Caprification

Definitions

  • Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Caprification The practice of hanging, upon the cultivated fig tree, branches of the wild fig infested with minute hymenopterous insects.☞ It is supposed that the little insects insure fertilization by carrying the pollen from the male flowers near the opening of the fig down to the female flowers, and also accelerate ripening the fruit by puncturing it. The practice has existed since ancient times, but its benefit has been disputed.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n caprification A process intended to accelerate the ripening of the fig, and to improve the fruit. It consists in suspending branches of the wild fig (see caprifig) in the cultivated trees, and subjecting the fruit to the attacks of the gall-insects which are thus introduced. The practice is one of great antiquity, but, though still followed in many localities, is of very doubtful utility. Caprification is also effected by planting an occasional wild fig among the others. In some portions of France the same object is attained by touching a drop of oil to the orifice of the fruit, by which its ripening is hastened nearly a week.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Caprification kap-ri-fi-kā′shun a method supposed to hasten the ripening of figs, by puncturing
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Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L. caprificatio, fr. caprificare, to ripen figs by caprification, fr. caprificus, the wild fig; caper, goat + ficus, fig
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
L. caprificus, the wild fig—caper, a goat, and ficus, a fig.

Usage

In literature:

F. Muller published on Caprification in "Kosmos," 1882.
"More Letters of Charles Darwin Volume II" by Charles Darwin
I cannot learn that caprification is now practised in Italy, but it is still in use in Greece.
"Man and Nature" by George P. Marsh
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