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  • Colonel Littman's Black Cross 2018 Main

    Col Littman’s Black Cross - from an in-ground tree, on its second leaf. The tree has been an extremely robust grower, reaching its current 7’x 6’ size in about 18 months. It bears a moderate crop of fairly large figs with a tight eye, and which have shown no proclivity to splitting. The flavor of the fruit changes a bit, dependent upon the degree of ripeness… fully ripened figs are a spot-on copy of a dead-ripe strawberry, while over-ripe fruit tend to be more of a dark-cherry flavor. The skin is tender and sweet. To my pallet it rates a 9 / 10

    This is a wonderful fig, that has turned out to be well worth the price of admission. I’ve been holding my breath, hoping that this cultivar would not turn out to simply be another fig that is all hype, so I couldn’t be happier with the performance of this young tree.


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    Last edited by Bluemalibu; 10-07-2018, 12:54 AM.
    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.

  • #2
    Beautiful, Doug!

    Your description of the flavor gives me the idea it may be similar to Unk. Pastiliere. Is this so?
    Tom Hall
    Sacramento, Ca / Zone 9b
    W/L: Paraíso, CdDB, CdDR, Violeta, Dolce Cuore

    Comment


    • Bluemalibu
      Bluemalibu commented
      Editing a comment
      Tom, U/P is just not quite as intensely flavored, and to me it has more of a fruity, mixed-berry flavor. Whereas Col Lit B/C is much closer to the single berried flavor of Strawberries or Cherries. (The over-ripe figs are like a Meteorito fig, just lacking that fig's cinnamon bite)

    • TigerTom
      TigerTom commented
      Editing a comment
      Great. Meteorito and Col. Littman's Black Cross...two more for my ever-growing wish list!

      Fortunately my wife helps me curb my addiction!

  • #3
    Looks really good ..well done !

    Comment


    • Bluemalibu
      Bluemalibu commented
      Editing a comment
      Well, thanks... but I can't lay claim to anything here, this is all due to the work of the Big Guy upstairs...

  • #4
    Sounds amazing! Thank you for the CA version of the review. A fig that was already on my wish list just shot up a notch or two. 👍

    Are there any other varieties that are comparable?
    Eric - Santa Barbara, CA Zone 10a

    Comment


    • #5
      Originally posted by Evdurtschi View Post

      Are there any other varieties that are comparable?

      I think that the closest comparable fig would be a Kimi Sika... The difference being that the Littman's is twice as big; it doesn't have the chewy hide of the Kimi, and it doesn't require the wasp.
      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.

      Comment


      • Evdurtschi
        Evdurtschi commented
        Editing a comment
        Well, I can’t wait for this one! I have an AL coming in the spring I believe. 👌

      • TigerTom
        TigerTom commented
        Editing a comment
        At the risk of sounding like an idiot, what is AL?

        Edit: Air Layer...ya, I get it now. I'll go sit in the corner.

      • Happy Figger
        Happy Figger commented
        Editing a comment
        If Clbc taste comparable to Kimi Sika, and Doug you have given Kimi simply 10/10, so CLBC is a 10 as well?

    • #6
      Very nice , Blue! Congrats!
      Maybe one day after my kid gets through college I will be brave enough to splurge on this variety
      USDA z 10a, SoCal. WL: Raspberry Tart, Boysenberry Blush

      Comment


      • #7

        Igor, I lived in North Pole, Alaska for several years. ( A wonderful clime for very tasty moose... but, not nearly so favorable for fig propagation. ) And, on my last visit to see friends in the factory there, I seem to remember overhearing two of the workers commenting on their surprise with finding your name showing up on the 'Nice List'. You'll have to make sure not to do anything to get it moved over to the 'Naughty List', and there will be a cutting showing up in your stocking this year...
        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.

        Comment


        • greenfig
          greenfig commented
          Editing a comment
          I will try my hardest !
          And will make a drawing for Santa that looks like a cutting

      • #8
        TigerTom - Don't beat yourself out over the AL.... Before you know it you'll have an LdA, BM, HC and all of the LSU's. Spend enough time here and you'll end up with RdB, Vdb, MBVS, MdDS, DK, BT, EBT and a BI

        Bluemalibu - Everyone knows that the North Pole is in Canada and that Santa is Canadian...

        Guildwood Village - Toronto, Canada - Zone 6

        Comment


        • Bluemalibu
          Bluemalibu commented
          Editing a comment
          He is indeed, Joe...

          The little burg of North Pole, AK named themselves that, in hopes of attracting toy manufacturing firms to move there. That way, they could brand their wares as "Made in North Pole"

      • #9
        Very appetizing description indeed! Mine should ripen soon.

        But I thought the tree was “discovered “ by JFE. It was quite easy to find a few years ago for a very reasonable price.

        Moreover it propagates very easily from cuttings and air layers.

        I am really surprised that it cost as much as you say it did.

        Comment


        • Bluemalibu
          Bluemalibu commented
          Editing a comment
          Thanks Ram... you made me stop and think a bit. It was indeed a second cultivar that I purchased amidst a barnyard full of fig-drama, rather than the Littman's. (Don't get old buddy, it ain't for wimps) I've revised my description.

      • #10
        https://m.myday.com.tw/product_view....e=263777022655

        Colonel Littmans Black Cross live plant with 3 leaves. $202.50 07/01/08 eBay Taiwan! The leaf appears correct.
        Johnson1
        Zone 9b
        S of Tampa Bay, FL

        Comment


        • #11
          I made arrangements to obtain one in the spring. I have a JF&E BM Not, and it appears to be CLBC, but I still have to get a CLBC to really know!. The figs do taste like strawberry, subtle taste, another flavor in there too, I can't put my finger on? Some strawberries sock you in the mouth like Mara des Bois, it's not like that. It doesn't taste like any other fig I have. Mine has a rather open eye. I'm hoping it's not CLBC, as it would be an excellent unknown. Ripens in time here too! Having two would be fine, more wood to propagate! So either way is a win.

          Comment


          • #12
            Does anyone think there would cuttings available this fall from members of colonel littmans black cross

            Comment


          • #13
            I will have some on figbid come dormant season. I don't like to ship active growth cuttings
            Phil North Georgia Zone 7 Looking for: All of them, and on and on,

            Comment


            • #14
              I am not to crazy about bidding LOL. I rather just pay someone what they are asking if the price isn’t crazy. That’s just me

              Comment


              • #15
                Beautiful fig, and you're making me wanna scour the depths of Ebay with this post, but it's hard to trust a review from California since you guys got that little wasp helper that makes em all taste and look better right?
                Wish List: I don't even know at the moment. A mild winter for nice growth in the Spring I guess?

                Comment


                • Evdurtschi
                  Evdurtschi commented
                  Editing a comment
                  This is a top tier fig, Wasp or not. At least based off all the reviews I have seen. You should definitely look to add this one.

                • drew51
                  drew51 commented
                  Editing a comment
                  I would agree. Littman was from the south, West coasters didn't say this fig was great, Southerners did. JF&E (located in Florida) was the first to sell and I have a mixed up BM from them that I think is black cross. I will be adding black cross next year to compare, but whatever I have is top rate, very different from any fig I have had. It also ripens early or early enough for all figs to ripen here in Michigan. Members here looking at my plant say it's Black Cross, but I want to confirm with a known Black Cross. I will not mind having two of them at all.

                • ofon
                  ofon commented
                  Editing a comment
                  AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH Ok time to open my wallet. Thanks again you two amigos!

              • #16
                wow, in either ripe or overripe state, I would love the flavor!
                Get On The Map: http://www.PHiGGY.ORG
                Growing Zones 6b and 9b: Listed here http://bit.ly/PHiGGY-Figs
                WL: BFF, Open to other ideas

                Comment


                • #17
                  Sounds like a fig I'd really enjoy.
                  Fruit crazed in Vista CA. http://tangentvectors.org

                  Comment


                  • #18
                    Originally posted by drew51 View Post
                    I would agree. Littman was from the south, West coasters didn't say this fig was great, Southerners did. JF&E (located in Florida) was the first to sell and I have a mixed up BM from them that I think is black cross. I will be adding black cross next year to compare, but whatever I have is top rate, very different from any fig I have had. It also ripens early or early enough for all figs to ripen here in Michigan. Members here looking at my plant say it's Black Cross, but I want to confirm with a known Black Cross. I will not mind having two of them at all.
                    Okay, I'll be adding this one to my list
                    Get On The Map: http://www.PHiGGY.ORG
                    Growing Zones 6b and 9b: Listed here http://bit.ly/PHiGGY-Figs
                    WL: BFF, Open to other ideas

                    Comment


                    • #19
                      Somewhere here I recall someone referring to it as "the Black Madeira for the Northeast," meaning that it's a top tier fig that does well here (NOT because it's the same as or similar to BM).

                      It's on my "Sometime in the Future" list. Hopefully price will have come down by then.
                      “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”
                      – Source Unknown
                      MA 5b/6a

                      Comment


                      • #20
                        Looks Delicious!! Enjoy it.
                        Moe Sacramento. Zone 9b
                        WL: UCR 187-25, Smith, Thermalito

                        Comment


                        • #21
                          I’m hoping next year this variety is more affordable.

                          Comment


                          • #22
                            Bluemalibu - Just curious about your long term experience with CLBC, since you seem to be an early adopter in the western USA. Is the tree still doing well? Are you still happy with it? And thoughts or advice would be appreciated by all, I'm sure.
                            Phoenix, Arizona 9B

                            Comment


                            • #23
                              Anyone have one in ground in cooler climates? Curious as to how well they overwinter.

                              Comment


                              • #24
                                Clbc
                                inferno heat of north cali
                                10/6 ripening
                                damn im screwed,
                                I feel like I was lied to somewhere along the way. Where did early enter the first conversation?
                                wnc Z7a Hominy Valley
                                wish list: a world without Invasive Pests

                                Comment


                                • goodfriendmike
                                  goodfriendmike commented
                                  Editing a comment
                                  California's early a lot different than mine in Louisiana. Their early is a few weeks before my early.

                              • #25
                                Originally posted by American Infigdel View Post
                                Bluemalibu - Just curious about your long term experience with CLBC, since you seem to be an early adopter in the western USA. Is the tree still doing well? Are you still happy with it? And thoughts or advice would be appreciated by all, I'm sure.
                                Littman's remains a wonderful fig here in our dry heat. I'd probably place it slightly above Red Lebanese BV, and just beneath the lesser of the CdD's. The early posting was during it's first season in-ground. It now frequently ripens late August, early Sept.
                                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.

                                Comment

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