Monday, July 31, 2017

Collecting the Rare Fig Varieties

Sometimes when you get your fig collection to a certain size you have to look far and beyond what nurseries have to get the more rare varieties. I was lucky enough to befriend some rare collectors and have acquired some of these cuttings.

Don't they look glorious? Hopefully they will do well and root for me. And I'll be able to share with you folks.

Deos Negra



Dolce Caldarai

Biffaro Zeus

Verdal Negra

Malcara Alaca


Balkanlarin Grisi

Giant Croatian

Cul D'asse

Dei Nebrodi

Type 208

Update: 7/30/17
I've been using HP promix with added perlite and it has been working great to roots figs in. I'll probably stick with this method moving forward.

Black Spanish Fig Breba - Quick Review

This is a my first ripe Black Spanish fig and it is not a good impression... So far.

At first sight it looks like a pretty cool fig. Nice bell shape and great color. However the allure of the black spanish fig only goes skin deep.

Well after the initial "Hello" when you look into the eye of the Black Spanish Breba it splits. Which is not good for this area.

I was brave enough to taste the good bits in the middle and the flavor is quite blah and unappealing.

The sugar level was low and watery and the texture was very unappealing probably due to the split.


This is a 2nd yr plant. So I'll probably let it go another year before letting it go. If it doesn't improve with age.

Black Spanish: Breba (7/30/17)
Taste: 2
Sweetness: 3
Size:  6 (60 grams)
Productivity:  .5
Total = 11.5

A Perfectly Ripe Desert King Breba 2017

This Desert King Breba came off of one my of smaller potted trees. Ripened outside of the greenhouse.

This, is what a perfectly ripened Desert King Fig should look like. Full of nectar!

Another Tropical - Thai Wax Jambu

I'm such a sucker for tropical fruit. It's my white whale here in Seattle, I know our environment isn't made from tropicals but I love trying anyways.

This is my new Thai Wax Jambu.

(syzygium samarangense)
(AKA: Eugenia javanica)

It's a bell shaped mild tasting fruit that grows in Southeast Asia and other tropical climates.

This tropical tree can grow to a height of 16 to 50 feet (5-15m) depending upon temperature and weather conditions. Wax Jambu is native to Malaya and the Nicobar Islands where the trees grow in coastal rainforests. It is very common in Southeast Asia and, Thailand, Viet Nam, Taiwan, Zanzibar and India. It also grows well in central and South America.

Wax Jambu is ultra-tropical and cannot handle temperatures below 45 degrees, preferring temperatures above 65 degrees. Which means it comes inside for the winter. I've already made the mistake last year of killing my other tropicals in the greenhouse.

Soil must be fertile for good fruit production. Flowers appear in May and June in Florida and fruits ripen in July and August. If it fruits at all it would probably be later here in the Seattle area.

It is a heavy producer on good soils and can produce 500-700 fruit when 5 years old. The ripe, pink fruits are small (about 3/4 - 1" / 2- 2.5cm) long, sweet and can be eaten fresh or cooked, for sauces, jams and jellies. Green fruits are eaten raw with salt.

I'll keep you updated on this one to see if I can keep this one thriving here.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Review of the Vincenzo Fig Breba 2017

I got this Vincenzo Fig from a cutting last year. In February 2016. I've read great reports about it. based on the photos I've seen online. The fruit kinda reminds me of the Sals Corleone or Aldo Palermo fig.

Well I'm glad this year this little tree put out a great little breba for me. I did not ripen this one in the greenhouse. It was winter protected, which I do for all of my 1st yr trees, but brought outside once the temperatures begin to get about freezing in the spring.

Anyhow, I was impressed that this fig ripened even before my in ground DK brebas. What was even more impressive was the taste. It was very good. Melon tones, hints of honey, and dripping with nectar. My 1yr old son loved it and wouldn't share. You probably wouldn't either after you taste how good this is.

This might be a good candidate to grow in ground here considering how well it's done with minimal protection and how great tasting the breba was!

Vincenzo: Breba (7/25/17)
Taste: 8.5
Sweetness: 8
Size:  6 (55.5 grams)
Productivity:  .5
Total = 23

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Trying again with the White Guava

I really miss my 2yr old Guava Tree. I admit, I thought it would do better in the greenhouse. It wasn't the cold that killed it, it was the lack of watering. Apparently they do not go dormant like figs do during the winter months and need watering.

This little guy will come in the house for the winter.

Tasting Review of the Grantham's Royal * Mavra Sika Breba 2017

Tasting Review of the Grantham's Royal & Mavra Sika Breba 2017

Grantham's Royal Breba Fig.

So I've been waiting patiently for 2 yrs for the Grantham's Royal to produce brebas for me. From most reports it was suppose to be superior to the Dessert King Fig. So of course I've been excited to taste it.

It is a San Pedro Fig so outside of California it will not ripen a 2nd crop here. I have 2 trees from different sources and only 1 produced this year even though they are the same size.

There were a total of 6 Brebas that formed on this tree. But it may have been more than it could handle because it somewhat aborted 83% of them and focused on ripening only 1, which is pictured above. 4 became shriveled. Still edible but it was almost as if someone deflated them like little balloons.

And this one split really badly. After a hot day I watered the plant deeply which maybe the cause of it.

I hate wasting any fig since so much energy goes into growing it. So I picked everything off of the tree.

I'm not sure if this is common for this fig but there were extremely beautiful strips on this fig. The interior is also in the shape of a heart which makes this one of the most lovely looking figs I've ever seen. It almost looks like a rimada fig. Almost...

The interior of the fig is also quite unique. It's in the shape of a heart and is quite the work of art. I love the yellow color that starts at the top. The color transitions to a dark rich purple at the eye which are complimentary colors on the color wheel. I have to thank my many art classes for knowing that. So I have a great appreciation for the aesthetics of this fig.

It weighed 77.2 Grams, which is a above average for most figs. It's hard to judge a young fig tree on taste if the plant is only a couple yrs old. I feel that the true taste of any fig can only truly be assessed after the tree has been planted in ground and ripens in full sun vs a greenhouse after 3 years.

With that said, I think that the Grantham's Royal that I tasted off this young tree is Good. Not mind blowingly rich or sweet but good. There's more complexity in flavors than the Desert King. It was slightly watery and had melon tones. If it was a bit sweeter this would've been a great fig to eat!

This fig is definitely on the keep list for me.

Granthams Royal: Breba (7/19/17)
Taste: 7.5
Sweetness: 6.5
Size: 8  (77.2 grams)
Productivity: 1.5
Total = 25.5

Mavra Sika Breba

Online research shows that this a fig that Bass discovered in PA. It came from a woman who brought it over from the Chios Island of Greece. It grows in ground in PA and is supposed to be cold hardy. So this maybe a candidate to grow in ground here as well. 

This was originally purchased from Plant Creator back in 2015.

This tree isn't what you call productive. It had 2 brebas and 1 dropped. the other held on. For a tree this size I would have hoped to have atleast 4-8 figs on it. The fruit is small weighing in at 12.5 grams.

The taste of this single breba was not impressive. It was quite lackluster very marshmellowy texture with with a hint of berry jamminess.

I'm not in love with this fig. It's not very productive, too small and not very rich. It may have a different result if grown in ground. So I may reserve a small spot for it to see if it will change it's behavior compared to being grown in a pot. If it doesn't it will go on the remove list.

Taste: 5
Sweetness: 5
Size:  2 (12.5 grams)
Productivity:  .25
Total = 12.2