Fig tree comparisons

Asked January 5, 2019, 2:13 PM EST

I am successfully growing a Latterula fig on the south side of my house in Portland (but it is shaded by a row of 25' tall arborvitae only 10' south the fig). I am not favorably impressed with its flavor and am frustrated with its vigorous growth. I have an arborist prune it every winter and by the following winter it is still 15' tall x 20' wide (no fertilizer, occasional compost, minimal drip irrigation in summer). I am looking at these alternatives for replacement based on flavor: Black Zadar, Violette de Bordeau or Negronne (are VdB and N the same or not?) What are the parentages of these options? Would they be smaller than my Laterulla? Would I have to prune every year? Do they have any other problems I need to be aware of? And although I have seen VdB / N for sale on line, I have not seen BZ. Do you know where I could get it?

Multnomah County Oregon fig trees

4 Responses

Thanks for your questions. I would like to refer you to Extension articles on these, but there aren't many that do this type of comparison research. So, I'm going to refer you to web posts and you can compare them, often with pictures, for yourself.

Zadar: http://seattlegardenfruit.blogspot.com/2018/07/taste-review-of-black-zadar-fig-breba.html

According to this source (http://www.planetfig.com/cultivars/fcveng8621.html),Violette de Bordeau and Negrone are the same, but you can compare here : https://hgic.clemson.edu/factsheet/fig/ (compared with other fig varieties)

I'm not certain what you mean by "parentage." There is scant information about the developers of each cultivar. But this article gives you a lot of information about their history: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_fig

Black Zadar was sold by the Belleclaire Nursery in Plainview, N.Y. in 2009, but I understand they are no longer in business. Since it was imported from Croatia, you might need to schedule a visit there to take a cutting. ("Black Zadar" is "crni Zadar" in Croatian.) Apparently, French figs are easier to obtain than Croatian ones.

Hope this is helpful. Good luck!

The first link you provided was the source of my original interest in Black Zadar but it doesn't discuss the natural growth habit of the plant itself, nor the growth habit other one (or two) that I mentioned. I found nothing regarding the mature size of the Black Zadar fig (online), if planted in the ground. And I found a variety of different information regarding the size of the other(s). In fact, I found the Negronne described as under 10' in height but the Violette de Bordeau as under 30' - so does that mean they are two different varieties or the same? I had hoped that my Oregon Extension Service might be able to answer my questions as I was unable to do so with my own online research. Do you have source material in your OSU library that might help?

I’m afraid we don’t have any better resources for plants neither cultivated nor studied in Oregon than do you. I spent 90 minutes trying to find you helpful information. This was the best I could do. I’m sorry it does not meet your expectations.

Kym Pokorny, with OSU, has suggested that One Green World (https://onegreenworld.com) supplies fig trees and may be able to help you. Their website indicates they have the Negronne in stock. The owner and staff are very knowledgeable and happy to chat with you.