The Q&A Archives: Fig Trees for South Florida

Question: What are the best varieties of Fig trees to be grown in the Florida Keys?

Answer: Some of the better varieties for south Florida include:

'Celeste' (Celestial, Blue Celeste, Little Brown, Sugar). Widely grown in the South. Fruit small, purplish-bronze to light brown with closed eye, ripening from mid-July to mid-August. Does not bear fruit in season following severe freeze damage.

'Brown Turkey' (Everbearing, Harrison, Ramsey, Lee's Perpetual, Eastern Brown Turkey, Brunswick). Rivals 'Celeste' in popularity. Moderate size fruit of bronze color with medium eye opening. Ripens in late July until late fall and will fruit following severe freeze damage.

'Green Ischia' (Ischia Green, White Ischia, Ischia Verte). Not widely grown but green color and closed eye make it desirable. Fruit ripens late July to early August and does not fruit during season following severe freeze.

'San Piero' (Thomson, California Brown Turkey). No common name in Florida. Fruit very large, purplish-black to purplish-bronze color, does not droop and is subject to souring and splitting.

'Magnolia' (Brunswick, Madonna). Uncommon in Florida, but found throughout the South and canned commercially in Texas. Fruit lopsided, large, bronze colored with open eye. 'Magnolia' ripens from mid-July to late August, fruit tends toward sourness and splitting. Will bear after severe
freeze damage.

Of the above varieties, those with a "closed eye" on the end of the fruit are most desireable as they are not as prone to souring on the tree. Green skin color is another plus as it seems to discourage birds from pecking the fruit.

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