Panache or Violette De Bordeaux?

Our brown turkey has been cranking out figs and I found a space for a second fig. It looks kike both of these varieties get rave reviews and i was wondering which you would pick if you could only select one?

They are in different flavor categories:
VdB - classic dark; like Mission but richer, sweeter.
Panaché - in my mind, the pinnacle of the strawberry category.

There are several more flavor categories including Honey, Butterscotch, …

Thanks for the feedback Richard. If you could grow ONE fig in 7A which would you choose? Looking for amazing flavor and good production.

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the answer to your question is easy, VdB is early,panache is late.

you living in the climate zone 7A must plant a variety of early maturing, in this case VdB

I believe Mickster is located somewhere around Atlanta, GA. If that’s the case, he could have quite a long growing season, which could include an extended period of very hot daytime temperatures.

My own choice would also be VdB, but only because I know that I REALLY like the flavor of the dark figs I’ve tasted.

Mickster, I just planted a small Panache tree this year. Give me another year and I’ll be able to tell you if I consider it worth planting for the fruit in the southeast. My #1 reason for planting it was because I think the young wood and the figs are visually interesting. I can’t tell you a thing about the my opinion of the flavor at this point, since it’s just getting established and hasn’t fruited, yet.

According to DWN, VdB is rated for cold hardiness zones 5-10 but Panache is only rated for 8-9 (however working fine for me in 10).

muddy – which varieties are you growing? I am definitely going to plant VdB and am thinking about adding a 3rd fig to the mix. Our brown turkey has been a fig BEAST this year.

@MuddyMess_8a, have you tried growing Janice Seedless Kadota at your location?

I have them both, Mickster. Richard gave you an excellent description of their flavors, which are very differnet. VdB is “figgy”, and really very, very good. Although I think RdB for me is a bit better. But, Panache is simply outstanding here in Richard and my area. It is one of the very best figs I’ve ever tasted. Richard, do you remember what fig cultivar folks think Panache is a sport of? Something especially good if I remember correctly. But, I have also heard Panache is pretty regional in it’s taste, and yes, it is a very late fig. Mine still are not ripe. My RdB’s are ripe now.

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I only have a few varieties producing.
My long established big tree is my assumed Brown Turkey. It was planted not long after we moved here 23 years ago, but it was several years later that it was moved to a spot where it thrived instead of being annually destroyed by careless mowing. :grimacing: It’s now a huge and prolific tree. We’ve always enjoyed those figs.

I have a small Kadota which was just planted in the ground this year. It’s extra small because I cut it way back this spring in an attempt (successful) to persuade it to branch, instead of continuing to grow as a whip-like stick. I think that produces my earliest brebas. I do enjoy those dense, sweet green figs. The tree is young and small.

I won’t count the little Armenian start that was planted in early summer and produced one fig. It was slightly similar in looks to the Kadota, but nowhere near as thick honeyed. The comparison is unfair because of the immaturity of that little Armenian.

The one other productive in-ground fig is a Black Mission. This is its second year in the ground. A year ago I would have said that I enjoyed them, but preferred the Brown Turkey. This year my tune changed because the both figs and productivity of that tree changed. I can’t tell you whether its due to environmental conditions or improvement with maturity of the young tree, but the figs are much better than last year. The figs are also much, much larger than a year ago, and the skin is more tender. The brebas were wonderful. The figs ripen in a way that gives an extended picking time compared to the relatively short window in which the Brown Turkey figs all ripen. That difference may also be environmental in that the BT tree is almost entirely dependent on rainfall and the BM is planted near my tropicals. So, it does not suffer from lack of water during our droughts.

I did purchase 2 more trees this year. A panache which was planted in June, I believe, and a Miss Hall, which is still in its pot. Neither is fruiting this year. The Miss Hall was carrying figs when I received it, but I removed them because the tree was stressed enough as it was.

I do have several varieties that survived both my attempts at rooting them from cuttings this spring, and my son’s inadvertent torture while I was away. Those are babies and haven’t been allowed to fruit.

My experience eating fresh figs is extremely limited. But at this point, if I had to choose between adding a dark or light fig selection to the Brown Turkey, I’d go with the dark, because that is what I enjoyed the most and over the longest period of time this year.

@Richard - No, I do not have Janice Seedless Kadota, and have never eaten one, or even seen one. I have a regular Kadota that likes to set two or three figs per leaf. You certainly make the JSK sound wonderful, though. :slight_smile: Perhaps one day I’ll have the opportunity to try one.

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My tree is loaded. Come on over when they start ripening :smiley:

What varieties comprise the butterscotch types of fig?


Panache is a very regional fig and does very well in California, but
in the East, it’s an average fig at best.

Have you compared Strawberry Verte to Panache? I think they’d both be in the berry flavor group. I haven’t fruited Panache yet and my plant has a lot of FMV. I’d rather not keep a heavily infected fig unless it’s really better. Maybe the Panache will snap out of the FMV funk, that happens sometimes.

That’s quite a broad statement considering the wide range of growing conditions within CA and throughout the eastern states. Do you have more explicit descriptions of the environments in which it has been found to perform well or disappoint? That would be more helpful for someone trying to determine whether the fig was worth attempting in a limited space situation.

Yes, fruitnut. Panache is much better for me than Strawberry Verte. Panache is sort of famous in our area. So much so, that you can find Panache at about every garden center that sells fruit trees. Muddy, by “my area”, I’m referring to San Diego county, I’d say Panache will perfomr exceptionally within about 30-40 miles of the coast. Anything more inland can start to get into the hills/mountains, very very different climate. We have extreme numbers of microclimates here in California, which is why we don’t even go by USDA zones, but by Sunset zones. I am about 7 miles as the crow flies from the ocean. Panache is extremely vigorous. My tree is about 20-25’ tall after a severe prune 2 years ago. Again, will be in for another severe prune this season. Everyone’s Panache here in the coastal San Diego county area grows like mad. I think Jon’s Panache at his Encanto Farms is about 30’ tall.

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In discussions of Panaché over the years, I’ve learned that east of the Rockies:

  • some folks are so accustomed to dark fig flavor they can’t stand berry tasting figs, and thus rate Panaché poorly
  • in places with summer-long 90+ heat and 90+ humidity the fruit quality is poor
  • otherwise there are folks who absolutely love it.
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You just described most of the eastern US. It has nothing to do with
your favorite type of fig. As I said before, in the Eastern part of the country,
Panache is an average tasting fig at best. I took out mine and know of
many others that have had the same results.

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I’m growing Panache for ornamental reasons. I could get ripe figs if I brought it in in October, but I just want the tree for looks. Plus I would rather use my lights for other plants.

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Perhaps. And yet there are experienced fig growers who absolutely love Panaché in Little Rock AR, Bethany Beach DE, … and so on.

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