Best fig varieties?

Hello everyone! I would like to buy a fig tree and is currently undecided between these options. Please let me know about your experience with them. I’m in zone 7b. Raleigh, NC. They will be planted in-ground.

Black Mission
Chicago Hardy
Yellow Long Neck
Violette de Bordeaux (currently unavailable but still would like to know your experience)
Green Ischia


I am not sure where you are located but I would select the Chicago Hardy as your first fig. It may not be the best tasting but it is good, productive and easy to grow


Florea for early harvest and usually the first fig to ripen. Celeste is so sugary sweet- YUM!!! and easy to root or grow. Hardy Chicago is a fairly good fig. RDB and Smith is also good ones. You need some top tier figs like Preto, Black Madeira, I- 258, Socorro Black, and White Madeira #1, .

You can comb through the link below,


Thank you! I totally forgot to include the zone, it is 7B.

Thank you for your input! I will definitely look into those different varieties. I believe I currently have Celeste and another unknown fig (lost the name tag)

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In your zone cold hardy/early ripening takes precedence. Some of the best tasting ones need a longer season.

Hardy Chicago/mt etna is an obvious choice and very good tasting.

Improved Celeste

Are good choices too


I agree with Tony. Celeste is one of the better ones.
Also agree with Georgia you need early ripening versions.
As for production it is more about how bad your winter is. I have 10 figs and only see figs every so often, but I am in 6b/7a Va.


I’m originally from NC. South-central region (zone 8). I’m pretty familiar with Raleigh’s climate. As others have mentioned Celeste, Smith, I-258 (better option than Black Madeira/Preto for the area), VDB, Florea, Mt. Etna (Ex: Hardy Chicago), and Southern Brown Turkey. An Adriatic like Green Ischia, Strawberry Verte, or Adriatic JH would also work. Also, consider the LSU figs. Specifically, LSU Tiger, LSU Hollier, LSU Champagne, and possibly even LSU Purple.

Raleigh, overall, has mild weather and lengthy growing season. It’s always best to see what others in your general area are growing and what works best for them.


I agree with Tony’s recommendations, except for Florea. For me it is 6-7 out of ten, and only about two weeks earlier than very good stuff like CH, RDB, VDB. Adriatic JH and I-258 are top tier for me.


I think your best choice there would be Hative de Argentuil, my earliest awesome tasting fig, and produces 3 crops here, maybe 2 there. The figs have a deep cherry flavor with a nice balanced sugar/acid flavor. They produce a very heavy crop but may need to be grafted to a more vigorous rootstock because of a small FMV problem. The other I would recommend is Craven’s Craving, better tasting than probably the all the figs I grow Here, and fairly early and common. These two figs are highly sought after and will cost you more than the other’s you mentioned, but far surpass them in flavor and bug resistance. Here is what they look like here in CA…


I think you can do better than a lot of those varieties you’ve listed. Members here have given very good suggestions. My favorites that should ripen with acceptable abundance and timeliness in ground for you are Mt Etna figs (Hardy Chicago is one of them), Adriatic JH, VdB and its lookalikes, I-258, Dalmatie, and Ronde de Bordeaux.


Top pics HDA, middle CC, bottom HDA, all awesome figs that are much better than the one’s that have been mentioned above. You can source them on figbid this winter. The HDA is a bit earlier, but the CC is the best tasting fig I grow, better than Black Mederia and Preto here without a doubt, and larger and earlier. Another top quality fig that is somewhat early and the largest of all these is I-258 or Genovesse Nero, really good as well, slightly later, but around the Black Mederia/ Preto crop. A few others that get really good reviews and somewhat early are Soccoro Black and Bourjassotte Gris. There are other great early figs, but the one’s mentioned above are of super high quality!


They’ll look like that in California, but NOT in Raleigh.


Agree. I moved from California three years ago to north Georgia. How a fig performs in California is useless to an east coast grower. The figs will never be as good out here but they are still good enough to be worth growing.


What is CC? I don’t see it spelled out anywhere in the discussion, maybe I missed it. Guessing Craven’s Craving?

Also several people recommended I-258 but is it winter hardy in -ground in 7B?

CC is Craven’s Craving!


One thing you didn’t mentioned was that if you’re going to keep it in pots or you’re going to planted in the ground?

I think this is very important detail to know because some of the top varieties like Black Madeira ( BM ), Figo Preto ( FP ) and others are late on ripening! So if you ware going to keep them in pots they would be ok but not so much for in ground.

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Unless protected, it will suffer some winter die back, but
should grow back. It’s one of the best.


VS successfully grows and ripens I-258 in ground in zone 7a New Jersey right across the river from Philadelphia. I think it ripens for him in October in his climate.


@rayrose,@GeorgiaGent, I realize the figs look better in California, however the choices above were all noted for not only superior taste, but also the fact that they are all early. If you are going to grow figs there they must be early, and why not grow the best? Nowhere above did I say they would look like that in zone 7. I have tried some of the other above mentioned figs and they don’t look or taste very good at all in California, so they definitely won’t look or taste better in zone 7.