Louisiana State University under the direction of Dr. Ed O’Rourke from the mid 1950s to the mid 1960s propagated new fig varieties. After a hiatus, in the 1990s, selected varieties were officially released to the public by LSU. In the meantime, over decades, other LSU fig cultivars had been unofficially shared privately and spread by… Continue reading LSU Figs
Though fig trees and bushes with big tropical looking leaves are native to a very warm Mediterranean climate and long growing season, here in much cooler West Virginia, with a shorter growing season (USDA zone 6b), it’s possible to ripen a lot of very sweet and flavorful figs from June to November. A light first crop… Continue reading The Span of Figs
Three of the best figs for growing in short seasons have close ties with the foothills of high mountains in Europe: green/red Nordland from the Alps in Switzerland, yellow/red Brooklyn White from Mt Vesuvius in Italy, and the purple/red Mt Etnas from Mt Etna in Sicily. The Alps and Nordland: This green/red citric berry fig variety, known as Nordland in Switzerland… Continue reading Figs & High Mountains
An unexpected bounty picked on a fall day, this Saturday, November 5th: 31 figs, all from bushes in ground, all Mt Etna figs except for 2 Brooklyn Whites. Real good flavor. Recent modest heat and rain brought them on. Crazy long fall here. May pay for it later – even climate change aside. Last year,… Continue reading 31 Figs
Conadria. Atreano. Lyndhurst White / Latarolla. These figs are tempting to make a focal part of a dooryard orchard, because they are relatively big and bright, very juicy and prolific, and relatively early ripening. Excellent big, bright, early fruit can be grown with these precocious varieties. Unreliable flavor can be a problem however, as these varieties… Continue reading Tricky Figs
The Lemon fig. Aptly named. Also known as Blanche. Once a somewhat common yard fig in the US South. Honey-like flavor. Sweet lemon.
Is an apple a fruit? A strawberry? A pear? A mulberry? Formerly known as false fruits, botanists now refer to these species as accessory fruits, in which part of the fruit consists of tissue not from the ovaries. A fig is a kind of flower that blooms wholly inside a swollen, shapely portion of stalk.… Continue reading Is a Fig a Fruit?
Resin. Or tannin. Scientists note that resin, or tannin, gives figs their characteristic figgy flavor. As with wine somewhat as with figs: “As a characteristic of wine, tannin adds both bitterness and astringency as well as complexity.” The primary taste of ripe figs is sweetness, sometimes extreme sweetness: sugar sweet, honey sweet, or berry jam sweet. Secondary… Continue reading Figgy Flavor
Ronde de Bordeaux. RdB has been called the “perfect fig”: Ronde de Bordeaux is a flavorful, shapely, colorful fig that is also among the very earliest ripening:
Mt Etna. Any early ripening fig varieties are worth trialing in ground, including 3 that ripen earlier than Mt Etna – LSU Improved Celeste, Ronde de Bordeaux, and Florea – however the Mt Etna type has proven itself to be at least as hardy as any other fig and to ripen figs most reliably during… Continue reading Best Fig in Ground