Cold hardy figs


Let me think about it Tony. I think Dr. Kazas and all the 400-series have more virginiana than Nikita’s Gift being the example.

Yes Tony, the 400-series are open-pollinated Nikita’s Gift (seedlings.)

This is information about them from Jerry Lehman. Additionally Dr. Kazas is 50/50 just like Nikita.

**I have included scion’s from 4 open pollinated seedlings of the
Nikitskaya Bordovaya, Nikita’s gift. One is a male a 2nd one has never
flowered the other 2 should be female. They are 400-5, 400-7, 400-8 and
Dr. Kazas. I don’t remember the CV number of the now named variety I’m
releasing as Dr. Kazas. Dr. Kazas was a plant breeder at the Nikita
Botanic Gardens in Yalta Crimea. One of his endeavors was back breeding
Rosseyanka to kaki to produce a more kaki like persimmon with improved
winter hardiness. He wrote several papers on the subject and bread the
variety Nikitskaya Bordovaya named Nikita’s Gift in the US. Jim Gilbert
received the 1st accession directly from Dr. Kazas. I plan to write an
article of the release including a brief bio of Dr. Kazas.

Dr. Kazas is a large mid season persimmon, soft, sweet, clear pulp.
Simply a great persimmon and genetically is 50% virginiana, 50% kaki.**



I think this is the order: Rossyanka is 50/50 Kaki/DV. Nikita’s Gift is 75% Kaki,/ 25% DV. Now that open pollinated Nikita’s Gift seedlings (Kazas plus the 400 series should be 50/50 like you said).



Interesting most people do not even consider collecting cuttings from any of their trees this time of year. That is very generous of them!


Yeah that was lost in the translation, not cuttings, plants, barkslip asked about both. Plants are available now, depending when you rooted them, or in the west air layers are probably almost ready. I had a certain amount of cuttings for spring rooting. Not because I like to root in the spring, I had too many. After one or two rounds of figs my lights belong to my peppers and tomato seedlings. I never seem to have time or room, to root every one. I don’t want to root something I can’t put under lights. So I have about 20 cuttings rooting. Most I don’t need so will sell or trade. So far a lot look to be rooting in pots, in 1 hour or so of direct light about 7:00 pm. The rest of the time in shade. Wrapped in buddy tape or parafilm. Usually when they start growing limbs, it’s well rooted.


Red Lebanese Bekaa Valley is an Etna type it may be rare and some people may say it is better (just like Luv, Sao Miguel Roxo, Sangue Dolce, Cilegia Dolce, etc.) But I’ve never seen a real comparison to the others, just vague assertions and attempts to move it out of the group. Maybe I’m wrong though about the half dozen that popped up this year, I’ve only been through 2 dozen Etna types or so already, maybe I should bid? :wink:

Call me a skeptic, but it always seems like the best tasting fig is the one a seller is selling that is relatively rare!


This is My brown turkey that is outside I overwintered under wood chips.



Start pinching all the tips right now to get the main crop going. Once that pinched tips put out another five leaves then pinched them again. This is a must do process for loaded figs formation.



Getting ready to hit them with heavy doses of nitrogen as well.


Yes, my second year Red Lebanese(Bekaa Valley) last year tasted and looked like my 3rd to 5th year purported Mt Etnas (about 20 total others). I will wait a year or so to give it a chance to shine brighter.


It isn’t rare, and should be fairly cheap. It stood out and looks nothing like Mt Etna’s to me, not even close. Not even the same color! If your Bekaa looks like a Mt Etna, you don’t have one. Well it’s not always easy to tell, but the taste should be your first clue. Again, maybe it’s me? Bluemalibu on ourfigs agrees with my assessment on taste, says it’s his best (including even Black Madeira).
I always thought it was a deeper red (inside and out), and more intense taste and fruits earlier. One of the first to fruit. Hard to compare to Mt Etna’s as they fruit later in the year. Yes some overlap as Bekaa keeps producing.

Hardy Chicago

Bekaa Valley

If these are considered the same, I’m not sure how you can tell any fig apart?


Great post Drew


I wanted to add that Hardy Chicago is a great fig as are all Mt Etna’s. I’m sure some prefer them to Bekaa. LSU Red looks a lot like Red Bekaa, but I feel Bekaa is better. Also better than Bass’ Lebanese Red. Yet all of these are very good figs. I have them. I’m trying to decide what Mt Eyna I want? I’m trialing Black Bethlehem, Chicago ,Antonelli Unk, Bass’ Favorite (I think it is an Etna? Not sure?), Malta Black, MBVS,Salem Dark, Sal’s #1 , Unknown Sheepshead, and Takoma Violet.
I probably have others MBVS sticks out as a great producer, Chicago I think has slightly better flavor, Sal’s is tasty too! The others are too new to comment. I can’t get myself to eliminate any.
Also with the Adriatic types I have a number of cultivars I’m trying out.


Drew your Bekaa may not look like your HC, but they look just like my Black Bethlehem which come in August here. I’m not saying they’re the same, just noting how similar they look.

For me, my best figs are the ones I manage to keep away from the birds, squirrels, chipmunks and bugs. Of course I’ve never had a Black Madeira, Preto or the like, especially one ripened in a long season are with plenty of late year heat, so maybe that would change my attitude.

I wonder if your Bekaa are so much better for you since they come earlier when you have more heat. As a more northern grower, I expect HC ripens when it is somewhat cooler out. I know that as it gets cooler out the remaining figs that ripen for me are just not as sweet and delicious as those ripening in the heat of summer.

I think sometimes when people are considering figs in marginal zones, they think primarily of getting them to survive the winter and then having enough time to ripen, but maybe early ripening should be just as important to make sure they get the best quality fruit. Even though I’m in 7A I still have all my figs in containers since that lets me get them jump started earlier in the spring than if they were in the ground.


LOL Hey yes some are more red. I myself think Mt Etna’s vary a lot, and I myself would not consider them the same. It’s smart to choose wisely. Plus we know where Bekaa came from, Lebanon. A fig name after a PA town tells us very little. I myself will only pay a fair price, I never paid over 30 bucks and in general I sell very few figs. So far I have sold zero trees. I think I bought three, but have about 45. I have a few extra this year. All I am doing is letting people know what my tastes are. I have a Black Beth now, so looking forward to trying it.
If I want to make money selling I would sell my Carven’s Craving BB10, Bass Favorite, CdD B/N
Maltese Beauty, Bourjasotte Grise, Genovese Nero AF or Galicia Negra. I have all those too, I may sell some at some point, but not anytime soon. I would much rather trade. One guy owes me a couple Rimada types, not sure he will ever pay me back? Hope so!


Drew, like zendog posted above, fig appearance varies. None of my Red Lebanese looked as red as those in the picture above (by the way, whose photo is that anyway?), but more like the darker three in that picture. And it is very unusual for my HC to look as green as your picture above. Most of them are a solid dark purple, I let them get completely ripe. And the leaf photo of the Red Lebanese above looks much like any Mt Etna.

I also do not think all ‘Mt Etnas’ are the same - they are more of a class of figs with similar characteristics.

Who really knows for sure where the Red Lebanese came from? Marius from near Cleveland, OH introduced it to the rest of us in the fig world, he said it was a Lebanese fig.


Marius, the guy who found it. I have photos too, not as good.

Mine are like that in the fall. They are purple in the summer.

I feel confident in the info is correct. I understand Etna is a profile, I just don’t think Bekaa, or LSU Red are anything like Mt Etna’s from looks to taste. No doubt it could be me. My taste profile does not match all. I think Flavor Queen is a very good pluot, most feel it’s tasteless. It tastes like coconut or tropical wonderfulness to me. I’m looking forward to this years crop!


Marius’s phots shows figs cut through the bottom half, the darkest part.

Same exact fig, different lighting.


The darkest interior on an Etna I think I’ve seen was a Black Greek last year that was grown in a compost sock (with biochar), and from what I remember Marius used lots of composted manure. I had been wondering if it was because the biochar pushed the ph up (anthocyanins change color according to ph), or maybe it was the ash supplying K, could have been water stress too but it might just be the compost…


I have had years where the interior is darker or lighter. Not by much, and time of year too. Those look good! Now I’m getting a craving for fresh figs! I managed to kill all the Dark Greek cuttings I had. Speaking of Greek, A guy has this Greek isles fig that is red, interior is red too, although a much lighter shade. I tried rooting this one but failed. I’ll try again next year.
greek isles fig


I had a Greek Isles fig tree that I gave our neighbor, I sort of know the person who rescued it shortly before the tree at the Greek isles restaurant was destroyed.