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  • Persistent Caprifigs

    I want to try and hand pollinate some Smyrna and San Pedro varieties in the future as well as attempt some trials at common fig caprification. What are some of the best persistent caprifigs? I'd like to track down cuttings for something with excellent taste and decent pollen production.

    Question for people in wasp territory: At what point in the season do wasps actually begin to pollinate? When would someone in non-wasp terrorist collect persistent caprifig pollen and hand pollinate a Smyrna fig?

  • #2
    You don't need persistent caprifigs to caprify caducous or common figs.

    For fertilization both Roeding #3 and Stanford are highly rated and widely available.
    Fruit crazed in Vista CA. http://tangentvectors.org

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    • #3
      Thanks for the info Richard. I mainly want a persistent caprifig rather than a caprifig since they produce edible fruit. That being said, 271-1 seems to have been used to breed many good varieties. I wonder how late of a fig it is. What time in the season is considered optimum for harvesting pollen and hand pollinating?

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      • #4
        Originally posted by 5kz View Post
        I mainly want a persistent caprifig rather than a caprifig since they produce edible fruit.
        This is a false oft-repeated rumor on fig boards. It appears to have originated as an overgeneralization of a statement by Ed Stover in an article a decade ago, which in itself was a mis-statement concerning Croisic (the actual breeding caprifig was Kearney).

        Regarding timing of fertilization: pollen is produced by the breba crop of caprifigs and viable about the time it is needed by a corresponding caducous fig. I say "corresponding" because there are early-, mid-, and late-season caprifig cultivars to match with early-, mid-, and late-season main crop figs.
        Fruit crazed in Vista CA. http://tangentvectors.org

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Richard View Post

          This is a false oft-repeated rumor on fig boards. It appears to have originated as an overgeneralization of a statement by Ed Stover in an article a decade ago, which in itself was a mis-statement concerning Croisic (the actual breeding caprifig was Kearney).

          Regarding timing of fertilization: pollen is produced by the breba crop of caprifigs and viable about the time it is needed by a corresponding caducous fig. I say "corresponding" because there are early-, mid-, and late-season caprifig cultivars to match with early-, mid-, and late-season main crop figs.
          Richard are you aware of any studies in the US, where they compare the taste/size of caprified smyrnas when pollinated with different pollens (Caprifigs)? I have seen such research in Iran and Tunisia.

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          • Richard
            Richard commented
            Editing a comment
            No. You might have success with research by L. Ferguson or C. Crisosto at UC Davis.

        • #6
          This may be a dumb question but how would you hand pollinate a fig? I’m assuming a syringe would be needed?
          Tulare county CA Zone 9b/10a
          WL: Exquisito, Côtio Verdeal, Sôfeno Preto, Quarteira

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        • #7
          Where R U?!? I ask because Croisic (called Gillette in the Pacific NW) is the only edible caprifig. It has a zone of male flowers near the eye.
          I read that this variety does well here, but poorly in the southern U.S. and other locations. While it fruits very early in the season, like our prized Desert King, the taste is inferior.
          I've been fascinated with Gillette for many years. Thank you for sharing your experimental plans for hand pollination. Go for it...and share the results!
          Oregon City, OR (Zone 8b) by Portland.

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          • YATAMA
            YATAMA commented
            Editing a comment
            It may be hard for someone living in OR to actually know what wild caprifigs in CA are like and one reads stuff others publish with no first hand experience and assume it is correct. As to croisic(gillette) being no good in the South WRONG I am sure Southern here in South NC and my Gillette is largest and oldest fig Ihave.It tolerates all weather crops annually Ripe ones so soft cannot stack them atop one another.So delicious I eat them while standig under the tree a lot. Other later figs may have more complex flavors butthey ripen almost a month afrerGilette. Folks who want all fruits of a species to have basically same taste configurations are missing the boat.Here we revel in the diversity of fruit characteristics within plum, apple,peach, fig, grape etc. I recommend Gillette for any Southern fig growers. also makes fine vigorous platform for a multi graft tree as will not get killed back in winter Z8a or better. maybe north too.
            Incidentally my Gillette does have some male structures down near the eye, makes a little I said LITTLE pollen but when ripe to eat the juice inside makes it impossible to getout dry pollen for hand pollination, maybe when green and hard one could eke out some pollen. But for my hand pollination experiments have several capris from CA said to produce large amounts of pollen, easier to collect.

        • #8
          Originally posted by TahomaGuy2 View Post
          ...Croisic (called Gillette in the Pacific NW) is the only edible caprifig.
          Ummmm.... I don't mean to contradict you, but I am surrounded by hundreds of edible caprifigs that are all within walking distance of my place.
          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.

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          • #9
            Originally posted by Bluemalibu View Post
            I am surrounded by hundreds of edible caprifigs that are all within walking distance of my place.
            Doug, is it the Brebas or the main or both crops you find palatable?

            How do the fruit characteristics and taste compare to King, Brunswick, or Mission?
            Fruit crazed in Vista CA. http://tangentvectors.org

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            • #10
              Originally posted by Richard View Post

              Doug, is it the Brebas or the main or both crops you find palatable?

              How do the fruit characteristics and taste compare to King, Brunswick, or Mission?
              Usually the main crop is a bit more juice-filled, and thus a bit tastier. As I've mentioned before though, the eating quality for almost all of these edible caprifigs certainly would not cause one to grow them in their own orchard, but if one was lost out in the back-country, they would surely be thanking the Man Upstairs for providing these fruits to them.
              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.

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              • #11
                Originally posted by Bluemalibu View Post
                The eating quality for almost all of these edible caprifigs certainly would not cause one to grow them in their own orchard
                Thank you. I believe this is why J. Preece says there are no edible Caprifigs at the NCGR Davis repository, even though they have several well-known persistent caprifigs.
                Fruit crazed in Vista CA. http://tangentvectors.org

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