Fig Variety Details

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Pied de Bœuf
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Described by La Brousse (1774), Hogg (1866), Barron (1891), and Eisen (1888, 1901). La Brousse gave a disparaging opinion of the fresh-fruit qualities of Pied de Bœuf, but found it very good dried at Antibes, France. The other descriptions leave one in doubt as to the specific crop, but it is probable that both Hogg and Barron have considered the breba crop only, as a second crop of figs is not commonly produced in England. The slight attention given to this variety by horticultural writers is likely due to the fact that second-crop figs mostly drop unless caprification-is practiced. The late Leroy Nickel, of Menlo Park, California, obtained cuttings of Pied de Bœuf from England, and donated wood for the Riverside collection in 1927. Since that time it has proved to be a promising variety for fresh fruit brebas and for caprified figs of the main crop. Its behavior at Riverside has been better than in the cooler climate of Los Angeles. Tree and fruit characters are very much like those of Drap d’Or, but the two are regarded in this publication as distinct varieties.

Pied de Bœuf trees are slow-growing and densely branched, with terminal buds green in color. Leaves medium, somewhat glossy above, mostly 5-lobed, the middle lobe broadly spatulate; upper sinuses of medium depth and width, lower sinuses shallow, basal sinuses narrow; base cordate; margins coarsely crenate. The following description is based on notes made of figs produced during fourteen fruiting seasons.

Breba crop fair to good; figs oblique-pyriform; size large, up to 2-1/4 inches in diameter and 3-1/2 inches in length; average weight 79 grams; neck prominent, often curved, and up to 1 inch long; stalk slender, 1/2 to 1 inch long; ribs very prominent, the surface of the fruit therefore corrugated; eye above medium, scales rose to violet- brown; skin tender, waxy or glossy in appearance, with bloom fairly prominent; white flecks scattered, more or less concealed by body coloration; color Hessian brown, shading to green or light brown on neck; meat white, tinged with pink; pulp light strawberry, slightly hollow at the center, texture rather coarse; quality good. Excellent in appearance, but not well adapted to fresh-fruit shipping on account of tender skin and ribbed surface. (Plate 23, A.)

Second-crop caprified figs oblique-pyriform, above medium to large, up to 2 inches broad and 3 inches long; neck short and thick, or up to 1 inch long; average weight 63 grams; stalk slender, often curved, up to 1 inch long, sometimes enlarged or swollen toward the apex; ribs elevated, prominent; white flecks scattered, fairly conspicuous; eye large, open, scales violet; skin somewhat glossy, tender checking at maturity; color chocolate brown to mahogany red, attractive; meat white; pulp dark strawberry; flavor rich and sweet; quality excellent.

Uncaprified figs light in weight; center hollow; pulp amber; quality poor. (Plates 9; 14, C). See also Condit (1941a, fig. 2, R).

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Main Crop

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

Breba Crop

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


Cold Hardy?
Wind Resistant?
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Additional Climate Notes