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Saint Jean
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see also Brunswick


Skin a delicate violet grey, strawberry colored pulp. Excellent flavor.


(syns. Grisé de Saint Jean, Saint Jean Gris, Grisé, Grisé Savantine Bifère, Grisé Madeleine, Grosse Grisé Bifère, Ficus carica grisea Risso). Described by Liger (1702), Knoop (1771), La Brousse (1774), Risso (1826), Barron (1891), Colby (1894), Eisen (1888, 1901), Stubenrauch (1903), Starnes and Monroe (1907), and Condit (1947). Figured in black and white by Eisen and Starnes; shown in color by Condit (1941a). See comments (next page) on the name Grisé. According to La Brousse, Figue Grisé matures the first crop in June at Saint-Jean, although he did not specify the exact location of this French town. The fruits of Saint Jean, as grown in California, are of medium size or above in the first crop, and small to below medium in the second crop. The variety described under the same name by Eisen as having very large figs may be a different one. Saint Jean is listed by Simonet et al. (1945) as a synonym of Cotignana, which is described in this monograph under Observantine.

The following accessions to California plots of fig varieties have proved to be identical in tree growth and fruit production: P.I. No. 18,865, Grisé Savantine Bifère, in the Chiswick collection from England; No. 69,015, Grisé de Saint Jean, from a French nursery in 1926; No. 86,806, Grisé Madeleine, from Yalta, Crimea, in 1931; also No. 102,011, Saint Jean, and No. 102,014, Grosse Grisé Bifère, both from Marrakech Morocco, but reported to be originally in a collection of figs from Lérida. In 1895, notes made by John Rock at Niles on Grosse Grisé and Grisé Savantine, showed that these two were the same. The variety was grown and tested by the California Experiment Stations, and found to be especially good at Pomona, because the figs did not sour while on the tree. One distinctive characteristic of second-crop fruit, as mentioned by Eisen, is the very sharp demarcation which separates the body surface, with its heavy bloom, from the apex, which is devoid of bloom. This peculiarity is illustrated in plate 12, showing Figue Fleur. The variety is found in California only in collections, although it is well worthy of culture in dooryards for its excellent fruit.

The tree of Saint Jean is only moderately vigorous, partly because of its extreme susceptibility to leaf mosaic (plate 13); it produces two crops. The leaves are medium to small, light green, 3- to 5-lobed; upper surface dull to somewhat glossy; upper sinuses shallow, of medium width, lower sinuses shallow; base deeply subcordate, often auricled; margins coarsely crenate. Description is from figs produced at Riverside since 1932, and at Fresno in the season of 1953.

Breba crop fair; fruits medium, up to 2-3/8 inches long and 2 inches in diameter, oblique-turbinate to pyriform; average weight 42 grams; neck variable, sometimes prominent and flattened to thick and short, or absent; stalk thick, up to 1/4 inch long; ribs present, but inconspicuous; eye rather large, open, scales violet, erect at maturity; white flecks small, masked by body color; color delicate grayish bronze; bloom fairly prominent; skin checking irregularly at maturity; meat white; pulp light strawberry; flavor rich and sweet; quality excellent; seeds medium, tender. (Plate 23, B.)

Second-crop figs smaller than brebas, but much the same in other characters; average weight 31 grams; neck, if present, very short and thick; bloom conspicuous on body, but absent from apex in many specimens; color a delicate violet-gray, attractive; pulp strawberry; flavor excellent.

Caprified figs somewhat darker in skin color; pulp deeper strawberry; seeds numerous, fertile. An excellent fig for fresh-fruit consumption, and usually dries without much spoilage. Too small for commercial use. (Plates 9, 23, E.)

A variety with the common name Grisé was described by Risso (1826) as Ficus carica grisea, but later authors apparently ignored the description, or at least failed to refer to it. Eisen (1901) reported that the name Figue Grisé is a synonym for three different varieties Beaucaire, Cotignana, and Matarassa. (For synonymy, see list at end of description section.) The fruit of Grisé de Saint Jean as grown in California compares so favorably with the description of Grisé by Risso that in this monograph these two are regarded as synonymous, and are described under the name Saint Jean. Figue Grisé, described by Merlet (1667), La Quintinie (1692), and a few other early authors, might properly be referred to as Saint Jean rather than Angélique.

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Main Crop

Main Season
Main Flavor Group
Main Skin Color
Violet Grey
Main Pulp Color
Main Eye
Main Flesh Color
Main Drying Suitable?
Main Preserves Suitable?
Main Additional Notes

Breba Crop

Breba Skin Color
Breba Pulp Color
Breba Flesh Color
Breba Eye
Breba Flavor Group
Breba Drying Suitable?
Breba Preserves Suitable?
Breba Wasps Required?
Breba Additional Notes


Cold Hardy?
Wind Resistant?
Good Container Variety?
Easy Rooting?
Additional Climate Notes