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  • Italian 358 question

    Anyone growing IT 358? I have one small cutting rooting/rotting (slow going!) and curious to know how good it's been for others with established trees. Among the numbered Italian varieties it's been ranked as being second only to 258, so I'm surprised to have not found many if any threads on this one. According to the Prusch Park numbered figs sheet, it's similar to 258 but perhaps not as good. PS says it's one of his best, second only to Italian 258:

    IT258 - Thick purple-blue skin, strawberry flesh, medium size, short neck, medium eye, vigorous plant. Good to excellent flavor. Also ok in coastal area. PS says this is the his best (along with #358) of IT collection for his growing conditions. It is his earliest and latest fig each year.

    IT 358 - Mottled brown color (may be greenish in cooler areas), medium size, thin glossy skin. Light flavor. MA says ok in coastal area, similar to IT 258 for PS. Probably not as high quality as 258.


    I'm rooting a cutting from Prusch Park that I'd almost given up on as there's been no change since I started it in July, but today when I was airing out the bins I finally spotted roots. I'm fully aware the mix is too wet; the perlite is a little green, which probably indicates too much moisture and not enough air. I'd cupped it before finally switching to using much less water in my ProMix HP rooting mix, so the mix is a lot wetter than more recently prepped cuttings which have rooted more readily. I don't want to disturb those roots by replacing with drier mix so I cleaned off the green mold with bleach, poked some bigger holes and now hoping it pulls through.

    It didn't show any roots until I pulled the outside rooting bins into the office near a space heater for the winter, maybe it's the extra heat that's finally nudged it into action. I plan to go to the next scion exchange in January and will try to get another cutting in case this one doesn't make it. At this point I have four roots and a moldy stem, so it's looking dubious. This one is in the category of "Tried rooting before switching to better rooting practices, been trying to root for a long time and now it's in the Long Shot Bin."

    You may only view thumbnails in this gallery. This gallery has 3 photos.
    Sarah
    Bay Area, CA (zone: 9B)

  • #2
    I have an IT 358 that produced a decent crop for me last year as a 2nd year tree. I don't know what PS saw in it to compare it to IT 258, but they are not at all similar for me. The light flavor description is accurate, as it tasted like several of my other honey figs. I wasn't all that impressed. Perhaps it will improve some with age, but it will have to improve a lot to stay in my collection.

    I should add that Honey figs in general are not my favorite type, though there are two or three in my collection that have separated themselves from the pack, Atreano in particular, so your mileage may vary if you get this one to grow.
    Neil
    Reno, 6b

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    • #3
      Many thanks, Neil. If it fruited the year before in its first year, do you have a sense of whether the taste has improved at all? Wondering if it could be like LSU Purple in really needing a few years to mature and better represent its true flavor profile.

      It's kind of disappointing news, thought it be a tasty placeholder until I'm able to grow the #1 Italian numbered fig! Might as well try for the best, but if this cutting survives I do plan to grow it out and see for myself. It could be that zone 9b/10a makes all the difference.
      Sarah
      Bay Area, CA (zone: 9B)

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      • #4
        This is a great topic, I've been wondering myself. I do recall reading that though I-358 may not be as "good" as I-258 it is nothing to toss aside. One day I too hope to find out for myself.
        Scott - Colorado Springs, CO - Zone 4/5 (Depending on the year) - Elevation 6266ft

        “Though the problems of the world are increasingly complex, the solutions remain embarrassingly simple.” – Bill Mollison

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        • #5
          Sarah, I got no fruit from this tree its fist year, so I cannot yet compare how its flavor matures. I'm probably being a bit harsh in my judgment, as the fig tasted okay, but like others, I may have been a bit too swept up in the descriptions of that tree and comparison of it's quality with that of IT 258. I expect it will get better, but I also expect it will always be a "light flavored" fig. I've already got plenty that meet that description, and as I mentioned in my first post, aside from three or so (so far) standouts, the rest in my collection will likely be looking for new homes in the next couple of years. In addition to Atreano, two other keepers from that group that immediately come to mind are LSU Gold and Flanders and maybe Beall too, though the latter has fallen down my list the past couple of years. Hopefully IT 358 redeems itself for me next year.
          Neil
          Reno, 6b

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          • #6
            Neil,

            Thanks for the input. I also hope it redeems itself for you next year. I've heard from a second grower in the same zone as you, zone 6a/b, that this variety was just average and hasn't lived up to its early hype. My cutting is starting to root more robustly, so hope it pulls through and I get to see how it does in a warmer zone after a couple years.

            Glad that you rate Beall pretty highly. The honey figs haven't been my favorites either but it was one of my top five at Gary's fig tasting in August, kind of a surprise since I hadn't heard too much praise (or anything) about this variety previously. Growing a small tree of it now, hope to taste it home-grown next year.
            Sarah
            Bay Area, CA (zone: 9B)

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            • #7
              For me it was a good large fig but not a great fig. https://www.facebook.com/Figaholics/...type=3&theater

              I got cuttings from Prusch and had sent some to Jon before realizing I hadn't kept any for myself but he sold me a tree back.
              My fig photos <> My fig cuttings (starts late January) <> My Youtube Videos

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              • Taverna78
                Taverna78 commented
                Editing a comment
                You give someone cutting no charge and they sell back to you???? How do tis work ??

              • HarveyC
                HarveyC commented
                Editing a comment
                A little unusual, but I made a mistake by overlooking and giving all of my cuttings. I think the cost of a tree was only $20 so no complaints there, was glad to have it back.

            • #8
              Aw, Harvey, you were my last hope for an outstanding report. I figured if anyone with access to Prusch Park and lived in a warm zone were to grow this fig with an exceptional outcome, it would be you. Ah, well, thanks!
              Sarah
              Bay Area, CA (zone: 9B)

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              • #9
                Update:
                That sad-looking I-358 cutting didn't make it and I gave it an honorable burial in my compost heap.

                However, things are looking up because I was fortunate enough to acquire fresh I-358 cuttings from last month's Prusch Park scion exchange (along with other Prusch offerings) and a couple small I-258 cuttings from a friend. It's early days but they have good roots (I-258's are mostly covering the bottom) and some leaves at this point. With a little care and luck, I'll get to taste both of them someday.

                You may only view thumbnails in this gallery. This gallery has 1 photos.
                Sarah
                Bay Area, CA (zone: 9B)

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                • #10
                  Congratulations and remember your friends when it comes time to prune
                  Bob C. KC, MO Zone 6a. Wanted: Martineca Rimada, Galicia Negra, Fioroni Ruvo, De La Reina - Pons, Tauro, BFF, Sefrawi, Sbayi, Mavra Sika , Fillaciano Bianco, Corynth, Souadi, Acciano Purple, LSU Tiger, LSU Red, Cajun Gold, BB-10 any great tasting fig

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                  • Sarahkt
                    Sarahkt commented
                    Editing a comment
                    But of course.

                    Though it's bad luck to speculate on cuttings when the plant is still only 3-4&quot; tall. Plants, especially figs, can sense when they're especially anticipated and will sometimes give up the ghost just to put you in your place.

                • #11
                  Originally posted by sarahkt View Post
                  However, things are looking up because I was fortunate enough to acquire fresh I-358 cuttings from last month's Prusch Park scion exchange (along with other Prusch offerings) and a couple small I-258 cuttings from a friend. It's early days but they have good roots (I-258's are mostly covering the bottom) and some leaves at this point. With a little care and luck, I'll get to taste both of them someday.
                  Congratulations on your cuttings rooting. You won't be disappointed with I-258. It was among both the largest and consistently best tasting of my first year figs last year.

                  I wish I knew what happened to I- 395. It was described as:
                  "IT 395 - Purple-green skin, large, no breba crop, ripens late, long neck, seeded, small tight eye, sweet, tree medium in vigor. One of best flavored in group (PS). MA says he rates it highly as does VOGP in Hopland. Huge, purple jammy fruit, better quality inland."
                  https://www.crfg.org/chapters/golden...red%20figs.pdf

                  It was on my wish list for a while until Harvey posted some pictures of his tree showing green figs which came from cuttings of the original tree. Sometimes the descriptions are just wrong.
                  Last edited by Altadena Mara; 02-25-2016, 08:41 AM.
                  Mara, Southern California,
                  Climate Zone: 1990=9b 2012= 10a 2020=?

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                  • HarveyC
                    HarveyC commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Mara, if you see comments on that post on Facebook, there was apparently some mix-up in the cutting I got for that Italian 395 so my tree is slated for removal. However, Neil (posturedoc) and others have talked that it appears to be the same as Longue d'Aout so I still have some concerns about there being further mix-ups with that one. I'm friends with Mark Albert (MA) and will ask him if that's one he still has. I also know Pat Schafer but he doesn't seem to be growing figs much anymore (used to be a partner with Todd Kennedy).

                  • Altadena Mara
                    Altadena Mara commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Thanks for that information, Harvey. I tried to find your post again on Facebook before posting but couldn't. The original tree sounded really good. Who wouldn't want &quot;huge purple jammy fruit.&quot;?

                  • HarveyC
                    HarveyC commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Mara, check photo and comments at https://www.facebook.com/Figaholics/...type=3&theater

                • #12
                  Beautiful looking cuttings Sarah. Looking forward to your i358 review, here's hoping you get fruits 1st year
                  May the Figs be with you!
                  ​​​​​

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                  • #13
                    Originally posted by Altadena Mara View Post
                    I wish I knew what happened to I- 395. It was described as:
                    "IT 395 - Purple-green skin, large, no breba crop, ripens late, long neck, seeded, small tight eye, sweet, tree medium in vigor. One of best flavored in group (PS). MA says he rates it highly as does VOGP in Hopland. Huge, purple jammy fruit, better quality inland."
                    https://www.crfg.org/chapters/golden...red%20figs.pdf

                    It was on my wish list for a while until Harvey posted some pictures of his tree showing green figs which came from cuttings of the original tree. Sometimes the descriptions are just wrong.
                    ...That's unfortunate news. I have a couple I-395's in 1-gallons and grafted onto two fig trees from Prusch Park in anticipation of getting huge quantities of "huge, purple jammy fruit."

                    Maybe it was a labeling error? The Prusch Park map can be hard to follow as those trees are not exactly lined up in what you'd call orderly rows. I also came across someone's supposition that I-395 was the same or a kissing cousin of Longue d'Aout, but don't know if that's true.

                    Last edited by Sarahkt; 02-25-2016, 12:01 PM. Reason: seems I can't write anything without typos the first time 'round
                    Sarah
                    Bay Area, CA (zone: 9B)

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                    • Sarahkt
                      Sarahkt commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Actually long neck sounds consistent with LdA breba, but &quot;no breba crop&quot; would rule it out as being LdA. If these cuttings develop breba, that would rule it out as being the same cultivar that MA and PS were evaluating.

                    • HarveyC
                      HarveyC commented
                      Editing a comment
                      I better get to work or your latest order won't get shipped!

                    • Sarahkt
                      Sarahkt commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Shh, order #2 came from a moment of weakness! lol.

                      I've started grafting on those highly desirable varieties from you onto existing robust trees (covered up 3/4s of the Black Mission, completely grafting over the disappointment that has been White Genoa) since I'm running out of room for potted trees in the garden and I refuse to let it spill over in the front yard and be known as the &quot;pot lady&quot; on the block.

                  • #14
                    I would never want folks to think my assessment of a fig is the final word, but in my opinion, and with a couple of growing discrepancies likely related to the age of the respective trees, LdA and IT 395 grown in the same five gallon pots in my yard and in my climate are very difficult to differentiate. As you look at the attached pics, keep the following in mind:

                    My LdA was rooted in winter, 2012 and is two years older than my IT 395
                    LdA ripened a full two months before IT 395
                    In spite of the age difference, IT 395 set at least twice as many fruit as LdA
                    Both varieties ripened their fruit quickly. In other words, once the first fig began ripening, the rest of the figs on the small trees followed suit within days.
                    I tasted them two months apart, but I felt their taste and texture were very similar.

                    While the colors of the figs themselves and their innards appear different, I think that's due to their respective ripening times and my worse than rank amateur photography. LdA ripened at the hottest time of year out here, where daily highs were between 90-100 degrees and lows were around 60 degrees while IT 395 ripened at the very end of the season when highs were between 60-70 (and fluctuated a lot more in October than August temps did/do) and lows were in the high 30s to high 40s. IT 395 was not quite a ripe as it would normally be.

                    I think the varieties are the same fig.
                    You may only view thumbnails in this gallery. This gallery has 4 photos.
                    Neil
                    Reno, 6b

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                    • Sarahkt
                      Sarahkt commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Thanks for your perspective and for sharing the photos, that was very helpful.
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