A question for all the fig experts

This is my Excel fig, 1 year in ground here in the Arizona desert, with it’s second crop of figs this year. We have had a long and continued hot fall, and all 3 of my new fig trees are ripening another crop of fruit for the year. I am a fig newby, and my question is about the fig pictured above that is all “fluffy” around the eye. I have gotten a couple like this on the Excel, but nothing similar on the VDB and Peters Honey. I just picked and ate one just like this, and it was really good, sweet and juicy. I did notice some crunchy little seeds in it that haven’t been evident in others. Is this normal for figs, or the Excel in particular, or does it signify anything notable?

I have a Peter’s Honey that does that sometimes. I know Excel is a honey fig, but I’m not sure how closely they are related. Some figs just do stuff like this for no apparent reason. For example, look up the Dall’osso variety, which forms a lot of “double” figs.

For our honey figs, I think whatever this is causes them to dry out, which accounts for the extra crunchiness.

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Cool! I am no expert but I think it means there is a caprifig growing nearby and the fig wasp came from it and pollinated this fig. Half of fig seeds produce caprifigs so there could be one in the wild around your property. I never get that but I am too cold for the fig wasp and there are no caprifigs around here. I don’t think figs can ever self-pollinate but I could be wrong.

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I really wish we had the fig wasp in AZ but I am fairly certain we do not.

Yeah, I forgot to include that they look like they are trying to form a double fig, with a half fig size bulge on one side and a small crease line. I will check out your suggestion.

I have Excel, it happens sometimes. I’ve seen it on other varieties, too. Just remove it, they don’t ripen properly.

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How does the fig make seeds without a caprifig around? Does anyone know?

My understanding is that figs don’t make viable seeds without wasp/caprifigs. But even unpollinated common figs can have seeds and the seed crunch when eaten. The float test is the common way to tell if seeds are viable. If they float they’re not viable.

Only selected areas of CA have the wasps. Without them viable seeds would be very unlikely if not impossible.

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It is called parthenocarpy. Even Smyrna caprifigs must make fruit without pollination in order to host the wasp. Only the first crop of caprifigs carry pollen so the 2nd crop will be the only one to receive pollen. Somehow the wasp tricks the caprifigs into holding onto the first and third crops by stimulating the flowers while laying eggs. Very mysterious how it all came to be.

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