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Introduction

» The database contains all the varieties of figs that we have currently growing in our test orchards.

» The database will regularly be updated and enlarged.

» We regret but none of these varieties are currently available except the ones listed under Available Varieties.

» All the information is subjected to the terms and conditions stated in the Indemnity section as per landing page.

» All information and evaluations are based on growing conditions in the far Southern Gauteng Province area where we are situated. (Similar to USA Zone 8).

» Please note that leaves and fruit can vary considerably from one area to the next as local climatic conditions play a very big role in their development. The colour of photographs can also be deceiving or variable in some cases.

» The correct naming and identification of figs are very complicated, confusing and variable throughout the world. Some varieties can have more than 20 synonyms!

Choosing a variety


» There are hundreds of fig varieties available and it is estimated that there are more than a staggering 1000 fig varieties worldwide. In South Africa we don't have such a wide variety but the best varieties are, however, already available here.

» The choice can be difficult to make for the home gardener who only wants 1 or 2 trees. To make this easier we have marked the best garden/home varieties for most areas with a red winner's badge.

» When it comes to fig names, things can get very complicated as some can have more than 20 different names in different countries. We chose the names commonly used in South Africa to market our plants with. For instance, "Cape Brown" is only used in our country and is known as "Osborn's Prolific" in other countries.

» When it comes to agricultuaral and commercial plantings it is a different story and I STRONGLY suggest you purchase Mr. Lotter's book or contact companies or individuals that specialize in this field (there is a list under the "CONTACTS" section).

» It is very important for commercial farmers to make the right choice as this is a longterm investment. Please note that some varieties are not commercially viable for areas outside the Western Cape but some of them, however, will still give a good crop for the home gardener with the right care and treatment.

A few things to consider when choosing a variety:


Which colour fruit do you prefer?
· There are various purple-black and green skinned varieties available and also with many shades in between.
· The flesh colour also differs from variety to variety.

What taste do you like?
· Some figs are very sweet and others less so.
· Some figs have that strong "figgy" taste and others are less aromatic.
· Some varieties, especially the black types, last longer on the shelves and are good for transporting or drying.
· Some varieties should be consumed almost immediately as they spoil quickly but make excellent jams.
· Some varieties have good multipurpose qualities.

What size do you prefer?
· Bigger is not necessary better but the fresh produce market prefers bigger fruits. I found that some small fruiting varieties have excellent taste and better garden performance than some bigger varieties.

What kind of climate do you have?
· Of course figs do best in Meditteranean type climates like the Western Cape but some will also do well in other regions of South Africa.
· If you experience severe frost in winter or have very humid and wet summers you can plant only certain types.

Do you want to plant it in your garden or in a pot?
· Most fig trees have strong surface spreading roots and need ample space.
· Other varieties are smaller and are also suited to pots.

Useful Lists


These lists are to be used as a rough guide only and are subject to terms as per Indemnity.

» Commercial farmers should consult with agricultural experts first and do further research before choosing a variety for mass planting.

Main commercial varieties used for fresh export:
· Bourjosotte Noir(Parisian)
· Col de Dame Noir("King" in SA)
· Noire de Caromb(Southern Black)
· Adam

Commercial varieties grown for the local fresh market:
· Adam
· Bourjosotte noir (Parisian)
· Ronde de Bordeaux
· Deanna
· White Genoa (Mainly for its breba crop)

Commercial varieties planted for jams and preserves:
· Kadota
· Deanna
· White Genoa
· Cape White (Local market prefers lighter varieties)

Commercial varieties planted for drying:
· Kadota
· Deanna
· White Genoa
· Cape White (Blanche)
(local market prefers lighter varieties)

Future important commercial varieties for local market:
· Black Genoa
· Deanna

Best varieties for very cold areas:
· Dalmatie
· Ronde de Bordeaux
· Violette de Bordeaux

Best varieties for the domestic garden:
· Ronde de Bordeaux
· Black Mission
· Cape White
· Cape Brown
· Kadota
· Deanna
· Black Genoa
· Dalmatie
· White Genoa
· Col de Dame Noir

Best overall commercial variety for multipurpose use:
· Deanna

Best overall white variety for domestic gardens:
· Deanna

Best overall black variety for domestic gardens:
· Ronde de Bordeaux

Best overall black variety for multipurpose/commercial use:
· Black Mission (fresh, drying, preserves, jams)

Best "workhorse" varieties:
(small but lots of fruit)
· Ronde de Bordeaux (Black)
· Kadota (White)

Best breba producing varieties:
· White Genoa
· Noire de Caromb (Southern Black)
· Deanna
· Dalmatie

Varieties for small gardens:
· Ronde de Bordeaux
· Cape Brown (Osborn's prolific)
· Dalmatie
· Violette de Bordeaux

Best varieties for pots:


For fruiting:

· Ronde de Bordeaux
· Cape Brown (Osborn's prolific)
· Dalmatie
· Kadota
· Violette de Bordeaux

Ornamental use only:
· Bourjosotte Noir (Parisienne)
· Tiger fig (Panachee)

Best varieties for Landscaping:
· Bourjosotte Noir (Parisian)
· Tiger fig

Best tasting varieties:
(personal choice of the author)
1. Col de dame Noir ("King" in SA)
2. Ronde de Bordeaux (Toulouse)
3. Dalmatie
4. Black Mission
5. Deanna
(they must be fully ripe to enjoy!)

Most well-known varieties in South Africa:
1. White Genoa (White Naples)
2. Adam
3. Cape Brown (Osborn's prolific)
4. Cape White (Blanche)

Top five must-have figs: (if you have space!)
(personal choice of the author)
1. Ronde de Bordeaux
2. Dalmatie
3. Deanna
4. Black Mission
5. Col de Dame Noir

Figs Database

fig database