Common Fig varieties (not necessarily common)

Is there an accurate list out there for reliable Common Fig varieties (cultivars? not sure if that term applies to the confusion that is figs)?

I am personally more focused on anything that would do well in z6, but for others without wasps a more inclusive list would be great.

To clarify based on my new understanding (and to help others) a Common Fig is one which is able to ripen a breba crop (last years crop which didn’t make it) as well as a main crop (this year’s crop) without a fig wasp needed, and still have a “full crop”.

I currently have Hardy Chicago, Atreano, and Black Mission and am not sure if all of those fit the bill. I know many fig threads already exist for photos and other questions, so this one could be more of a reference for a beginner in any geographic area or zone choosing which variety to grow without the wasp for pollination.

I’ve also seen references about some sellers saying that specific varieties are “Common” while in reality they are not. If you have firsthand experience with a particular variety, that is preferred for this post.

Additional props for mentioning if a variety is early ripening, possibly an ER could be used before the name to denote this?

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I am not in tremendous agreement with much of what Condit says about some figs, but it’s tough to make lists…

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Thanks for sharing Aaron! That is a great resource, even if some information might not be completely accurate.

The vast majority of varieties you will encounter are Common unless you are trading with Californians or people oversees.

A community driven fig database, unfortunately very incomplete, is here:

Another listing:


Here is a list from someone in zone 6. (All common figs).
You want the early ripening ones that can ripen fruit on new regrowth even after dieback to ground, like especially Florea(or M-10), Malta Black, Black Bethlehem, Longue d’Aout, Improved Celeste, Dark Portugese, Salem Dark, Marseille Black VS, Sunfire, Teramo, Chicago Hardy, Gino’s Black LSU Tiger are my top picks with multiple reports of them doing good in zone 6. And even LSU Purple, Ronde de Bordeaux, Olympian, and Celeste has had decent reports. And Bob’s Reservoir is proving itself too, to be dependable!

For success though, in z6, they need full sun, and plant them 6 to 10 inches deep to protect the trunk and roots so that there is more underground trunk for regrowth after total dieback…


Fig info is iffy. You have to take into account that there are dozens of synonyms for Hardy Chicago, people will say such and such is better, but even if you only have 2 HC trees, one of those will be “better” than the other in any given year. Most people only have 1 tree of any one variety, so it isn’t really obvious I guess.

Anyway, because people who are selling participate online it isn’t exactly pure objective observations. When a seller tries to determine if 2 varieties are the same, they automatically point out any small differences they may see.

For example, about 9 years ago I planted 2 MBVS and 2 Gino’s paired together in slightly different locations. Most years there are differences, but when I planted out rows of them next to each other I can’t tell them apart.

The person who introduced both had been growing them for a long time, and I do believe he saw differences, but those differences were most likely due to planting location.

A true trial would take more space than most people have, and the truth is there are “new” Etna types every year, so it would never end.


True! Then to add to the mix you not only have different plants but possible mutations of the same plant… I am growing out 4 of each that I get ahold of for a trial. One of mine not in the ground yet is MBVS, but its leaf looks just like CH. I hear MBVS and CH and Ginos are probably all the same. Black Beth could be the same too but I am still growing it out to see, some say it has a different flavor… My CH while very similar leaf is significantly different fruiting habit/timing than Sunfire, and of course RdB, Florea, Teramo, LdA, Malta Black, Celeste, and the LSU types are all each different.


If you google
“Hardy Fig List by Flavor (Ampersand).xlsx”

That is about the best list I’ve seen about the early hardy fig varieties. It retains several tabs with contributions from Herman2, Harper and several other people.


This is precise the reason that I spend most of my time chasing local varieties instead of the more “popular” varieties. I preserved a couple local varieties that unprotected for all their 35+ years. I also have quite a few varieties from NJ Fig Farm’s unknown collections. Most of my trees are in-ground in zone 6 and I try different things with all those figs. Pot culture has not been my favorite.


The locals have always been healthy for me, and, there is basically zero chance of getting a Smyrna.


“Common” refers to a fig’s ability to produce fruit without wasps.

Many common figs do not produce a breba crop.

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I like the exotic rare figs myself. Sure all do not always work out. Most that I have are too young to give an evaluation of yet. I can say some I love like Smith. It is very slow to fruit. Once it does it produces moderately but the fruit is outstanding. I grow a black fig like VdB it is called Fort Mill dark. Found growing in Fort Mill SC. It ripens before all other blacks and has better flavor than VdB. If anybody wants to try the rarer figs contact me for a list of what I have. Cost of postage for cuttings will due for payment. I may only be able to send one cutting on some. If you have some outstanding local types always willing to trade too.


I found a mature PN years ago, and was not impressed with it’s taste or rain resistance. Of course it would be better in a container, and yes it does ripen earlier than VdB.

What I have seen all points to PN, not VdB. And PN is a variety that has been available through nurseries for decades.

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@hoosierbanana What is PN?

Sorry, Petite Negri. I think Edible Landscaping introduced it.

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I don’t really care for PN either. I still have it, but FMD is better. Mine is from Dave Foster (PN).
I have never had a FMD split, all the others have. It may just been a matter of time though. This is only the 4th year FMD has fruited. Beat PN, VdB, Valle Negra every year as far as flavor. Not even close.
I have others fruiting this year like Nero600 and Galicia Negra. GN is shy to bear, it fruits, but not that many. It fruited last year and I must say they were just as good as FMD, really dark flesh on an already dark fleshed type. Almost black. I have 3 or 4 others that have not fruited for me. I probably will cull Valle Negra and Petite Negri I’ll keep VdB because of it’s dwarf growing habit and good production. They taste excellent dried.

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It was 2012, time flies…


I have PN someone generously shared. Do you think it can fruit after dieback like etnas? Is Ft Mill dark better for fruiting after dieback in 6b/7a areas?

Petite Negra, is thought to be the same as VdB. I can’t verify what you bought directly from Dan, and you have called it both names at different times, but you called it Petite Negra first in 2017 when you bought it. “I got Petite Negra for 99 cents from Dan Foster”.

Of course there are mixups, and that is exactly why buying from an original source is best.

Now, I just looked at the available info online, and last year you said was the second year it fruited for you. But that thread was never updated with ripe fruit pics, I couldn’t find any from your tree, do you have any?

Pics of ripe fruit from FMD mother tree.