Are my fig cravings over?


Those photos look amazing.
Is CDDB better than Strawberry Verte or Smith? SV seems to have the same thick jammy consistency and to my taste as good as Black Madeira/I-258 etc without being finicky.



So, what are your best varieties so far?


Here are the top figs on my list to have for tasting. Hopefully, I can get them all in a few years: Black/ White Madeira, Figo Preto, MIB, Socorro, CDD Ramida, Cravens Craving, CDD Blanc, Black Ischia UCD, Black Tuscan, Ben’s Golden Riverside, Smith, I-258, BFf, Noire De Barbentane, and Strawberry Verte.



I haven’t tasted Smith, but CdDB, SV and White Madeira #1 were all very similar and equally awesome.


My favorites always changes. Some varieties are awesome one year and mediocre the next. That said, I’ve loved Capoll Curt Negra, Genovese Nero AF, Panache, CdD Blanc/Gris/Noir, White Madeira #1, Victoria, Pesca d’Oro, and DFIC 23 Palmata Hybrid.


I should have clarified my post a little better, first age( too old)
Too old to explore for new stuff. I have read many articles of real fig afficiando,s that has ratings, one to ten and the outcome are all over, no agreement.


Climate plays a huge role. For instance Fruitnut appears to have poor luck with Smith which lots of others like.
Figs also vary a lot from season to season and even within the same season. Also different growers and growing conditions seem to matter. I got my Monstreuse tree from another grower who said it was a mediocre fig. It has however been a top performer for me.


The seed may carry genes of both parents, but it is the product of the tree it grew on. I believe you’re repeating an old wives tale…


Well blame MSU extension services, where I got the info directly from them in an email.
So I asked the experts, if you have other experts that disagree, bring it forward please.
I asked Mark Longstroth at the MSU ask an expert and he said the only way all almonds in the crop will be bitter is if you have peach trees. Ask him yourself.


BTW - your extension agent didn’t say the only way all almonds in the crop will be bitter is if you have peach trees. He said “I doubt the bitter kernels are due to cross pollinating with peach unless most of the kernels are bitter”.

And your “extension agent expert” only claims knowledge about apples, cherries, blueberries, grapes, and cranberries. He’s neither a peach nor an almond expert.

But here’s the answer. Thanks Google!
“Cultivar Pollinizer Does Not Affect Almond Flavor”

Tasting of the seeds resulting from each cross resulted in the complete absence of any influence of pollinizer on flavor, which only depended on the female parent.

Turns out it’s very rare for the pollinizer of any plant to affect the seed it pollinated itself.

In addition, Frehner et al. (1990) demonstrated that amygdalin is not produced in the seed, but is transported from the mother plant.

Frehner, M., M. Scalet, and E.E. Conn. 1990. Pattern of the cyanide-potential in developing fruits. Plant Physiol. 94:28–34

Satisfied yet?


Thank you Scott, excellent research! Since I grow a bunch of peach trees in the midst of a sea of commercial almond orchards (the nearest almond trees are about 700 ft from my property), this entire story about peaches causing bitter almond seeds, propounded by somebody who have hardly seen an almond tree in their life, is just laughable to me. But it’s good to have an explicit scientific confirmation.


Aap, so is your 2 pictures of the spring dead heavily trimmed figs and the green bushy summer growth the Smith fig? Is your Smith in ground? I am trying to find out if smith is known to grow back after dieback in z7 and produce a fall crop on the new growth after dieback.


That says it all. What he is saying is he doubts peach pollinated the almonds, but if all bitter they probably did. If only some are bitter it’s due to almond pollen, but if all bitter it must be peach. It’s very clear to me.

Well we know that is only true with fruit not seed Corn is the best example grow some feed corn next to sweet and you’ll find out for yourself.

No, not even 1%

In the first article they admit peach will change flavor, that first link supports my argument
Crane and Lawrence (1952) reported that
all seeds of ‘Marie Dupuy’ were bitter following
pollination by Amygdalus communis L.
var. amara Ludwing ex DC., and Simms (1996)
observed that almond trees pollinated with
peach [Prunus persica (L.) Batsch] pollen
produced bitter seeds.

The gist of the article is saying you can use any almonds for pollen, without worry of bitterness, but specifically states using peach will result in bitter seeds. Again supports my point of view, thanks for pointing it out! It’s exactly what the guy at MSU said. He knows his stuff, he was right on the money.

In the second article peach is not mentioned at all. It says nothing, neither supports or rejects my statement.

This research paper says it all.
McCarty, C.D., J.W. Leslie, and H.B. Frost. 1952.
Bitterness of kernels of almond x peach hybrids


Paulin, all Smith figs are in 25 or 20 gl containers kept in the garage. My in the ground figs are Chicago h, Dessert, Negronne, Sal c,and a few others, don’t know all of them anymore. Very early arctic freezes and late spring freezes are the big problem with figs in my area, like the one i experience this early fall. It’s going to do some damage. I’m not taken any chances with my Smith figs.


Interesting topic. I just want to hint, you probably cant read the answer this way. Because of the question: “Will peach pollen cause almonds to be bitter?” when answering he assumes cross pollination did occur for sure. He states almonds and peaches will hybridize. It would be strange if he then answers he doesnt belief cross pollination happened.

I think one has to read his statement like smatthew does. So in conclusion he says he does not know and would only be convinced bitterness in the kernels is because auf cross pollination with peach pollen if all kernels are bitter. With this he again assumes cross pollination occured as he does in his whole answer.

I think in the context of the question thats the only way to interpret the answer. It now would be interesting what Simms observed in detail and if this observation is backed up by data.

Interesting topic to me cause right now I am just considering to add some almonds to my collection of trees and I of course are growing peach trees too. Right now I am not too concerned since I never heard about this thing before and I do know people growing peaches and almonds side by side. In our climate almonds (and to some extend peaches) are hit and miss anyways, so no consistent data is available here.


I would say we know heterozygous sweet almonds will not bring bitterness, and even bitter almonds will not. It appears the mother tree determines amount. But peaches are a different species. So we can’t assume anything. So far we have 2 studies that say it certainly does. Simms (1996) and McCarty, C.D., J.W. Leslie, and H.B. Frost. 1952. Both cited in the first article. In the study the article highlights, no peaches were used, and they make no conclusions about peaches. The 2nd article only mentions almonds from the Prunus family and makes no conclusions about the peach species of Prunus.


Wow. Talk about cherry picking your arguments. If you continued to read the first article, you will notice the author wrote

Crane and Lawrence (1952) stressed that all seeds of ‘Marie Dupuy’ were bitter when pollinated by Amygdalus communis amara. This does not agree with our results, since this cultivar maintained its slightly bitter taste re- gardless of whether the pollinizer had seeds that were sweet, slightly bitter, or bitter. Given our findings, we cannot easily explain those of Crane and Lawrence (1952).

We therefore conclude that the maternal genotype is responsible for the taste of almond seed, and that all seeds of a given tree will be sweet, slightly bitter, or bitter, with the influence of the male parent manifesting itself only in the following generation.

The second article talks about the production of amygdalin in almond trees. We are talking about almond trees, right? In Almond trees, the amygdalin is produced in the tree, and transported to the seed. If the amygdalin is not produced in the seed, how could the pollen effect the production of amygdalin? That would be like saying your mothers hair changed to be like your fathers hair after they had a child.

Can you provide a link to the article you referenced?

McCarty, C.D., J.W. Leslie, and H.B. Frost. 1952.
Bitterness of kernels of almond x peach hybrids


Ok yeah Aap that’s interesting! Thanks for sharing your program. Yeah I have smith rooted cuttings but if they are less hardy i may should send them south to my Louisiana family and focus on the hardiest figs for outdoors. I’d prefer my indoor trees be citrus and herbs if i can get a reliable fig for 6b-7a. I hear you on that bad Nov freeze, it got 10F here. A temp that hasnt yet been beaten this Jan…


My Smith originally came from a friend in Louisiana, way back. I would grow them here first in the ground come spring. I will try a couple of them in the ground after I prune the rootball by half and see if they make it the following spring.


I had two Smith fig trees. One was killed in a winter that got down to 9F. It was in a fairly exposed location, windy, South of my house. The second survived a winter that dropped to 9F, but had a lot of winter kill. That one was a little more sheltered. The next year it recovered. Last winter was more mild and it grew much more. Unfortunately for that cultivar, my climate is cool spring, summers with cool nights, and early cool fall that becomes rainy and chilly. Maritime Pacific NW. This year, almost all of the Brebas fell off. I got some main crop, very rich flavor. The useful yield for me was no where near Hardy Chicago and Carini,
let alone Lattarula or King, but Smith Figs are quite delicious. I think they would do better in Louisiana, of course.