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In the island of Cea there are wild figs that bear three times in one year. By the first crop the one that succeeds is summoned forth, and by that the third. It is by the agency of this last crop that caprification1 is performed. In the wild fig, too, the fruit grows on the opposite side of the leaves. There are some pears and apples, too, that bear two crops in the year, while there are some early varieties also. The wild apple bears twice2 in the year, its second crop coming on after the rising of Arcturus,3 in sunny localities more particularly. There are vines, too, that will even bear three times in the year, a circumstance that has procured for them the name of "frantic"4 vines. On these we see grapes just ripening, others beginning to swell, and others, again, in blossom, all at the same moment.

M. Varro5 informs us, that there was formerly at Smyrna, near6 the Temple of the Mother of the Gods, a vine that bore two crops in the year, as also an apple-tree of a similar nature in the territory of Consentia. This, however, is constantly to be witnessed in the territory of Tacapa,7 in Africa, of which we shall have to speak more fully on another occasion,8 so remarkable is the fertility of the soil. The cypress also bears three times in the year, for its berries are gathered in the months of January, May, and September, being all three of different size.

There are also certain peculiarities observed in the different modes in which the trees bear their fruit, the arbutus and the quercus being most fruitful in the upper part, the walnut and the marisca9 fig in the lower. All trees, the older they grow, the more early they bear, and this more particularly in sunny spots and where the soil is not over-rich. All the forest-trees are slower in bringing their fruit to maturity; and indeed, in some of them the fruit never becomes fully ripe.10 Those trees, too, about the roots of which the earth is ploughed or broken and loosened, bring their fruit to maturity more speedily than those in which this has been neglected; by this process they are also rendered more fruitful.

1 See B. xv. c. 21.

2 This does not happen in the northern climates; though sometimes it is the case that a fruit-tree blossoms again towards the end of summer, and it the autumn is fine and prolonged, these late fruits will ripen. Such a phenomenon, however, is of very rare occurrence.

3 See B. xviii. c. 74.

4 "Insanæ." There are some varieties of the vine which blossom more than once, and bear green grapes and fully ripe ones at the same moment.

5 De Re Rust. c. 7.

6 The suggested reading, "apud matrem magnam," seems preferable to "apud mare," and receives support from what is said relative to Smyrna in B. xiv. c. 6.

7 See B. v. c. 3.

8 B. xviii. c. 51.

9 B. xv. c. 19.

10 This is not the fact: the fruits of all trees have their proper time for ripening.

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