CAPRIFIGS PRODUCE POLLEN ON ALL CROPS.
[Written for Pacific Rurnl Pre*» by
Francis Helny, Brawley.l
In commenting on your communication in regard to using Pseudocarica fig to pollinate the early (breba) crop of Smyrnas I can state that I have done this as much as 6 or 7 years ago. But unless the mammes are plentiful it will be pretty hard to induce the blastophagas to enter the female breba figs, inasmuch as they prefer to enter and infest the profichis, which appear to be very plentiful at that time.
There is absolute certainty that all crops of Pseudocarica capri figs have pollen stamens; this is true also of their hybrids; but there is another class, the Ficus afganistanica, and hybrids, which carries stamens with pollen. The first wasps begin to issue in latter part of Feb. and the last in the early part of Dec. The life cycle is 40-50 days. Somewhat shorter than further north, where apparently, according to Prof. S. P. Rixford, it takes 60 to 75 days from the egg to the adult. It takes 6 weeks or more to mature the female fig after the pollination date.
The season here lasts 5 to 6 weeks. So when the wasps begin to issue in the latter part of Feb. they may last until almost Apr. 15, especially since our new hybrids of pseudocarica and afganistanica began to produce.
But as the season advances the season prolongates, atid the fourth and fifth crops almost run together and this happens in latter part of Aug. After this date wasps are available most any time.
I have harvested fine ripe Smyrnas on Christmas day and some as late as Feb. the next year. This of course during dry, frostless winters.
Although pollination of brebas is possible, it will be necessary to produce hybrids of heavy mamme crops to make this practicable