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  • Best BM alternative - Craven's Craving or Mario#50 Casa di Lazarro

    As the title says, looking for alternatives to my BM. I would like to evaluate against BM and if one of these are really better in any parameter - flavor, growth, productivity, earliness etc. then I would like to replace my BM with one of these.

    What has been your experience with CC and Mario#50.
    Dallas,TX - Zone 8a - Follow me @thefarmingtales on Insta.
    WL - Angelito, El Sueno Yellow, Yellow Absheron, Fico Giallo, Tia Penya, Campaniere, Moro de Caneva, Cessac, Boysenberry Blush

  • #2
    I am growing CC but not Mario #50. The CC was rooted from a cutting late winter 2020. The first season it grew fine but rather slow. Like all BM family members it wanted to fruit pretty quickly so I pulled off any newly developing fruits. It has not shown any fmv symptoms. I have to admit I was a little disappointed at the moderate growth rate given what I had read about it. However, this year it has grown pretty well and has a nice crop of figs. It is very healthy. I do think this is a healthier alternative to my Figo Preto which has done well but but is a relatively slow grower and sometimes shows some fmv symptoms. I'm happy with my CC and look foward to comparing the fruit to FP.
    D-i-c-k-e-r-s-o-n, MD; zone 7a
    WL: Castillon


    • #3
      You might want to expand that to include MIB and Black Tuscan. They have both proven to be more vigorous and better at fruit set than either BMKK, CC or Preto in my limited experience Click image for larger version

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      A branch on my Black Tuscan, I’m loving this plant!!!
      Wish list. White Baca, 5 Terre A UNK, Kafe Te Jiate, Crozes, Angelito, TD Yellow Crinkle, Brown Sugar Crunch, Fig Jaune/Jaune d`Escoussans


      • BlueEagle1967
        BlueEagle1967 commented
        Editing a comment
        Dtown, any head start and, if not, do you think Black Tuscan or MIB will ripen in your zone?

      • Dtownfigs
        Dtownfigs commented
        Editing a comment
        I did give a little head start to my collection, lots of shuffling😅. I expect BT to ripen a large percentage of its figs, MIB is behind by a week or so. Preto should follow those two and BMKK taking up the rear 🤞🏽 CC is just now showing double bumps, maybe next year as the plant matures.

    • #4
      I agree with Dtownfigs - Black Tuscan is a great alternative. Additionally, the Figo Preto I have has grown like a weed and is also a great alternative.


      • #5

        My experience mirrors that of Achilles . My Figo Preto trees put B/M and C/C to shame in fruit production, robust growth, and lack of FMV symptoms. My B/T and #50 are both only on there second leaf, so I can't comment on the fruit quality and production, but the grafted Black Tuscan grows extremely well and the #50 moderately so.
        CA 9b "May you sit under your own fig tree..." This metaphor, in use since Solomon, is a wish for the receiver's spirit to know peace, for their family to be secure, and for their life to be fruitful.


        • Rewton
          Rewton commented
          Editing a comment
          Doug, are yours all growing in-ground? That would be the best way to compare them. My FP and CC are in containers.

        • Bluemalibu
          Bluemalibu commented
          Editing a comment
          Yes, they are indeed all in-ground.

      • #6
        If you cant find something much earlier, then I would stick with BM

        My Black Madeira for me is better than: CC, Preto, MIB in terms of taste, production.
        Chicago Zone 5
        Figbid Listings Varieties List


        • #7
          I like Black Tuscan. Grows like a weed and fruited for me in the first year. Looking forward to tasting mine this year!
          Zone 6b, Northwest Arkansas

          *WISHLIST* San Biagio, Cardenillo, Crema di Fragola, Balafi, other Tree Fairies.


          • #8
            MIB and #50 are a solid 2 weeks earlier here.

            MIB is larger and juicier.

            I don’t have enough experience with 50 to say for sure. I will later this year
            Eric - Santa Barbara, CA Zone 10a


            • swethakyadav
              swethakyadav commented
              Editing a comment
              Something earlier is what I am looking for.

          • #9
            Figo Preto has been a beast of a grower and producer for me and at least a few weeks earlier than my BMKK (which is even grafter on Brown Turkey). CC is new for me this season but even after chopping off the top this past winter it’s put out great new scaffolds and lots of fruit, well more than my BM. And not 100% sure since none have ripened yet, but looks like it’s going to beat out Preto for ripening and productivity. I have had pretty consistent warm weather for months and my trees are in full, all day sun, so I’m sure that plays a big part.
            // Los Angeles (10b) //
            // Wish List - A real yard with space to grow //


            • cjccmc
              cjccmc commented
              Editing a comment
              Chris, are these in ground or potted?

            • bkkchris
              bkkchris commented
              Editing a comment
              cjccmc All in true 10g pots.

          • #10
            My BM - Jon Encanto does not show any signs of FMV, grows pretty well, and has a lot of fruit set. Which is pretty different from what I hear from others and supposedly what BM kk does. With what I have seen so far, I don't think it is inferior to BM KK in anyways and as far as I know, KK got his BM from Jon as well(if I remember correctly on what I read on the forum)

            But last year the hang time was so bad that I am looking for alternatives that are earlier and probably lower hang time. I will check how my BM does with ripening this time.
            Dallas,TX - Zone 8a - Follow me @thefarmingtales on Insta.
            WL - Angelito, El Sueno Yellow, Yellow Absheron, Fico Giallo, Tia Penya, Campaniere, Moro de Caneva, Cessac, Boysenberry Blush


            • #11
              what about the Col Littman's? doesn't that fall in the BM category? It is certainly a vigorous one. The leaves are not the typical spade type, but the fruit is similar to BM.
              Don't you think it may be possible that the Casa di Lazzarro is a BM....does Mario know what it actually is?? Most of his Italian varieties were named after the place that he collected the cutting rather than an actual variety name...with the exception of his Belfiore ones. My tree so far doesn't have enough adult leaves to make a judgement...but from the juvenile leaves it makes me wonder. I have 3 or 4 trees here and most of them have been trying to produce fruit from the start. It seems like it will be precocious.
              Pm me for the list of trees available for sale.
              Phoenix, AZ zone 9B


              • Rewton
                Rewton commented
                Editing a comment
                I have a CLBC, a Figo Preto and a Craven's Craving. I have not tasted the CLBC yet but one clear difference is that the other two sets fruit like crazy while I have to pinch and coax CLBC to start developing one or two! My CLBC is in its 3rd season.

              • don_sanders
                don_sanders commented
                Editing a comment
                CLBC is a different variety. Not ever the same category.

            • #12
              Ask 20 people get 20 different answers. I will say from my second year trees (I have CLBC, black Tuscan, BMkk, preto, and Mario’s #50) only Mario’s casa di lazzaro has set more than 2 figs. Clbc is the biggest. Preto was small coming in but it’s loaded with double bumps now. Black Tuscan started strong but only set one. These all got roughly the same amount of head start in the greenhouse. Casa is in front. Next year that could be different.
              Z8+ Oregon, willamette valley. WL: More land, cool citrus
              Ok fine, I made a channel but it’s not all figs: https://m.youtube.com/channel/UC2vAVzLns27I5JUiwpiPMUw


              • swethakyadav
                swethakyadav commented
                Editing a comment
                My BM in it's second year has around 25 figlets In a 5 gallon

            • #13
              I’m growing Black Madeira, MIB, CC, Violeta, CLBC

              In my personal observation:
              • Productivity: Black Madeira, MIB, CC, Violeta are very productive, CLBC has very low productivity, my CLBC is 3rd year old, but I have not yet tasted a ripe fig.
              • Split: CC, MIB, and Violeta are less split than my BM.
              • Taste: up to now, CC and MIB are my favorite.
              I’m still looking to add Figo Preto, Black Tuscan, Black Portuguese and Mario’s #50 to my collection of Black Madeira family members.
              Tung, Vietnam
              - Growing figs in a tropical climate


              • #14
                I have / had 4 of the Black Madeira variants. Currently, I only have 2 of them, 2 were sold late last year. It's really hard to tell if any differences are truly varietal, or just the random variations you get between individual trees. All are pretty productive when given proper growing conditions. For me, here in San Diego, I would list my trees is the following order:

                Craven's Craving
                Figo Preto
                Black Madeira UCD

                This is based on the trees' growth and production in 15 gal pots. I currently still have CC and Violetta, and have placed one of my CC trees in the ground. The in-ground tree, even after just a couple of months in the ground has produced the healthiest growth and production seen from any of these types by me so far. The BM / UCD had the most problems with splitting, the CC the least, but growing in pots the moisture was always fluctuating so I can't make definitive conclusions on that. I never had them at the same age / growing conditions in order to be able to make an informed determination if any of them ripened figs materially earlier than the others.

                BTW CLBC should not be placed in with this group of figs. The growth, productivity, fig shape and ripening characteristics are very different. In terms of taste, yes it is of a quality at least on par with them, but it is not a "Black Madeira type" fig.
                Richard - San Diego 10a