the ovules, while the short styled flowers are accessible for egg laying.[15]

All the native fig trees of the American continent are hermaphrodites, as well as species like Indian banyan (F. benghalensis), weeping fig (F. benjamina), Indian rubber plant (F. elastica), fiddle-leaved fig(F. lyrata), Moreton Bay fig (F. macrophylla), Chinese banyan (F. microcarpa), sacred fig (F. religiosa) and sycamore fig (F. sycomorus).[16]

On the other hand, the common fig (Ficus carica) is a gynodioecious plant, as well as lofty fig or clown fig (F. aspera), Roxburgh fig (F. auriculata), mistletoe fig (F. deltoidea), F. pseudopalmacreeping fig(F. pumila) and related species.

The hermaphrodite common figs are called “inedible figs” or caprifigs; in traditional culture in the Mediterranean region they were considered food for goats (Capra aegagrus). In the female fig trees, the male flower parts fail to develop; they produce the “edible figs”Fig wasps grow in common fig caprifigs but not in the female syconiums because the female flower is too long for the wasp to successfully lay her eggs in them. Nonetheless, the wasp pollinates the flower with pollen from the caprifig it grew up in. When the wasp dies, it is broken down by enzymes (Ficain) inside the fig. Fig wasps are not known to transmit any diseases harmful to humans.

When a caprifig ripens, another caprifig must be ready to be pollinated. In temperate climes, wasps hibernate in figs, and there are distinct crops. Common fig[verification needed] caprifigs have three crops per year; edible figs have two. The first (breba)[17] produces small fruits called olynth. Some parthenocarpiccultivars of common figs do not require pollination at all, and will produce a crop of figs (albeit sterile) in the absence of caprifigs or fig wasps.

Depending on the species, each fruit can contain hundreds or even thousand of seeds.[18] Figs can be propagated by seeds, cuttings, air-layering or grafting. However, as with any plant, figs grown from seed are not necessarily genetically identical to the parent and are only propagated this way for breeding purposes.

Mutualism with the pollinating fig wasps[edit]

Each species of fig is pollinated by one or a few specialised wasp species, and therefore plantings of fig species outside of their native range results in effectively sterile individuals. For example, in Hawaii, some 60 species of figs have been introduced, but only four of the wasps that fertilize them have been introduced, so only four species of figs produce viable seeds there and can become invasive species. This is an example of mutualism, in which each organism (fig plant and fig wasp) benefit each other, in this case reproductively.

The intimate association between fig species and their wasp pollinators, along with the high incidence of a one-to-one plant-pollinator ratio have long led scientists to believe that figs and wasps are a clear example of coevolution. Morphological and reproductive behavior evidence, such as the correspondence between fig and wasp larvae maturation rates, have been cited as support for this hypothesis for many years.[19]Additionally, recent genetic and molecular dating analyses have shown a very close correspondence in the character evolution and speciation phylogenies of these two clades.[6]

According to meta-analysis of molecular data for 119 fig species 35 % (41) have multiple pollinator wasp species. The real proportion is higher because not all wasp species were detected. [20] On the other hand, species of wasps pollinate multiple host fig species. [21] Molecular techniques, like microsatellite markers and mitochondrial sequence analysis, allowed a discovery of multiple genetically distinct, cryptic wasp species. Not all theses cryptic species are sister taxa and thus must have experienced a host fig shift at some point. [22]These cryptic species lacked evidence of genetic introgression or backcrosses indicating limited fitness for hybrids and effective reproductive isolation and speciation.[22]

The existence of cryptic species suggests that neither the number of symbionts nor their evolutionary relationships are necessarily fixed ecologically. While the morphological characteristics that facilitate the fig-wasp mutualisms are likely to be shared more fully in closer relatives, the absence of unique pairings would make it impossible to do a one-to-one tree comparison and difficult to determine cospeciation.


With 800 species, Ficus is by far the largest genus in the Moraceae, and is one of the largest genera of flowering plants currently described.[23] The species currently classified within Ficus were originally split into several genera in the mid-1800s, providing the basis for a subgeneric classification when reunited into one genus in 1867. This classification put functionally dioecious species into four subgenera based on floral characters.[24] In 1965, E. J. H. Corner reorganized the genus on the basis of breeding system, uniting these four dioecious subgenera into a single dioecious subgenus Ficus. Monoecious figs were classified within the subgenera UrostigmaPharmacosycea and Sycomorus.[25]

This traditional classification has been called into question by recent phylogenetic studies employing genetic methods to investigate the relationships between representative members of the various sections of each subgenus.[6][24][26][27][28] Of Corner’s original subgeneric divisions of the genus, only Sycomorus is supported as monophyletic in the majority of phylogenetic studies.[6][24][27] Notably, there is no clear split between dioecious and monoecious lineages.[6][24][26][27][28] One of the two sections of Pharmacosycea, a monoecious group, form a monophyletic clade basal to the rest of the genus, which includes the other section of Pharmacosycea, the rest of the monoecious species, and all of the dioecious species.[28] These remaining species are divided into two main monophyletic lineages (though the statistical support for these lineages isn’t as strong as for the monophyly of the more derived clades within them). One consists of all sections of Urostigma except for section Urostigma s. s.. The other includes section Urostigma s. s., subgenus Sycomorus, and the species of subgenus Ficus, though the relationships of the sections of these groups to one another are not well resolved.[6][28]

Selected species[edit]

Cultural and spiritual significance[edit]

Leaves of the sacred fig (Ficus religiosa)

Fig tree roots overgrowing a sandstone Buddha statue, near Wat Maha That in Ayutthaya province, Thailand

Fig trees have profoundly influenced culture through several religious traditions. Among the more famous species are the sacred fig tree (Pipal, bodhi, bo, or po, Ficus religiosa) and the banyan fig (Ficus benghalensis). The oldest living plant of known planting date is a Ficus religiosa tree known as the Sri Maha Bodhi planted in the temple at Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka by King Tissa in 288 BCE. The common fig is one of two significant trees in Islam, and there is a sura in Quran named “The Fig” or At-Tin (سوره تین). In East Asia, figs are important in Buddhism and Hinduism. In Jainism, the consumption of any fruit belonging to this genus is prohibited.[33]The Buddha is traditionally held to have found bodhi (enlightenment) while meditating under a sacred fig(F. religiosa). The same species was Ashvattha, the “world tree” of Hinduism. The plaksa Pra-sravana was said to be a fig tree between the roots of which the Sarasvati River sprang forth; it is usually held to be a sacred fig but more probably seems to be a wavy-leaved fig (F. infectoria). According to the Kikuyu people, sacrifices to Ngai were performed under a sycomore tree (Mũkũyũ) and if one was not available, a fig tree (Mũgumo) would be used. The common fig tree is cited in the Bible, where in Genesis 3:7, Adam and Eve cover their nakedness with fig leaves. The fig fruit is also included in the list of food found in the Promised Land, according to the Torah (Deut. 8). Jesus cursed a fig tree for bearing no fruit (Mark 11:12–14). The fig tree was sacred in ancient Cyprus where it was a symbol of fertility.

List of famous fig trees[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. Jump up^ “Ficus – Definition of ficus by Merriam-Webster”
  2. Jump up^ Sunset Western Garden Book, 1995:606–607
  3. Jump up^ “Definition of “ficus” – Collins English Dictionary”
  4. Jump up^ Halevy, Abraham H. (1989). Handbook of Flowering Volume 6 of CRC Handbook of Flowering. CRC Press. p. 331. ISBN 978-0-8493-3916-5. Retrieved 2009-08-25
  5. Jump up^ Quigley’s Plant identification 10:100
  6. Jump up to:a b c d e f g Rønsted et al. (2005)
  7. Jump up^ Harrison (2005)
  8. Jump up^ Van Noort, S.; Van Harten, A. (12-2006)
  9. Jump up^ Berg, C.C.; Hijmann, M.E.E. (1989)
  10. Jump up^ Kislev, ME; Hartmann, A; Bar-Yosef, O (2 June 2006). “Early Domesticated Fig in the Jordan Valley”. Science312: 1372–4. PMID 16741119doi:10.1126/science.1125910.
  11. Jump up to:a b “Raw fig production in 2014; Crops/World Regions/Production Quantity from pick lists”. UN Food and Agriculture Organization Corporate Statistical Database, FAOSTAT. 2014. Retrieved 30 May 2017.
  12. Jump up^ Denisowski (2007)
  13. Jump up^ “Armstrong, Wayne P. and Steven Disparti. 1998. A key to subgroups of dioecious* (gynodioecious) figs”. 1998-04-04. Archived from the original on 2012-02-02. Retrieved 2012-01-05.
  14. Jump up^ Friis, Ib; Balslev, Henrik (2005). Plant diversity and complexity patterns: local, regional, and global dimensions:. Kgl. Danske Videnskabernes Selskab. p. 472. ISBN 978-87-7304-304-2.
  15. Jump up^
  16. Jump up^ Berg & Corner (2005)
  17. Jump up^ CRFG (1996)
  18. Jump up^ “” (PDF). Retrieved 2012-01-05.
  19. Jump up^ Machado et al. (2001)
  20. Jump up^ Yang, Li-Yuan; Machado, Carlos A.; Dang, Xiao-Dong; Peng, Yan-Qiong; Yang, Da-Rong; Zhang, Da-Yong; Liao, Wan-Jin (February 2015). “The incidence and pattern of copollinator diversification in dioecious and monoecious figs”. Evolution69 (2): 294–304. doi:10.1111/evo.12584.
  21. Jump up^ Machado et al. (2005)
  22. Jump up to:a b Molbo, D.; Machado, C. A.; Sevenster, J. G.; Keller, L.; Herre, E. A. (24 April 2003). “Cryptic species of fig-pollinating wasps: Implications for the evolution of the fig-wasp mutualism, sex allocation, and precision of adaptation”. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences100 (10): 5867–5872. doi:10.1073/pnas.0930903100.
  23. Jump up^ Judd, W. S. (2008) Plant Systematics: A phylogenetic approach. Sunderland, Mass: Sinauer Associates.
  24. Jump up to:a b c d Weiblen, G. D. (2000). Phylogenetic relationships of functionally dioecious Ficus (Moraceae) based on ribosomal DNA sequences and morphology, 87(9), 1342–1357.
  25. Jump up^ Corner, E. J. H. (1965). “Check-list of Ficus in Asia and Australasia with keys to identification”The Gardens’ Bulletin Singapore. (digitised, online, via 21 (1): 1–186. Retrieved 5 Feb 2014.
  26. Jump up to:a b Herre, E.; Machado, C. A.; Bermingham, E.; Nason, J. D.; Windsor, D. M.; McCafferty, S.; Van Houten, W.; et al. (1996). “Molecular phylogenies of figs and their pollinator wasps”. Journal of Biogeography23 (4): 521–530. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2699.1996.tb00014.x.
  27. Jump up to:a b c Jousselin, E.; Rasplus, J.-Y.; Kjellberg, F. (2003). “Convergence and coevolution in a mutualism: evidence from a molecular phylogeny of Ficus”. Evolution; international journal of organic evolution57 (6): 1255–69. doi:10.1554/02-445.
  28. Jump up to:a b c d Rønsted, N, Weiblen, G. D., Clement, W. L., Zerega, N. J. C., & Savolainen, V. (2008). Reconstructing the phylogeny of figs (Ficus, Moraceae) to reveal the history of the fig pollination mutualism.
  29. Jump up^ Wu ,et al., 2003, Flora of China
  30. Jump up^ Brazil. Described by Carauta & Diaz (2002): pp.38–39
  31. Jump up^ Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina: Carauta & Diaz (2002): pp.64–66
  32. Jump up^ “Changitrees”. 2002-09-12. Retrieved 2012-01-05.
  33. Jump up^ Tukol, T. K (1980). Compendium of Jainism. p. 206.



#NoSchool with Arts In Parts & theperfectnothingcatalog


Ferrocement Birdbath

Ficus Interfaith

#NoSchool with Arts In Parts & theperfectnothingcatalog



Unfortunately there exist only few photos of the shadow bands world-wide. So there is often still published lithography of the shadow bands of the eclipse 1870-12-22 from Gela / Sicily (former Terranova) by Demetrio Emilio Diamilla Müller (see picture left, from: G.F. Chambers: The Story of Eclipses, 1900, Thanks to Michael Zeiler, click onto image for larger version).

The best theory for the emergence of the shadow bands is published by Codona 1986. His theory meanwhile accepted by the most scientists. Codonas scintillation theory is able to explain very well also subtle photoelectric observations .

After Codona the shadow bands at ground level result from interference of light rays, taking a somewhat different way in the atmosphere when crossing its turbulences and density variations .

The best observation conditions for such interferences can be expected from point light sources. On the other hand, the more extended the source of light is, the more less will such interferences be perceptible. Nevertheless you may observe the so-called ” heat waves ” on very hot days on homogeneous structured surfaces. In general, they are nothing different than the shadow bands.

During a solar eclipse however the solar crescent becomes more and more the shape of a slot. While a point light source would produce a spotted interference pattern, the pattern produced by this slit-shaped solar crescent is smeared to bands.

Wit’s End: Smell the Earth, Taste the Rain…Hear the Sun Rise and Night Fall


biorock links and additional reading

Title Notes
Goreau’s “Marine Electrolysis for Building Materials and Environmental Restoration” Lots of essential details about the types of rocks grown at different charges, etc, and the increased growth of marine wildlife
Not as much detail about specific building techniques
Official Biorock FAQ Includes more practical questions of budget, process, materials – encouraging for those on a shoestring budget!
Goreau’s “Electrical Stimulation Greatly Increases Settlement, Growth, Survival, and Stress Resistance of Marine Organisms” Research paper with evidence and graphs of biorock’s positive effects on marine growth – good for the “why” of a project like this – includes oyster mentions
The Biorock Process Short general description of Biorock’s process, other pages on this site also useful to browse
DIY Aquarium Biorock – Forum 1 Forum, someone trying to create biorock in a home aquarium, conversation ends before a solution is described but still useful as a premise
DIY Biorock – Forum 2 70 forum posts, partly contesting Biorock’s strength for building materials, but this is irrelevant for a structure like ours that will stay underwater
Should read through – lots of concrete tips scattered throughout long nerdy conversation (how fast material builds up, what to use, etc.)
Seament Accretion Experiment This is one of the MOST useful pages so far! Describes and pictures specific materials (even dimensions and part #s) and spells out a step by step process
Includes a case study experiment of biorock
STUDY ON BIOROCK® TECHNIQUE USING THREE DIFFERENT ANODE MATERIALS (MAGNESIUM, ALUMINUM, AND TITANIUM) Compares anode materials – literally a tl;dr – Titanium is best and fastest, Magnesium Aluminum is second-best
DIY Biorock conservation Kind of introductory and written by a crazy guy, has a useful diagram to explain how the whole system is set up
Biorock Technology Benefits Search for “New York” to see examples of Biorock allowing oysters to grow even in severely polluted site in NYC – this applies to our project
Mara Mara’s worked with Tom and James- exactly what were trying to do
Colleen Colleen’s project, she’s very nice via email
Mara;s new project Mara’s using a fairytale format and aesthetic to develop a How-To for Oyster Rehab
The Biorock Book – Unit 16 – Bartlett School of Architecture Summarizes several practical experiments, useful for observing rate and factors of growth
Oyster Growth Study using Biorock® Accretion Technology Oyster and NYC-specific experiment – very similar to what we’re trying to do! Shows that oysters grow where Biorock gives them a structure, and they actually grow more quickly than other oysters
Biorock® oysters grow faster and have higher survival Results from studies on the growth rate of oysters in Biorock conditions in New York – Tom Goreau is an author


“When heaven’s high vault condensing clouds deform,
Fair Amaryllis flies the incumbent storm,
Seeks with unsteady step the shelter’d vale,
And turns her blushing beauties from the gale.
Six rival youths, with soft concern impress’d,
Calm all her fears, and charm her cares to rest.” (I.151-156)

-Erasmus Darwin

Poem on evolution


Erasmus Darwin offered the first glimpse of his theory of evolution, obliquely, in a question at the end of a long footnote to his popular poem The Loves of the Plants (1789), which was republished throughout the 1790s in several editions as The Botanic Garden. His poetic concept was to anthropomorphise the stamen (male) and pistil (female) sexual organs, as bride and groom. In this stanza on the flower Curcuma (also Flax and Turmeric) the “youths” are infertile, and he devotes the footnote to other examples of neutered organs in flowers, insect castes, and finally associates this more broadly with many popular and well-known cases of vestigial organs (male nipples, the third and fourth wings of flies, etc.)

Woo’d with long care, CURCUMA cold and shy
Meets her fond husband with averted eye:
Four beardless youths the obdurate beauty move
With soft attentions of Platonic love.

Darwin’s final long poem, The Temple of Nature was published posthumously in 1803. The poem was originally titled The Origin of Society. It is considered his best poetic work. It centres on his own conception of evolution. The poem traces the progression of life from micro-organisms to civilised society. The poem contains a passage that describes the struggle for existence.[10]

His poetry was admired by Wordsworth, although Coleridge was intensely critical, writing, “I absolutely nauseate Darwin’s poem”.[6] It often made reference to his interests in science; for example botany and steam engines.



When I heard the learn’d astronomer,

When the proofs, the figures, were ranged in columns before me,

When I was shown the charts and diagrams, to add, divide, and measure them,

When I sitting heard the astronomer where he lectured with much applause in the lecture-room,

How soon unaccountable I became tired and sick,

Till rising and gliding out I wander’d off by myself,

In the mystical moist night-air, and from time to time,

Look’d up in perfect silence at the stars.


Walt Whitman