How much better Smith/ Cravens.c

Like to know how much better, much better by a lot, the same one is over the other? I am happy with my Smith, but I am not a super fig lover.Still like to know.


They are both premium figs. Smith is better in the sense it ripens earlier. CC ripens late. probably the best fig I ever tasted. I think it’s better than Smith once tree is mature. But Smith is right up there and some years may produce better figs than CC as it tolerates extremes better. Although CC unlike BM tends not to split open. It’s harder to get good fruit off CC if you live where you have a short season. Most figs on CC ripen in November even though figs appear very early they will not ripen till October with the majority in November. One needs a good Bordeaux type fig too, and an Adriatic type. Let’s not forget a Mt Etna type too. I’m trying to figure out which of these types I like best as we have multiple examples of all of them.

Also the Col De Dame figs are just amazing. They too tend to ripen late. I have only had a few off of CdD Grise. Wow! A Fantastic fig, too bad most will not ripen for me. I hope one day to have a green room or green house and extend my season enough to enjoy these late premium figs which no doubt are the very best.


Drew, thanks, good info for sure. Got plenty of Smith tree’s and get a lot of fruits from them. My Violette de Soleis, a little flat but still a keeper.Has to be dead ripe. Inground have a different set of varieties, some years I get an over abundance, some years a little.


Most figs are like that. Smith is an exception. It’s worth just growing that, VDS is good, I added Noire de Barbentane which is a lot like VDS but a touch earlier. Smith is cool becasue it tastes so well in bad conditions and so it’s right in my top ten for sure, even the top 5 a must have no doubt.


If that’s the case, which are your first 4 of the all time finest. This is debatable. 10 people, 10 different answers.

I still have not tasted all figs and never will. I have CC and MIB so Preto or BM, I don’t need. I have two from that group.
Not in any order
Carven’s Craving, CdD any (Grise, Noir, Blanc, Blanca/Negra), Red Lebanese Bekaa Valley, Fort Mill Dark. Fort Mill Dark is a Bordeaux fig. I have about 30 others that may push one or more out of the top five. I need to grow them long Col. Littman’s Black Cross,
Malta Black is a great Mt Etna type but different. Does well in poor weather.
I don’t like yellows very much but Izbat an Naj is really good. A keeper for me. Most yellows are pretty this is ugly like Smith! Battaglia Green is also one of my favorites or Strawberry Verte but I suspect a lot of other Adriatic types are good and maybe earlier.

I have high hopes for Bordissot Blanca Negra, Bourjasotte Grise, Capoll Curt Negra, Genovese Nero AF, Negra d’Agde, Nerucciolo D’Elba, Ponte Tresa , Qalaat al Madiq, Bass’ Favorite Fig, Ciliega Dolce, heck the list goes on and on! I had some of these on early plants but would like to wait to make a judgment.

1 Like

If you would recommend me one that should grow without question, what would you suggest.

A Mt Etna type, but I find flavor more intense in this one. Another Mt Etna type that sticks out for me is Malta Black. These are good figs. B Green ripens late but should finish in zone 7. If you want to try An Adriatic type. Must be fully ripe, ripen well in cold weather, is sweet berry like taste. Same with the Mt Etna types a berry flavor, not as sweet. A different berry flavor, worth having one Mt Etna. Other Mt Etna stand out is Sao Miguel Roxo. An English brown turkey Olympian is a decent fig too.
These are listed in order of preference. The Lebanese is a favorite of mine. Their are many around only the Bekaa valley is the one I like.
CdD Blanca/Negra a fig that has both green and purple figs. It ripens the earliest of the CdD types and may be worth trying. I have one but it appears to be a shy producer. So this one is a chance for sure.I can send you wood next year, if you want to try and root some. just contact me in the fall. All mentioned I have.

1 Like

Geez Drew, didn’t expect so much info, excellent offer, you have a lot of knowledge. I am a little late getting a stick to graft.

Maybe not? PM your address. I can’t mail now (lockdown) but it is still dormant, or at least not fully awaken. I hope not anyway as tomorrow we are going down to 28F and it’s outside.
Wednesday I will take a couple cuttings of Red Lebanese BV. I’ll store till I can mail.
Tips maybe damaged from cold, but I will try and get a good piece. I did harvest some so not sure what I have left off it? If you want anything else let me know in PM.


Another vote for Malta Black. Great flavor, resists rain, ripens early, and super productive! It’s a humble Mt Etna that should not be overlooked.

I have to cut a bunch of Mt Etna’s and it is rather difficult. I cut some of the most popular Hardy Chicago and Marseilles Black VS. Both are great figs. hardy Chicago produces very large figs. They get bigger every year. Even though these all have a similar flavor profile, they are not alike in many ways. For one they come from every corner of the world. MBVS produced ton’s of figs, wow! But I felt both could produce figs that were not that good, the flavor was too mild or watered down too often. Ultimately with me it’s about flavor. I grow many low producing fruit, just because of fantastic flavor. Another high hitting Etna is St Rita The first ones, just a few were killer same with Black Bethlehem. I need at least 2 more years to decide where these fit. Sal’s EL produces big figs like Chicago, but better flavor, although still not always. Malta Black never tastes bad.
I’m looking at others too like Unknown Chios Dark, Antonelli Unk, Dark Portuguese, Reservoir Unk. Italian, Salem Dark and Sao Miguel Roxo (AKA Azores Dark).Oh Takoma Violet too! So many unreal!

Unknown Chios Dark tasted very good last fall for me. It is a keeper for sure. I second the Takoma Violet in good taste.

Thanks Tony! Awesome info! Eboone gave high praise to it too. Also said it was very hardy. I also have Unknown Grayes Greenhouse. I’m not sure what kind of fig this is but the Grayes have beeen growing it here forever.
I know you have a lot of figs Tony but man I have a mother load of rare figs.

Yes Takoma Violet is supposed to be a winner. All I’m growing have promise. It’s so difficult to cull some out. I wish I could keep them all.

Tony, you got to be in great shape looking at your operation. If you have a taste for the finest, you going to end up with a huge variety of stuff, like Drew and many others on this forum. Scott is probably shaking every morning when he reads all the stuff you guys come up with. He never thought this forum got this developed.

1 Like

When I enter the fig race, there were not that many choices available, BM was tops. It’s awe full tempting to go back, but not possible anymore. One would fine, two? I don’t know.
Got into a different rat race: Citrus!! Had establish pretty quick, done with it, much easier.
If you guys just could see my tree’s performing, it would be tempting.


Here are my go to figs when I am hungry in the middle til late summer: Sugary Celeste, Florea, Takoma Violet, Dark Greek, Nero 600M, Strawberry Verte, LSU gold, LSU tiger, VDB, Red Lebanese Bekaa valley, Smith, I-258, Ischia Black UCD, Soccoro Black, Dalmantie, Maltese Beauty, White and Black Madeira, B. Grise, Golden Rainbow, GNAF, Bass Favorite Fig…


I’m getting tempted to get out of the fig race myself.

(and I’m safe from the citrus race except for my fingerlime, which looks awful this spring)

I’ve got 30+ varieties, mostly in 5 gal pots. My problem is a stunning lack of production from 20+ of them yearly. I get fruits forming on at least half of them, but otherwise I’m just producing leaves on heavy, water-thirsty plants.

The ones which tend to be reliable for me are Florea, V de Bordeaux and a couple I’m forgetting. I rooted out a few “winners” ( Takoma Violette, St Rita, Improved Celeste) last year and I have cuttings to root this spring as well.

I have time this spring to really work on some of these, but unless I see fruit on about 10 of them they will be removed by next fall.


I am a true believer in pinching the tips at every 5th leaf and continue to do so until late Julu. Try for an experiment for yourself and see if those figs will form for you. All of my are very productive. Don’t be afraid to pinch them. They will reward you with main crops.

1 Like

I will try it.

In how big of pots are you growing? How often do you root-prune? Most of mine are around or greater than 1 inch in girth. Do you prune before they come out of dormancy or just let them continue from where they were last year?