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  • Malta Black

    Malta Black! Please share any photos or experience you have, and also post photos on the new varieties index too.

    Very hardy, healthy, and early ripening, Malta Black is a superb fig for all growers. This variety seems to have originated from Belleclare, it is variety #35. According to Belleclare, Malta Black is a grandparent of Celeste, but does not seem to have issues with fruit drop. According to Gorgi, when Chris DiPaolo retired from Belleclare, Malta Black was one of the few trees he kept for himself because he liked it so much. Excellent, sweet berry flavored fruits ripening in August (70 days). Medium sized. Belleclare reports it as having 2 crops, but I didn't find much info on the breba. It should be able to fruit after years of ground kill, should be hardy to zone 6.

    It has thick skin and a tight eye, helping with resist rain and humidity. Seems well adapted to hot, humid conditions like the south. Be careful watering in pots, though. It should be able to ripen fruits in part shade.

    I sampled a few last fall, delicious! This variety should be in the collection of all northern growers, I will be planting mine out come spring in a prominent spot. Thanks for sharing this one with me, Bill!
    https://www.figbid.com/Listing/Browse?Seller=Kelby
    SE PA
    Zone 6

  • #2
    This is an excellent producing and tasting fig in my area. It did so within the second year so it did not take up space for a long period of time.
    newnandawg 7b Newnan, GA

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    • #3
      I like Malta black as well. Dependable trouble free tree.
      Cutting sales on willsfigs.com started Nov 1 and will continue till about March 1.

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      • #4
        More productive, more flavorful, earlier bearing, early ripening, sizable - Malta Black should be the everywhere tree rather than Celeste and Brown Turkey. Or so it seems, in my experience, and based upon others' reports. How did this not happen? Malta kept a tight grip on its scion?
        You may only view thumbnails in this gallery. This gallery has 1 photos.
        Tony WV 6b
        https://mountainfigs.net/

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        • #5
          Fantastic here as well. Should be one of the gateway figs.
          Andy - Zone 6a Lat 39.9º N, Altitude 5390' Westminster CO ⚘ Scion List

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          • #6
            There are quite a few references on the net that refer to Malta Black as being the grandfather of Celeste.
            Otmani - Dallas, TX - Zone 8a
            Wish List: Col de Dame Blanche, Brogiotto Bianco, Sicilian White, Panache

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            • #7
              I put a small Malta Black in my GH last fall and it never went dormant. The only fig plant to stay leafed out.
              You may only view thumbnails in this gallery. This gallery has 1 photos.
              Art
              Western Pa -6a

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              • #8
                Yes, a truly amazing fig, good production and flavor, and will fruit in partial sun, a rarity. I am making a backup right now because the cold may have killed my tree to the ground. One of only 2 in grounds that I have.
                You may only view thumbnails in this gallery. This gallery has 1 photos.
                Rafael
                Zone 7b, Queens, New York

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                • #9
                  I love your "fig of the day" Kelby!

                  Of course, it means I need a bigger yard, more pots, more lights, probably a greenhouse....
                  Phil
                  Zone 7A - Newark, DE; Zone 8A - Wilmington, NC;

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                  • Kelby
                    Kelby commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Glad you like them! Sorry to enable you, haha!

                • #10
                  Here is what I wrote and showed about Malta Black 2014:
                  Malta Black is a good fig. To my buds, it is not as sweet nor as figgy but better tasting that improved Celeste but not as good a Petite Negri. If is had a crunch, then I think I would like it even more (if not love it). The tree is productive an forms fruit in clusters of 4-5 figs and ripens them one at a time over a 2-3 day period. It would have been nice to wait a day or two more on these but the rain accelerated those plans.
                  jimmie aka JD | tallahassee.fl | zone.8b | davistating.eBay

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                  • #11
                    My summer was very cold last year. The earlier MBs were not worth eating due to this cold. The later ones were good but not as good as Hardy Chicago or Salem Dark. Please note that the bad tasting ones look no different from the good tasting ones.

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                    Last edited by Harborseal; 03-01-2015, 06:31 PM.
                    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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                    • #12
                      Anticlimactic, but I'm excited...
                      You may only view thumbnails in this gallery. This gallery has 1 photos.
                      RI Zone 6a
                      Container Herder

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                      • Gina
                        Gina commented
                        Editing a comment
                        That's cute.

                    • #13
                      Love this thread. I have a couple of cuttings in the crisper and will be starting them soon. It's nice to hear such nice things about this variety.
                      NC Zone 7a-b

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                      • #14
                        I had a first year malta black cutting last season and it gave me one fig. It was my favorite of the season. Packed a punch in the taste department. Wasn't a big fig at all, rather small but fantastic tasting. Im put that tree in the ground soon and it will have a prime spot in my yard no doubt! Definitely one of my most prized fruits.

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                        • #15
                          Is this a fig that takes a few years to develop good taste? Last year was the first year for my MB and I wasn't all that impressed with the few fruits I got. Granted, my tree was very small and maybe ripening conditions could have been better, but mine was a little bland. I put it in ground this past fall and am looking forward to trying it this year.

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                          • #16
                            Any Europeans here that grow MB that can chime in on how it performs here?
                            Well it's going on my wishlist anyway.
                            Rotterdam / the Netherlands.
                            Zone 8B

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                            • #17
                              After reading this thread, I am super excited that I have cuttings rooting now. Sounds like a total winer and a cultivar worth keeping more then one.

                              Thank you Kelby, thank you all.

                              And thanks for the cuttings Wills!!!
                              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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                              • Kelby
                                Kelby commented
                                Editing a comment
                                You'll like them. I got a couple off my small plant last year, yum!

                              • COGardener
                                COGardener commented
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                                I can't wait!!

                                I have some great cultivars rooting this year, 12 of them from Wills (thank you). Lets just hope I have some beginners luck moving the cuttings through the process, I've read a lot of horror stories. If I am able to root any cuttings next year, I will be much, much better prepared.

                            • #18
                              Looking forward to Malta Black. Hope it's as good as I hear!
                              You may only view thumbnails in this gallery. This gallery has 1 photos.
                              PPP
                              Eatonton, GA zone 7b/8a

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