Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Fig of the Week. #15 Chicago Hardy

Fig of the Week. Chicago Hardy AKA | Bensonhurst Purple fig | Sale EL

Hardiness: Survives the Seattle Winter
Type: Unifire
Fruit Ripens: August
Fruit Color: Black/Purple with red interior
Taste: Like Strawberry Jam
Fruit Weight: 22grams
Leaf Structure: One main lobe and 2 smaller lobes

One of the most widely distributed figs in the USA. And for good reason, it's an extremely tasty and hardy fig that does well, just about anywhere. It may suffer die back on cold winter months but can grow back to produce figs the same season.

From a post on GW by Leon:

"Hanc Mathies once told me that the DiPaola's, friends and owners of the Belleclare Nursery in Plainview, NY, somehow tracked the Bensonhurst Purple fig to it's origen on Mt. Etna, Sicily, where the variety is known to have been growing at about 3000ft above sea level.
It apparently gained a reputation in New York where it earned it's local name and, like most things, eventually found it's way to Chicago. There, a sailor stationed at Great Lakes Naval base, by the name of Fred Born, propagated a tree given to him by an Italian man who lived on the south side of the Windy City. The tree flourished without any protection by all accounts, despite the harsh Chicago winters. Fred eventually migrated to Florida, taking his tree on a long and winding road. He called the fig, Hardy Chicago, for obvious reasons. Eventually the variety reached the retail industry and now you know the rest of the story."

*Black fig with a red interior
*Smaller fig about 25g
*Ripens in September here
*Tends to grow lots of suckers
*Mine is grown in ground

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