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Subject: what's the latest fad in figs? Replies: 9
Posted By: geofiz Views: 1,115
Bass's fig looks alot like a fig I found here in Vancouver BC which seems to fit the description of "Barbillone" and is of the "Italian Honey Fig" variety except that it has dark, purplish black skin. The only difference might be that Bass' fig seems to have a slightly heavier bloom than  the fig I found here.

Subject: Longue D'Aout Fig with pics. Replies: 6
Posted By: geofiz Views: 1,576
unfortunately, the brebas are quite different from the main crop, at least here in Vancouver (and also apparently in France according to Baud). They are quite large, but rather insipid without much taste...

Subject: Tree rats Replies: 9
Posted By: geofiz Views: 1,158
I've had good luck keeping rats(!) out of grapes and figs using a very simple device: I keep the transparent plastic clip-on containers that come with
California grapes or other berry/cherry tomato etc crops and use them as jackets for my fruit. These containers
are transparent, have holes and clip together such that rodents can not open
them up (coons can but that's another story). The holes allow ventilation
and draining of water  and the plastic (partial) cover also may provide a
little extra heat. I clip these onto grape clusters and individual figs and they
have worked close to 100 percent at keeping smaller vermin away from
the fruit (I use an electric fence for coons). I suspect this simple device may also be effective for squirrels though I can't be sure  since there are no large shade trees in my part of town and squirrels don't visit often. For what it's worth!


Subject: Best Desert King strain ? Replies: 29
Posted By: geofiz Views: 2,537
Kerry - I am hoping to acquire some Lampeira cuttings from France this spring - you are right they are hard to find. There is a Portugese source on the web that says that Lampeira is slightly less productive than Dauphine but better quality and earlier ripening. I have had Dauphine in Europe and have a small (2  year) old tree in the ground. It's quite good - would have to have both DK and Dauphine in hand for a direct taste comparison,  but it certainly is a reasonable quality breba fig (it is the most common breba fig found in markets in France during July).

Subject: Best Desert King strain ? Replies: 29
Posted By: geofiz Views: 2,537
Ottawan - it is funny about size. Average fruit size can vary from year to year. Last year the fruit were large; perhaps because of moisture in the ground, perhaps because of amount of compost provided - I don't know. Typically DK fruit are around 80-90 g, but I had a significant number last year that were above that - indeed I had several that tipped the scales over 150 g - the one in the attached photo was 170 g - for our American friends that's 0.37 lbs (a 3/8 pounder).

Attached Images
jpeg dum3.jpg (87.24 KB, 106 views)

Subject: Best Desert King strain ? Replies: 29
Posted By: geofiz Views: 2,537
I think I am the 1st friend that Paully referred to. I  pinch buds on DK twice per year, once just before leafing out in late March or early April, and once again in late July. As has often been noted this has the effect of producing extra branching. The additional branches tend not to be so long (1-2 feet versus 3-4 feet) and to produce a tree that spreads outwards rather than upwards. In addition, I also winter prune any growth that will be beyond hand picking range for the following season. I attach a photo of my 6 year old DK tree from last year. DK in my experience drops very few figs, perhaps 1 in 20 or less, so the great majority of the fruit pictured ripened. On average there are say 4-5 breba per branch but can be not infrequently up to 8 or 10. DK is a super fig - it would be great to find another breba contender for the PNW with comparable quality and quantity - perhaps Dauphine or Lampeira will challenge it!?

Attached Images
jpeg dum.jpg (190.21 KB, 196 views)
jpeg dum2.jpg (105.87 KB, 193 views)

Subject: Info on Lampeira? Replies: 1
Posted By: geofiz Views: 848
Does anyone have experience and/or photos to post concerning lampeira? Has anyone tasted the breba (or for that matter the 2nd crop - note it is supposedly a San Pedro type)? Any comments on breba production would be most welcome!

For those of us in the Pacific Northwest where the breba crop is the more reliable, Lampeira would seem to be worth trialling. One doesn't come across it much in the literature. Vidaud in the CITFL publication has a brief piece on Lampeira and comments that it is a good 1st crop producer and rather weak 2nd crop producer, since the immature figs often drop. He also states that the quality is better than Dauphine although the breba size is smaller. Vidaud's cultivar descriptions appear to be taken at least partly from information supplied by Baud, though Baud doesn't seem to advertise Lampeira in any of his books.  Condit has a reasonable description but does not comment on abundance of breba crop. Gallesio in the Poma Italiana refers to Lampeira as Fico portughese and also has good things to say about the breba crop.

Subject: Figs varieties for very cool climate Replies: 17
Posted By: geofiz Views: 5,754
Hi Yves,

I sent you a private message using the Figs4Fun private email facility a
few days ago. Did you get it? If you did get it, then fine. If you didn't get it, please email me at


Subject: Figs varieties for very cool climate Replies: 17
Posted By: geofiz Views: 5,754
Hi Yves,

do you post as Kelern on growing on the edge forum? If so, I too am a tree fern enthusiast - you mention you have C australis growing - what is your annual growth rate like in Britany. I started about 30(!) of these from spore and will be trying some in the ground this coming spring. I am hoping that they will prove as hardy as D anarctica that I have kept alive through our winters with not to much problem. I also have a few C medullaris in pots though I think are winters will be too tough for them to go into the ground, even with protection - do you have medullaris in the ground? do you have any recommendations for keeping C australis happy?


Subject: Figs varieties for very cool climate Replies: 17
Posted By: geofiz Views: 5,754
Dear Yves,

I, like Paully, live in Vancouver BC where summer temperatures are similar to the ones you describe (I am a little cooler than Paully). Like with your climate, Croisic/Gillette ripens well here and usually a week or 2 after Desert King in
mid August. Although it can be sweet, it is not rich and in my opinion is an inferior fig. Once your Desert King begins to bear in earnest I think you will find that it produces almost as many figs as Croisic (as many as 8-10 breba) figs on some branches) with a flavour that is far superior to the latter variety.  The other fig that many people plant here is Lattarula (also known as Blanche) that can give a reasonable breba crop (up to 2-4 breba per branch) but it is not as good tasting as Desert King.

I am interested in hearing about your successes/failures with breba bearing figs.  Baud s writes that Dauphine produces more breba figs than main crop figs. I have never seen a mature Dauphine fig tree here in Vancouver, but I have a  2 year old tree in the ground that I hope will begin to produce next spring. Do you know any other people in France who grow Dauphine,  Lampera or Grise de St Jean? If so, how many brebas per branch can one expect from these 3 varieties?

I attach an article I wrote for a local exotic plant magazine on my thoughts for figs in cool climates.


Attached Files
pdf hpi_figs.pdf (695.13 KB, 511 views)

Subject: Melanzana MS = Longue D'Aout Replies: 10
Posted By: geofiz Views: 3,367
Note also that "Melanzana" means "eggplant" in Italian. My wife is Italian and I have spoken to numerous Italians who often referred to any "eggplant" shaped
fig as "melanzana". In Calabria, they refer to black mission as "melanzana" which is more apt, in my opinion, than tagging longue d'aout as such since it also has the right color.

Subject: Melanzana MS = Longue D'Aout Replies: 10
Posted By: geofiz Views: 3,367
I agree with Paully - the "Slocan" fig (aka longue d'aout, melanzana merdoscola) is very good especially in cooler climates as it seems to ripen around the same time as e.g. Osborn Prolific, lattarula and Marseilles VS but it is better tasting than the former 2 and significantly larger than the latter. I have had some 2nd crop figs come in over 100 g. Note that the breba are still larger but don't have much taste.


Subject: fig photos for PNW exotic plant article Replies: 0
Posted By: geofiz Views: 566
I am writing an article on figs in the Pacific Northwest for the local exotic plant society journal "Hardy Palm International" and am looking for pictures of fruit of several varieties that include:

Ronde de Bordeaux
Marseilles Black VS

The photos would be credited to donor by name and I would be happy to post the article here for those who might be interested in my ideas on cultural practices for figs in cool maritime climates. Please respond to this post if you would be willing to share a photo of any of the above varieties. Thanks in advance to anyone who might be able to help.

Subject: German Giant Fig Replies: 20
Posted By: geofiz Views: 3,808
This German fig looks very much like the Dauphine figs I bought in markets in Montpellier (south of France) last July.  According to Baud this fig fills the niche of Desert King in France; specifically,  it is a tree that produces as many or more  breba (by weight) than 2nd crop figs. As such it is a fig that should be trialled in the Pacific Northwest. I attach a photo - note that the fig is very large,  is streaked purplish brown on a green base,  and has a relatively large pinkish purple eye

I would be interested in hearing whether anyone has found other tastey figs as productive as Desert King in the breba crop (gillette/croisic doesn't count - it's
not very tastey). Certain varieties of Lattarula here can have 4+ brebas per
branch but this tends to be variable from year to year whereas Desert King is always reliable.

Attached Images
jpeg dauph_mp1_small.jpeg (57.19 KB, 136 views)


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