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JD

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Reply with quote  #1 
[Edit] Thanks to members who are both knoweldgeable and willing to share information, this thread matured into something more beneficial than I expected. I moved the original post [Improved Celeste 2013] to a new thread. Here is the text that from that post:

Quote:
Originally Posted by JD
I was excited when I noticed this fig because it was hidden from me...but not from the @#%^(*! mocking birds. Arghh.

The color of the main crop this season appears to be more reddish compared to previous seasons. Has anyone else noticed this with Improved Celeste?

Oh yeah. I said a prayer, a few Hail Marys, and threw some salt over my shoulder; and the "good part" was delicious.

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jd | tallahassee.fl | zone 8b

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Reply with quote  #2 
I picked one fig at LSU that was covered in ants but it looked so good. I didn't even need chocolate. The ants didn't stand a chance.

All things considered your fig is quite lovely. I'm sorry I can't recall if there were any IP there. I don't think so.

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Charles in Pensacola AKA Darkman
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dkirtexas

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Reply with quote  #3 
Dr Charlie told me that the O'Rourke was the Improved Celeste, I asked the question about the pure three lobe leaf (Improved) as opposed to the three lobes with the "thumbs" (plain Celeste).  He was quite clear on that point.
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Danny K "EL CAZADOR DE HIGO"
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genecolin

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Reply with quote  #4 
I think he said that as far as LSU was concerned there was only one improved Celeste and it was the O'Rourke. The others along with the LSU Red, LSU 5, Thibodaux and others, were not of any value to LSU as they have no records of what crosses were used to make the trees.
He wasn't saying that they did not come from the LSU program but rather they had no complete records on them.
"gene"

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From the bayou,
"gene"

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Charitup

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Reply with quote  #5 
Great looking fig.  I'm sure when the trees are larger and there are lot's of figs we will be able to laugh at ourselves but right now I have been cutting off the bird eaten side and having at a fig or two everyday.  Hey you gotta do what you gotta do.

goss

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Darkman

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Reply with quote  #6 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dkirtexas
Dr Charlie told me that the O'Rourke was the Improved Celeste, I asked the question about the pure three lobe leaf (Improved) as opposed to the three lobes with the "thumbs" (plain Celeste).  He was quite clear on that point.


That is true but it is in the way the words are used. O'Rourke is a improved Celeste but it is not "Improved Celeste". One is an adjective and one a noun. I believe that when Dr. Johnson said that it was the Improved Celeste he was saying that this fig which was likely acquired from private sources and when compared to all the research notes they have available matched the parameters for what Dr. O'Rourke had achieved. It was then released as O'Rourke. They could not label it Improved Celeste as there are way to many variations out there. They neede a pure selection to become O'Rourke. It is undeniable that there are many identical figs out there refered to as Improved Celeste but this is the one that made the final cut. The many figs labeled "Improved Celeste" were never authorized as such by LSU but they were most likely a product of Dr Rourke's breeding program but they were not named and released as such. IMHO as far as LSU is concerned the culmination of a released improved Celeste was the release of O'Rourke. I do not believe LSU ever intended to release a fig named "Improved Celeste"

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Charles in Pensacola AKA Darkman
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dkirtexas

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Reply with quote  #7 
Gene and Charlie - I believe we are saying the same thing, as it was in reference to the LSU program.  I also think that the statement of "He wasn't saying that they did not come from the LSU program but rather they had no complete records on them" Is a major explanation of some of the lesser known LSU figs not being "officially released"

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Danny K "EL CAZADOR DE HIGO"
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Darkman

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Reply with quote  #8 
Hi Noss,

You said that very well. I agree completely. Little i or Big I makes a major difference. Of course in conversation you cannot hear the capitalization of a letter which results in misconceptions.

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Charles in Pensacola AKA Darkman
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bullet08

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Reply with quote  #9 
i know how you feel. since i work early, i don't check my figs until after work around 3pm.. by that time, lot of my ripening figs will look like that. lol
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Pete
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"don't talk to me about naval tradition. It's nothing but rum, sodomy and the lash." - sir winston churchill
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***** all my figs have FMV/FMD, in case you're wondering. *****
***** and... i don't sell things. what little i have will be posted here in winter for first come first serve base to be shared. no, i'm not a socialist...*****
dkirtexas

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Reply with quote  #10 
Vivian
Thanks for the clarification.  Your discussion is the most complete and I believe accurate that I have heard or seen.

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Danny K "EL CAZADOR DE HIGO"
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JD

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Reply with quote  #11 
Good points Vivian. I am going to retitle this thread A Discussion About LSU Improved Celeste because the information is pertinent, relevant, and good. Let the conversation continue...
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jd | tallahassee.fl | zone 8b

paully22

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Reply with quote  #12 
Conclusion  --  LSU produce some outstanding figs. Its worth trialing them in my zone as I
have a green house. I like Celeste taste & it is found here. Unfortunately the issue on Celeste
figs dropping its crop is a discouragement. Hence any improvement to solving this problem is
something I look forward like having O'Rourke, Tiger, Champagne or Improved Celeste.

Good info guys. Thanks. Looks like I need to plan for next LSU open house(2014) and of course "real"
Cajun food. Yummie figs & Cajun food, Wow -- worth the trip & chance to meet some fig friends.
ascpete

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Reply with quote  #13 
JD,
Thanks for starting this topic.

I purchased improved Celeste, LSU Black, Champagne, Gold, Hollier, O'Rourke, Purple and Tiger last year, after reading the recommendations of Dan_LA and Herman2 on the forum. The young plants were all healthy growers and they all produced figs their first season. The Improved Celeste was the most productive and prolific cultivar and ripened a few figs before fall. It was also one of the most cold hardy next to Hollier and Gold (LSU Purple was killed by the cold, and all the others had dieback).

[image] Leaf_ImprovedCelestePP_7-28-13.jpg Leaf_improvedCelestePP_7-29-13.jpg 
Currently the improved Celeste has main crop figs growing at almost every leaf node. I would say it deserves to be trialed in more locations, and should be included in every collection, if for nothing else, than to guarantee ripe figs every season. The LSU cultivars definitely do not get enough respect.

shah8

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Reply with quote  #14 
I think the main problem is that outside of LSU Gold, the fruits are way too small.  LSU Champagne, for example, is largely a berry, as we would think of berries, and not scientifically.  Even LSU Tiger, as described in the release article, is only a medium size fig (for US values of medium).  In all seriousness, to be better than a minor hobbyist variety, figs need to average at least 30-35 grams.  In the old world, to be a serious variety, figs need to be above 50 grams and more like 60 grams plus.


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Especially desired figs: UCD 187-25, UCD 200-48, UCD 157-17, UCD 309-B1, Princesa, Black Madeira, high quality sugar fig that ripens Sept-Oct.

Probable desired fig: Smith, St Jean, JH Adriatic, CddB, Gulbun, Pastilliere, Sucrette

Rooting:  Smith, CDDB--this pretty much means I have my fun tries (tho' important since they are truly desirable), and only interested for this year: Gulbun, BM, 187-25, or something wildly exotic or precious that nobody has any good reason to send me.

Tonycm

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Reply with quote  #15 
Vivian you really gave a good explanation and I Thank you for that :)
I copied it and will keep it for future reference. Celeste is one of those varieties that makes your head spin~~~~

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Tonycm

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Reply with quote  #16 
Would also like to thank JD for starting this thread.
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ascpete

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Reply with quote  #17 
This post is an update of my earlier post #14. The improved Celeste are ripening and probably will all ripen this season (except for the ones that developed in the last month and are being pinched). The O'Rourke has not started ripening any figs as yet, hopefully I will get a few ripe figs before the end of the season. They are both being grown in containers, 4 feet apart and got off to a late start this year.
[image]

[image]

[image]

Attached Images
jpeg LeafS_ORourkePP_9-8-13.jpg (124.81 KB, 31 views)
jpeg LeafS_ORourkePP1_9-8-13.jpg (134.42 KB, 34 views)
jpeg LeafS_ORourkePP2_9-8-13.jpg (112.99 KB, 38 views)
jpeg Orourke_10-6-13.jpg (100.86 KB, 15 views)

ascpete

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Reply with quote  #18 
I purchased an "O'Rourke" from Edible Landscaping this spring, the tree that I received is actually the improved Celeste (improved Celeste PP) as pictured in the above post 1-3 lobed leaves and ribbed figs, it is not the LSU Improved Celeste Aka O'Rourke.
Is anyone else growing the O'Rourke EL cultivar?
paully22

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Reply with quote  #19 
What would be a reliable source to purchase LSU Champagne & Improved Celeste(Not O'Rourke) - thinking of getting them for my brother.
JD

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Reply with quote  #20 
Paul,
Just Fruits and Exotics is reliable and had both the last time I was there (2013).

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paully22

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Reply with quote  #21 
Thanks JD. I do have them in my collection but seeing pic's of them tells me there are different
strains that I should get my brother to try as he is in similar growing zone like you. I personally
like LSU variants & they have done well here -- Tiger, Champagne and O'Rourke. As is, O'Rourke
holds much promise for my zone as my tree is loaded with main crop and should ripen. This is
excellent as it compliment other variants where I can harvest some decent main crop figs in my
cooler zone in late Sept.
snaglpus

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Reply with quote  #22 
good thread.
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Reply with quote  #23 
Pete, I purchased one from EL as well this year thinking it was the real O'Rourke. It hasn't done a whole lot yet but we can easily compare notes. My Improved from PFTP is doing great and has a boatload of figs this year.
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ascpete

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Reply with quote  #24 
JohnnieB,
Thanks for the reply.
I have a few figs on the O'Rourke EL (improved Celeste EL) and will post pictures of the ripe figs in this topic.
I also have an O'Rourke which was purchased from PFTP (PP) labeled as Tiger and it is currently loaded with figs, about 100 and is in a 5 gallon bucket.
LSU_ORourkeEL_7-18-14.jpg LSU_ORourke_7-18-14.jpg  .

JohnnieB

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Reply with quote  #25 
I am somewhat unhappy about the fact that EL's is not the real deal. I have been trying to obtain the real deal with no luck so far. Hopefully this newer EL tree will turnout to be a winner like the PFTP tree.
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dkirtexas

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Reply with quote  #26 
My O'Rourke came from the O'Rourke Tree in the Burden Orchard, I cut the cutting at the LSU Fig Field Day, I have an O'Rourke, is it an Improved Celeste?, NO! it is an O'Rourke.  Is the O'Rourke an improved strain of a Celeste, Yes, In my opinion.  Next year I will trade some cuttings.
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Danny K "EL CAZADOR DE HIGO"
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Chapman

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Reply with quote  #27 
I have a couple of O'Rourke trees started from the LSU field day also.  They are growing good, but they will have to be really good to beat my Heirloom Celeste.  I am not convinced that O'Rouke or Improved Celeste is better than my Celeste.
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ascpete

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Reply with quote  #28 
Since there has been so much confusion with the Only LSU Improved Celeste aka O'Rourke, the improved Celeste (a Hybrid Celeste cultivars that was released by LSU for trials) and the Improved Celeste (better performing Celeste Cultivars). I would like to propose a name change for the improved Celeste 1-3 lobed to Hybrid Celeste or LSU Hybrid Celeste or some other name. The improved Celeste cultivar (1-3 lobed and sometimes 3 lobed with thumbs) warrants a more distinguishable name than improved Celeste.
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Reply with quote  #29 
The Improved Celeste from LSU is also a Celeste hybrid.  It is part of the LSU breeding program crossing a Celeste with a capri fig from California.  The Improved Celeste from LSU is a completely different fig from a Celeste.
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cis4elk

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Reply with quote  #30 
Pete, was your Improved Celeste from PP just sold as Celeste, and turned out to be the 1-3 lobed IC?
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ascpete

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Reply with quote  #31 
Calvin,
No, it was sold as O'Rourke by Petals from the Past (PP).
It seems to be typical that the Improved Celeste that were in circulation before the LSU O'Rourke release were renamed O'Rourke, but the released cultivar is different.
dkirtexas

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Reply with quote  #32 
Much has been said about a "Heirloom Celeste", I don't know what that is.  I do know that the older trees in our area are good trees that are prolific, cold hardy, and produces good figs every year and does not drop its figs.  These trees are anywhere from 50-75 yrs old and many were started from family trees that were brought to Texas from Tennessee, Alabama, and other Southeastern states.  Many of the young trees that are started from cuttings from these trees might freeze to the ground but will come back and grow 6 ft in the year and produce a small crop of smaller figs.

Are these "Heirloom Celeste", I don't know, but I like the idea.

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Thx, glad to be here

Danny K "EL CAZADOR DE HIGO"
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Wish list: anything anyone wants me to have. LSU RED.  Any LSU fig.
Chapman

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Reply with quote  #33 
Danny, to me those are the kind of trees that are Heirloom.
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Chapman

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Reply with quote  #34 
Also, I call my Celeste an Heirloom because my ancestors raised these same trees and put up fig preserves every year from them.  They also sold figs from them.  It was not a hobby to them.
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Reply with quote  #35 
My in-ground LSU improved Celeste from James Robin is dropping figs. It has been very dry, and occasionally quite hot, but it is one of only a couple varieties to drop any. I had hoped one of the improvements would be that it would ripen all it's figs. This plant grew more vegetatively that most and is very healthy and full.

Mike in Hanover, VA

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