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  • The lowly Brown Turkey

    I somehow got the impression that Brown Turkey was a utilitarian, ho-hum fig. So, I bought two at a local nursery to use strictly for root stock.

    Then I picked this. It was quite sweet and delicious.

    I'll probably still use BT for root stock but will also let some grow and ripen.

    Click image for larger version  Name:	Brown Turkey 01.jpeg Views:	24 Size:	286.8 KB ID:	1040719
    Last edited by schampag; 08-25-2021, 05:58 PM.
    Salvatore - my students call me SC
    Zone 6a, SW Cleveland

  • #2
    I think BT gets a bad name because it's so common, if it was just discovered as a seedling there would be a waitlist for cuttings.
    USDA zone 4b. Ontario
    Wish list: RDB, Improved Celeste, Florea

    Comment


    • #3
      Most Asian fig video I watched, people talk about a variety of California Brown Turkey. They are crazy about this fig. Often time, the most common varieties of figs, other fruits, and farm animals are the best varieties.
      Cleveland South - Zone 5B.

      Comment


      • Foodtreefield
        Foodtreefield commented
        Editing a comment
        Very well liked as it is actually Masui Dauphine that somehow got renamed. Large, productive and good tasting. Very big for greenhouse production in Japan.

    • #4
      As far as I know, this variety is easily adaptable to different conditions, gives large yields and is sold in small markets. Under these conditions, it cannot be called an ordinary and low-value variety, but there is a too wide range of tastes, from bad to very good with caprification.
      Андрей. N.-W. Кавказ, пень Абрау, 7б-8а

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      • #5
        These type of figs dry like candy in the southeast. I have a theory that they beat any premium varieties grown here for taste. I've been growing what I THINK is a celeste, and it dries like candy and laughs at the rain. No wonder our southeastern ancestors looked no further and didn't bother with "premium" varieties. I have't fruited my premiums yet, so I can't confirm the theory.

        That's not to say they're the best fig eating experience. Nothing has given me the satisfaction of childhood nostalgia of what a fig should taste like, in the middle east.
        Last edited by ieatfigs; 08-26-2021, 12:17 AM.
        GA, 7b

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        • #6
          Originally posted by schampag View Post
          I somehow got the impression that Brown Turkey was a utilitarian, ho-hum fig.
          It is not clear which variety of fig is the fruit you are showing. Brown Turkey is a template under which are placed varieties that are quite different from each other. In fact, "Brown Turkey" is a color - brown to mahogany. This is the color of the feathers of a very famous breed of turkey, which every birder knows very well.

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          • #7
            Funny, Publix had Brown Turkey and Black Mission figs on sale buy one get one. Needless to say, but I bought them a few times this week.
            Guy A
            St Augustine Fl.
            Zone 9A.

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            • #8
              It's been said Many times on this forum and I'm sure it will be repeated again in the future; brown turkey is popular for very good reasons, it's a hardy variety that's easily used as an excellent rootstock and makes some great fruit. Celeste is no slouch either. They are so common because of their attributes along with ease of growth. No fuss, reliability.
              Tony; Pickens county, SC zone 7b

              Care for the Earth...there's no place like home

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              • GuyA
                GuyA commented
                Editing a comment
                I was just gifted a Celeste. Reported this morning. Small house plant pot, hopefully the roots will fill out before our "frost" season.

            • #9
              Now will the price of the Turkey varieties rise...
              Tony, Toronto Canada USDA 4B now 5B apparently!!
              Wishlist:
              Yellow Neches, St Martain, Texas Peach.

              Comment


              • #10
                That makes sense, cybercop

                This is the label from the nursery. The fig was actually dark purple - no hint of brown.

                Hey! Maybe it's a mislabeled Cessac!

                Click image for larger version  Name:	Brown Turkey lable.jpeg Views:	34 Size:	446.1 KB ID:	1041037
                Last edited by schampag; 08-26-2021, 01:25 PM.
                Salvatore - my students call me SC
                Zone 6a, SW Cleveland

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                • AscPete
                  AscPete commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Photos of leaves along with ripe Figs can help narrow down the actual ID.

              • #11
                Brown turkey here in north Alabama 7b By Lake Guntersville did better than any variety I have tried in our environment. Second place went to Brunswick which did split during the rain but not till it was getting ripe and was still edible and had a rich sweetness like honey , you know the rich sweet almost bite from pure raw honey . Brunswick is like that here. LSU Champagne splits allot when it rains. So Im going for Celest next and try all the tyoes of celest. I want figs I can eat all summer into fall and plenty to dry and or preserve. A good in ground brown turkey wakes up early in my valley by the lake micro climate. Heats up sooner naturally and woods around us help protect from cool winds and maintain heat better in the odd cooler day early spring. So we can get Brown Turkey by July maybe end of June if set up the tree good. We use Crushed limestone Gravel for Mulch/top dressing the rootmass all around the tree. 3- 4 inches deep and it absorbs heat from the sun heating the ground up faster sooner . and helps hold the heat in more overnight. I need celest now. But I want to try them all , all types of celest that is.
                7b.. Wish list figs.. #1.Verdalino, #2.Figoin.....

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                • #12
                  Originally posted by schampag View Post
                  Thank makes sense, cybercop

                  This is the label from the nursery. The fig was actually dark purple - no hint of brown.

                  Hey! Maybe it's a mislabeled Cessac!

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                  The photo on the label was downloaded from the Internet. I've seen her hundreds of times. Would you show a picture of a leaf typical of your plant? The interior of the fruit you have shown is typical of the Mission family.

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                  • #13
                    There is about a 1% chance of that fig being a brown turkey. The pic certainly doesn't resemble one.

                    Brown Turkey has a poor reputation for more than just being common. It doesn't taste good uncaprified and spoils easily in my environment. Good qualities include being quite large and rooting extremely easy/reliably which is perfect for commercial sales.

                    Celeste and Hardy Chicago are two very common but excellent varieties sold in nurseries around here but you never know what you are actually going to get when buying from those nurseries.

                    Sadly, it is probably true that the line would be out the door if someone posted pics of a true Brown Turkey and said it was a seedling find. Hah.
                    Don - OH Zone 6a Wish list: Verdolino, Black Celeste

                    Comment


                    • schampag
                      schampag commented
                      Editing a comment
                      don_sanders Good to know. Whatever it is, it has strong roots and tastes good, so serves the purpose!

                  • #14
                    A couple pictures of my Brown Turkey

                    Click image for larger version  Name:	0E47EE1F-99F3-4C7F-9FAD-BF41F354387A.jpeg Views:	0 Size:	405.7 KB ID:	1041225
                    Attached Files
                    SW TN 7B Wish list: Boysenberry Blush, Coll de Dama Mutante, Madeira Island Black, Cravens Craving, Malibu Greek and Fico Giallo. Any fig I can grow and Happy Days

                    Comment


                    • cybercop
                      cybercop commented
                      Editing a comment
                      In my opinion, this is a variety of the Etna family.

                    • lynninnj
                      lynninnj commented
                      Editing a comment
                      I feel somewhat reassured that folks are saying it is Mt Etna (sorry op) because it looks just like mine and i think i have ME

                    • ZingsFigs
                      ZingsFigs commented
                      Editing a comment
                      It may not be a BT but there is definitely no berry flavor. The center fig with splits in it is the one that I cut open by itself. It was the ripest of the figs and it did have a hint of honey and a figgy taste. I will have to take your words for it since you are more knowledgeable than I. This tree is around 16 years old and has never been protected from the cold except on a south facing wall. It has survived many nights in single digits over the years with little to no dieback. Thank you for the heads up on the variety.

                  • #15
                    Problem is almost every brown colored Fig gets called Brown Turkey. The actual Brown Turkey is the English Brown Turkey which is currently being circulated as Olympian (an actual English Brown Turkey type).
                    Pete R - Hudson Valley, NY - zone 5b

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                    • #16
                      cybercop Here are pictures of the BT leaf and another fig I picked this morning.

                      Click image for larger version

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                      Salvatore - my students call me SC
                      Zone 6a, SW Cleveland

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                      • Bellefleurs
                        Bellefleurs commented
                        Editing a comment
                        This looks like a wonderful fig.

                    • #17
                      Originally posted by schampag View Post
                      cybercop Here are pictures of the BT leaf and another fig I picked this morning.

                      Click image for larger version  Name:	Brown turkey leaf.jpeg Views:	10 Size:	456.9 KB ID:	1041638 Click image for larger version  Name:	Brown Turkey 04.jpeg Views:	10 Size:	419.0 KB ID:	1041639
                      This is a photo from a leaf of my Napolitana Negra. This variety is a typical representative of the Mission family. Judge for yourself if there is a resemblance.
                      PP: Traces of a mosaic virus answer your question. They are a trademark of the Black Mission variety.

                      Click image for larger version  Name:	NN_leaf.jpg Views:	0 Size:	277.9 KB ID:	1041673
                      Last edited by cybercop; 08-27-2021, 07:51 AM.

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                    • #18
                      I have three “Brown Turkey” fig trees. One was intended as rootstock for grafting, two are mislabeled trees. Here are two of them- the large fig will have a void in the center while the smaller variety that has the unusual leaf pattern will not.
                      The smaller fig (with no void) is excellent.
                      The third BT (mislabeled Celeste) hasn’t fruited.
                      I would love to figure out what the smaller fig really is.
                      Attached Files
                      Piney Point Village, Zone 8b
                      W/L- Allix, Cateto

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                      • #19
                        cybercop The figs on my BT "Not" in the OP have some color in the stagnant phase. All of my other figs are green at this stage. Would this help to identify the variety? How do they compare with your Napolitana Negra?

                        Click image for larger version

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                        Salvatore - my students call me SC
                        Zone 6a, SW Cleveland

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                        • cybercop
                          cybercop commented
                          Editing a comment
                          I'm sorry, but I can't recognize a variety. The photo you show me can be of any variety with dark fruits. The color of the Negronne unripe fruits is similar.

                      • #20
                        I have a Brown Turkey (CA), in ground for over 10yrs, always consistent production, seems to have breba and main crops. I did notice the breba figs were large but taste was just ok. The main crop which was caprified had a more flat shaped fruits and it tasted much better, even I liked the fruits. This is the only fig tree I grow in ground and low maintenance. I purchased this tree from Armstrong nursery, had the correct tag. I also just purchased a small 3 gallon plant and it was labeled "Improved Brown Turkey", not sure what that means, will compare fruits maybe in a year. I'll post many photos below, then delete them in a week so it doesn't take up all the space here.

                        My tree had ripe fruits starting in June and I still have many figs now ripening every 3 days.

















                        Last edited by sc4001992; 08-31-2021, 07:55 AM.
                        Fullerton, CA

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                        • eboone
                          eboone commented
                          Editing a comment
                          This is unquestionably the typical California Brown Turkey.
                          Very different from the variety (varieties?) called Brown Turkey in the south and from what we call English Brown Turkey

                      • #21
                        My Brown Turkey is quite sweet and tasty in the over 100 degree desert heat.
                        Ed- Southern Utah 8b - Wish List: Anything that is very tasty, that is common and I don't have.

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                        • #22
                          The figs and leaves below are from two trees sold at a local nursery with the same label. They don't even appear to be the same variety! The figs from one tree are green, the others have a purplish blush.

                          What think you?

                          Click image for larger version

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                          Salvatore - my students call me SC
                          Zone 6a, SW Cleveland

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