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  • Lucky 7 Figs

    I can think of a special 7 fig cultivars I've ripened with which other home growers might also have good luck and success due to the inherent viability of these varieties. Others may have their own "good luck" lists that may change from time to time depending upon experience. The group below are currently my lucky 7 because they all ripen either early or mid season; they are productive; they are diverse in flavor; they are diverse in color; they ripen early in tree life. This past summer, the bulk of my figs and the bulk of my tastiest figs came from this lucky 7 (detailed in parentheses by skin color, flavor):
    • Ronde de Bordeaux (maroon, dark berry)
    • Brooklyn White (gold, light berry)
    • Violet de Bordeaux (dark purple, intense dark berry)
    • Mongibello (purple/brown, dark berry)
    • Marseilles (green, honey)
    • LSU Improved Celeste (purple/brown, sugar)
    • LSU Champagne (gold, honey)
    3 honorable mentions to improve the diversity: a couple late ripeners but very flavorful and fetching and relatively productive given the late ripening:
    • Paradiso (green -- intense light berry)
    • Figo Preto (black -- intense dark berry)
    • LSU Purple (dark purple -- sugar) not especially late but not especially productive at this point
    By "Mongibello" I mean all the Mt Etnas more or less interchangeably: aka Hardy Chicago, Marseilles Black, Takoma Violet, etc.
    By "Violet de Bordeaux" I mean it as Baud means it to cover more or less interchangeably: VDB, Negronne, Petite Negri, etc.
    By "Marseilles" I mean Italian Honey, Lattarula, White Marseilles, etc.

    This lucky 7 list happens to cover 4 basic fig skin colors: purple, green, gold (or yellow), and dark red (maroon).
    This lucky 7 list happens to cover 5 of 6 arguably basic fig flavor categories: sugar, honey, dark berry, light berry, and intense dark berry.
    The honorable mention list adds another skin color, black, and another flavor, intense light berry.
    To my taste, Brooklyn White is actually a flavor cross between honey and strawberry but to keep flavor categories limited here I lump it into light berry, which is how I think of it primarily.

    The most consistent cultivars for me in ground have been Mongibello far and away, followed by Brooklyn White and Improved Celeste thus far.

    Currently, I consider this Lucky 7 to be my core orchard, best hope for big crops, and so am multiplying the number of trees of these 7 types. Locally, people keep asking and wanting to buy fig fruit not cuttings, so I'll see what might be done with these 7 cultivars.

    I expect too that this summer another few cultivars could prove especially productive. Would guess in particular Atreano, Florea, and O'Rourke but will see. Not much new in flavor or skin color or ripening time would be added with those three. Latarolla (aka Lyndhurst White) and Conadria have been productive green light berry figs but the flavor has been too unreliable. I don't mind sampling such fruit myself but couldn't confidently distribute, too often watery, tasteless, or sour.

    Posting a fig photo each day at afigaday.com and going with a cultivar per week for the time being.
    Tony WV 6b

  • #2
    Do you have these planted in ground or in containers?
    Bryant...Franklin County, VA...Zone 7a. Wish List: a 32 hour day....more sleep


    • mountainfigs
      mountainfigs commented
      Editing a comment
      The productivity that I'm talking about here comes from container trees.

      Only Mongibello has produced meaningfully in ground after total dieback. Brooklyn White and Improved Celeste (and LSU Purple) have ripened some nice in-ground samples though.

      The in-ground situation may change radically for this summer though if the mild winter holds up, as the in-ground bushes are showing very little if any dieback, thus far. In the previous several winters, the in-grounders would have all been totally top-killed by now (aside from any mulch buried low limbs).

  • #3
    That is a great and concise list Tony, thank you for posting your findings.

    By the way, the 8 small tree's (Cucumber, Jose #3, Marseilles Black, Mega Celeste, Hunt, Paradiso GM-9, Wuhan, Gino's Black) I got from you last fall all look great! Thank you again!
    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


    • mountainfigs
      mountainfigs commented
      Editing a comment
      Great to hear, Scott, thanks.

  • #4
    Nice list. Thanks for posting. It helps a lot picking varieties out of the thousand available.
    Don - OH Zone 6a Wish list: Verdolino, Black Celeste


    • mountainfigs
      mountainfigs commented
      Editing a comment
      Some nice comparative advantages with these cultivars in my yard.