_Common TYPE

Parthenocarpic, Persistent


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Condit Monograph

Figs of the Common type develop parthenocarpically, and do not usually require the stimulus of pollination to bring the syconia to maturity. Some common figs, such as Barnissotte and Verdal, drop all or nearly all the fruit buds of the first crop but mature a good second crop. Others, such as Franciscana and Dottato, have practically complete parthenocarpic development in both crops. As pointed out under Brunswick, the expression of parthenocarpy is incomplete in some varieties, and is apparently affected by the environmental complex. As with the other types, the varieties will be treated under groups based on external and internal color. The following key to some of the varieties grown in the collection at Riverside is given in order to show differentiation of important characters. For comparison, see the key to French fig varieties by Simonet et (1945). See also Donno (1951a) for characters of twigs and buds useful in distinguishing varieties during the dormant season.

Suggestive Key for Identification of Common-type Figs at Riverside, California

Figs of second or main crop generally on wood of current season, and in axil of a leaf. Seeds, if present, infertile or hollow unless caprification has occurred.

I. Color of fruit various shades of green or yellow. (Plate 8.)

  • Figs striped or banded lengthwise, with green and yellow alternating -> Panachée
  • Figs not conspicuously striped, more or less uniformly colored.
    • Pulp white or amber.
      • Seeds large, conspicuous; surface dull -> Blanche
      • Seeds inconspicuous or undeveloped.
        • Stalk swollen or prominently enlarged toward body of fruit; many figs dropping when small -> Angélique
        • Stalk not swollen; few figs drop when small; in cool seasons or climates meat is violet-colored next to skin -> Dottato
  • Pulp various shades of red.
    • Neck not present, or indistinct.
      • Stalk short and thick, seldom over 1/4 inch long.
        • Size above medium to large.
          • Shape short-turbinate, with broad apex; terminal dormant buds brownish; lobes of leaves broad -> Genoa
          • Shape long-turbinate, with base gradually contracting into the semblance of a neck; terminal buds green; lobes of leaves narrow -> San Pietro
        • Size medium; eye scales dark to rose-colored; fruit turbinate; leaves glossy above, stiff and harsh in texture -> Verdone
      • Stalk longer, up to 1/2 inch or more.
        • Stalk swollen or prominently enlarged; surface of fruit dull, velvety -> Yellow Neches
        • Stalk not swollen.
          • Figs oblate; eye above medium, open, scales straw color - > Grassale
          • Figs spherical or turbinate.
            • Color light green to yellow; eye scales often brightly rose-colored; white flecks inconspicuous -> Troiano
            • Color grass green; eye scales chaffy or straw-colored; white flecks scattered, more or less conspicuous -> Monstrueuse
    • Neck present.
      • Stalk short and thick, seldom over 1/4 inch long.
        • Eye scales brightly rose-colored; neck short -> Col de Dame
        • Eye scales not brightly rose-colored, at least not the surface scales; neck prominent, up to 3/4 inch long, often curved -> Gota de Mel
      • Stalk elongated, up to 1/2 inch or more in length.
        • Body color light green to yellow; eye scales rosecolored -> Troiano

II. Color of fruit various shades of bronze, brown, chestnut, or light violet; not dark purple or black. (Plate 9.)

  • Pulp white or amber.
    • Stalk thick, often prominently swollen; size medium; color bronze -> Brunswick
    • Stalk not swollen; size above medium to large.
      • Shape pyriform to turbinate, commonly oblique; color bronze, with violet tinge -> Archipel
  • Pulp various shades of red.
    • Neck not present.
      • Stalk somewhat swollen or enlarged toward body of fruit.
        • Skin color chocolate brown; figs very small, oblate -> Early Violet
        • Skin color green, flushed with violet; figs below medium to small, profusely borne -> Ischia
      • Stalk not swollen or enlarged.
        • Skin color reddish brown; surface marred by circular blemishes at the apex when fully mature -> Gouraud Rouge
        • Skin color violet-gray.
          • Body of fig spherical; season of maturity early -> Saint Jean
          • Body of fig turbinate to obovate; season of maturity late -> Partridge Eye
    • Neck present.
      • Color green, tinged with violet or light brown.
        • Ribs prominent, coloring more deeply than body; midseason -> Martinique
        • Ribs not prominent; season late -> Verdal
      • Color bronze to chocolate.
        • Neck prominent, distinct from body; surface with elevated ribs, more or less corrugated; bloom often missing from apical zone -> Malta
        • Neck not prominent; body of fig gradually narrowing to the stalk without apparent constriction -> Hunt

III. Color of fruit dark violet or purple to black. (Plate 10.)

  • Neck either not present, or short.
    • Pulp white or amber; shape turbinate to oblate -> Beall
    • Pulp various shades of red.
      • Stalk peculiarly crooked or curved; small, immature figs coloring brown; leaves glossy above -> Bordeaux
      • Stalk not crooked.
        • Surface of fruit distinctly hairy or pubescent; black color uniform over entire fruit; tree slow-growing; branches swollen at the nodes -> Pastilière
        • Surface of fruit dull, only slightly pubescent; basal part of fruit remaining green until full maturity -> Ischia Black
  • Neck present, more or less prominent.
    • Apex of mature fruit showing zone of green color lighter than body.
      • Green zone encircling the eye only.
        • Neck somewhat flattened in many specimens.
          • Surface of fruit glossy; texture of skin unusually firm and rubbery; season late -> Vernino
          • Surface of fruit dull; bloom thick, pruinose; season medium early -> Toulousienne
        • Neck round in cross section; ribs coloring earlier than body -> Constantine
      • Green zone at apex either circular or irregular, and commonly extending onto and down one side of the body.
        • Figs above medium to large, pyriform; color purplish black; surface glossy -> Barnissotte
        • Figs medium, oblate-spherical or turbinate; color violet, tinged with green; many figs shrivel and drop when small -> Bourjassotte Grisé
    • Apex of fruit colored uniformly.
      • Figs above medium to large; eye large, open; pulp hollow at center -> San Piero
      • Figs medium; eye medium, partly closed; pulp solid -> Franciscana


The Fig: Botany, Horticulture, and Breeding

The type known as common fig (e.g., 'Brown Turkey', 'Mission', and 'Adriatic' requires no pollination to set a commercial crop. These types are referred to as "persistent" rather than parthenocarpic since the fig is not a true fruit. The allele for persistence is dominant but is lethal in the ovule, and can only be conferred by the pollen parent (Saleeb and Storey 1975). The flowers in the common fig are all long-styled pistillate flowers and need no pollination for continued growth and maturity. Common fig produces one to two crops each year. Pollination (called caprification in figs) common-type figs sometimes markedly increases fig  size, changes the color of both skin and pulp, increases the tendency to split, and enhances fruit taste (Condit 1947).

Condit Group
Sub Family
Persistent Caprifig
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