Scientists identify species of tree erroneously linked to apple

Fumesua (Ash), May 22, GNA - A team of research scientists working to ascertain the genre of the tree species spotted at Wiamoase in the Ashanti Region, and erroneously linked to apple, has confirmed that “it is indeed a fig tree”.

The scientists, drawn from the Crops Research Institute (CRI) of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), as well as the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA), concluded that the said tree could be Ficus sycomorus.

“This species is a native to tropical Africa, South of the Sahel as well as North of the Tropic of Capricorn,” a report released by the CRI, and copied the Ghana News Agency (GNA) noted.

The tree species’ fruit is a large edible, and ripening from buff-green to yellow or red. They are borne in thick clusters on long branchlets or the leaf axil.

According to the report, the team used ‘PlantSnap’, a high-tech, comprehensive and accurate plant identification mobile app, which is able to identify over 90 per cent of all known species of plants and trees to match the leaves of the supposed plant.

“The alleged ‘apple’ tree growing on latitude 07o 03’ 333’’ N and longitude 001o 31’150’’ W, at an altitude 432 metres above sea level as a shade tree in a house at Wiamoase, is a fig tree,” the report emphasized.

It is not an apple tree as previously claimed.

The report indicated that fig belonged to the family Moraceae (sometimes called Mulberry family), and that there were over 850 different types of it in the world.

Throwing more light on the alleged ‘apple’ tree, the report said morphologically, research scientists observed that the tree had several adventitious roots emerging from the stem and branches.

Additionally, the transverse and longitudinal sections of the immature fruits show several seeds within the fruit, while the peel contained thick whitish latex, which sticks to objects and the hand and is difficult to clean.