The fig tree (Ficus carica) is native to Asia Minor and Syria, extending into Africa and Oriental countries, the Mediterranean islands, and elsewhere. It is now cultivated in the temperate countries of the entire world. The fig tree and its leaves are repeatedly mentioned in the Scriptures, where they are symbolical of peace and plenty. Charlemagne, in 812, ordered its cultivation in Central Europe, and in the reign of Henry VIII fig trees still standing in the garden of Lambeth Palace were brought to England, though the fig was unquestionably cultivated in England before that date. The fig has been used from all times as a food and as a confection, and it is repeatedly mentioned in the Arabian Nights. Its tri-lobed leaf is synonymous with primitive religions and has occupied a more or less conspicuous place in symbolic worships from the earliest date.