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  • Celeste - When Do I Know When to Pick Her

    I was sent this nice little Celeste tree last year and after babying it through the winter indoors she is providing fruit. These started to color up about 3 days ago and are only very slightly soft and barely drooping or wrinkling. When is a good time to pick - it is my first Celeste so might as well take your advice. They do look riper in the picture. Excuse the dimple on the one on the right where I nicked it with my fingernail the other day. They do bruise easily.
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    Last edited by KDAD; 08-16-2021, 07:06 PM.
    NNJ 6B
    Wishlist: Colar d'Albatera, Mary Magdalene's and the Virgin Mary's Fig, Red Lebanese BV

  • #2
    pick 'em when they are hung like bull's balls.
    Pete
    USDA Zone 7b
    Piedmont NC

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  • #3
    I tend to pick them too early no matter what. I look for shriveling on the neck. They plump and then they shrink a little. My Celeste has a few on it that are close.
    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

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    • KDAD
      KDAD commented
      Editing a comment
      Got it. They plump and then they shrink. The anatomical analogies continue.

      Since I go this tree middle of the summer last year and it was newly rooted I did leave it in the basement under grow lights. It struggled for a bit and dropped some leaves, maybe wanting to go dormant, but recovered once outside this past spring so maybe it got a head start.

  • #4
    I hate to bring this up but those figs look different than the Celeste I have ripening here. Can you give an idea of the size of the fruit and the leaf shape?
    Steve
    D-i-c-k-e-r-s-o-n, MD; zone 7a
    WL: Castillon

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    • KDAD
      KDAD commented
      Editing a comment
      Leaf shape is a weak 5 lobe or a 3 lobes plus a half lobe. Fruit size is about the size of a ping-pong ball. I would call it a medium sized fig. They were in the basement with other trees and I do finger and fiddle my figs daily so I could have swapped tags in my fig stupor.

      Is it too dark on the outside? I did move a leaf and rotate the tree as it colored up to maximize sunlight on it which did help it to darken (see above comment about fingering and fiddling).

  • #5
    Rewton here are a few pics of the leaves. The first two are from the tree - in typical fig tree fashion it has varying leaf shapes. The third is from another Celeste from a different source.

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    NNJ 6B
    Wishlist: Colar d'Albatera, Mary Magdalene's and the Virgin Mary's Fig, Red Lebanese BV

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    • #6
      I have no anatomical analogy to offer, but it does look darker then my Celeste.
      C.Florida 9B WL: I-258 , Black Ischia, Ham Rham, Ghoudane , Moro de Caneva

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      • #7
        Well poop. I got mine from Billboard I hope it’s true. Mine are dark where the sun hits but the dappled color typical of Celeste on the underside.

        arachyd this is the one you got as well.

        I apologize if it turns out to be something other than a true Celeste. This stuff happens but I was hoping to have the real one, not to mention that I’ve shared it now. Mine also isn’t dropping so that may be an indicator.
        Attached Files
        Last edited by Sod; 08-16-2021, 07:20 PM.
        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

        Comment


        • KDAD
          KDAD commented
          Editing a comment
          As I said above I did move a leaf and rotate the tree into the sun to 'help it along' so that might account for the dark skin. I can update in a day or two with an interior shot when it gets cut open. I do like the size and looks of it at this point, though.

          There is a Celeste variety referred to as Black Celeste. It is said to be darker than a standard Celeste, some fruit almost black, while the flavor seems like the usual Celeste.
          Last edited by KDAD; 08-16-2021, 07:26 PM.

        • arachyd
          arachyd commented
          Editing a comment
          I appreciate your letting me know. I'm still glad to have the tree you sent and now I will enjoy the mystery of trying to figure out the variety

      • #8
        Honestly this looks prettier then Celeste, not sure about flavor.
        C.Florida 9B WL: I-258 , Black Ischia, Ham Rham, Ghoudane , Moro de Caneva

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        • #9
          I picked it early to check. It’s definitely got the blue blush to it, but I’m pretty sure it’s an Etna of some kind. Pretty sweet, would have been better had I let it go longer. It’s a good fig, nice size, and early. Just not sure what it is now. I’m really sorry for sharing it but I think I’ve only given it to two people.
          Attached Files
          Last edited by Sod; 08-16-2021, 09:23 PM.
          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

          Comment


          • KDAD
            KDAD commented
            Editing a comment
            You guys are not swaying me to pick early. If I learned one thing in fig growing it is patience. Sorry for the suspense.

            I will be picking all three when I do. Each is about a day apart as far coloring up so I may get a good sense of hang time or other attributes.

        • #10
          @KDAD @Sod

          The leaf shape, texture and fig look like a typical Mt. Etna fig variety. The leaf is thick and yellowish color underside. Not sure about Black Celeste. But typical Celeste is smaller, more tear drop shape and has neck. Leaf is thinner. Here are photos of my HC.

          Attached Files
          Princeton, New Jersey, 6B
          flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/red-sun/albums
          http://growingfruit.org/ for all fruits

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          • #11
            Originally posted by Sod View Post
            I picked it early to check. It’s definitely got the blue blush to it. Pretty sweet, would have been better had I let it go longer.
            I don’t think it’s Celeste, least not regular Celeste.
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            CJ in Memphis 7b/8a….tight eyes, nonsplitters...Pons figs, French figs, Mario figs & tasty Cali seedlings!

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            • Sod
              Sod commented
              Editing a comment
              I don’t either. It’s some kind of Etna. The figs are bigger than a lot of my other etnas though, so there’s that. Just frustrating.

          • #12
            Those don't look like any Celeste I am aware of... I have Black Celeste and it doesn't look like that either. Does look more like a Mt. Etna variety.
            Mt. Etna's are great though...we pick them when the whole fig starts to soften (last part to soften is frequently closer to the stem) and they basically fall off the tree. Typically if you wait long enough there will be almost no fig sap when you remove the fig. These can be picked at various stages however and still be pretty good. The flavors also concentrate if you leave them in an open container in the refrigerator for a couple days....really good this way. Dehydrated in an oven at 180 degrees for a few hours my MBVS figs taste like cherry pie.
            Zone 8b, College Station, TX
            Wish List: Maltese Beauty, CLBC.

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            • #13
              In my opinion you should pick a Celeste when it’s at this stage of ripeness.
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              P.S. It seems to be pretty blue here in the Bay Area and it’s a regular Celeste.
              San Francisco Zone 10B.
              WL: None

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