Marseilles Black VS fig

I was looking for a hardy fig that might make it in 5b and still taste decent. This one seems to be a good candidate. Now to locate one! Anybody know anything about this one? It seems like growers are the best source of info for figs. Any info welcome.

I have a small one. Best thing to do is go to one of the fig forums out there, ourfigs is a good one, and ask if anyone has any for sale/trade. Good people there, but enablers!

Other hardier varieties are Florea and Ronde de Bordeaux. Keep in mind it would need to be heavily protected and may still die back to the ground in winters like the past 2 because mine sure did. The varieties listed should still give you fruit for even if they have died back to the ground.

I should have cuttings of all three of these varieties this fall / winter if you don’t get anything by then.

I should add you may also be able to get these varieties on ebay, but there have been problems with scammers and sellers not selling plants true to name.

Thanks for the info, yeah I may ask around this winter.Also for the other hardy types as alternatives. Nice to have choices!


Are you going to plant it in ground or in pot? If in ground, will you protect it? I’ve kept reading about hardy figs for years. I have come to a conclusion that there is none that can grow in ground, unprotected in my zone 6 a (occasionally zone 5). I can even say, in ground, protected in my area is iffy (really depends on how well it is protected).

I gave up on finding such a hardy fig and plant mine in pot. I have 5 varieties including a Chicago Hardy. Just bought a Violette de Bordeaux yesterday.

I’m looking to plant one tree in the ground that if it dies to the ground, still gives a crop, so far I think all three mentioned in this thread do so.
I’ll grow a couple others in pots. Fruitnut sent me a Violette de Bordeaux that I managed to root. So I have that too.

I have a collection of the “most hardy” ones and have noticed little difference. A few are particularly tender, VdB is one of those. The rest seem about the same. I also don’t know how reliable the fruiting after dieback data is, I had several varieties that were supposed to be good in that regard but none of them ripened fruit in time last summer. MB VS for example. I expect it depends on your location and how old the plant is. Getting one of those types would be a good idea, just don’t be surprised if you don’t get any fruit.

Thanks for your input, Scott. Not ripening in time is an issue. Last year, I brought my potted Chicago Hardy outside a month late. Leaves got sun burn and fruit never ripen in time before it’s too cold. This is a potted fig.

I can’t imagine how a fig that dies back to the ground would able able to grow, fruit and ripen in time in my area. A lot of energy is needed for that. These days, I just try to grow the varieties that I like the taste.

Scott - Although taste is subjective, what are your favorite figs for fresh eating, please?

Drew- please don’t forget to share with us which variety you will choose to put in ground for a trial.

My favorite is Battaglia Green. Unfortunately it has not been very productive for me. Celeste and Hardy Chicago probably give me most of my figs as they are very reliable. They are both tasty figs as well, even if not quite as good as BG.

I’m leaning towards Florea. A member here that lives a couple cities away said his does fruit even if dead to the ground. I want a cutting off of that particular tree! He said he would root one for me.
So leaning that way as it is known to bear fruit every year. I heard though MBVS is a better fig, so wondered if it was worth trying?

I’ve only had a few Battaglia Green. Have had many more Strawberry Verte and Paradiso. I think they are all similar. So far they are my favorites. SV is very productive. I’ll have about 20-30 varieties to taste this yr. St Rita and RDB were very good last yr but I only had a few.

1 Like

Hi all,
I have a four or five year old Chicago hardy from raintree. I have it trained somewhat like an espalier (more like 4.5 foot tall half shrub shape) up against a southeastern exposure wall of my house. Although we did have a milder winter here in my zone 6b, it still got down to below 5F. In spite of this I only had about 6" of dieback from the tips, without any additional protection.

Also I did periodically check the tips for dieback throughout the winter. The dieback did not occur in synch with the lowest temperatures, but was more of a gradual ongoing process through the winter, as the dead part slowly moved down the branches. i have concluded that a significant portion of dieback in figs maybe more related to dessication than an absolute function of temperature.

next year I plan on trialing an anti desiccant (Wiltpruf)and see if that slows the dieback down.

Ironically, my jap plums and apricots got frozen off, but I am expecting a bumper crop of figs this year from my in ground fig with no protection other than being planted close to the house.

1 Like

I have a fig called Flatbush Dark, comes from a local family. The tree/bush has died back to the ground the previous two years, last year no figs the year before only a handful. This year I wrapped the entire tree in 8’ snow fencing and stuffed it with leaves, I only had damage where the leaves settled, lost maybe a foot or two. I am hoping for a good crop this season.

Info on Flatbush Dark

1 Like