Fig Variety Details



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DFIC 034

DFIC 34, Baidi, Bayswater, Belle Dame, Belle Dame Blanche, Black Naples, Blanche d’Argenteuil, Broad White Turkey, Broad White Turkey QTR Pounder, Boughton, Brown Hamburgh, Brown Turkey, Brunswig, Capitola Long, Castle Kennedy, Clare, Clementine, Col di Signora, Dalmatia, Dalmatian, Dan's Favorite, De Saint Jean, Dor, Everbearing, Genoa, Hanover, Harrison, Kennedy, Khurtmani, Large White Turkey, Lee's Perpetual, Madeleine de deaux Saisons, Madonna, Magnolia, Oxford, Ramsey, Rattle Snake Island, Rattlesnake Island, Red Italian, Saint Jean, Texas Everbearing, Turkey

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Very large, dark fig with sweet flavor. Easily sours, best in areas with dry summers. Uncommon in Florida, but found throughout the South and canned commercially in Texas. Fruit lopsided, large, bronze colored with open eye. Ripens from mid-July to late August, fruit tends toward sourness and splitting. Will bear after severe freeze damage. A medium to large fig with bronzy-yellow skin and rich flavor. Oblique-turbinate. Interior is amber, tinged with strawberry. Well-adapted in the Southwest and drier areas of the South. The fruit is ruined by excessive rain. Fairly hardy.


California Rare Fruit Growers, Vol. 23, No. 6, December 1991:
Very good; sweet and rich, but sours in rainy weather. Large, brownish skin, reddish pulp. Coarse skin.
Used mostly for preserves without the skin in Texas. Ripens too slowly on coast. Bland tasting. Poor on coast.

Condit Monograph

Brunswick: (syns., after Hogg and Eisen: Bayswater, Boughton, Black Naples, Brown Hamburgh, Clare, Clémentine, De Saint Jean, Hanover, Madonna, Large White Turkey. Also Magnolia, Dalmatian). Described by Duhamel (1755), Miller (1768), Hanbury (1770), Brookshaw (1812), Anon. (1828), George Lindley (1831), John Lindley (1841), Rogers (1834), Morren (1852), Holley (1854), M’Intosh (1855), Thompson (1859), Hogg (1866), White (1868), Barron (1868c, 1891), James Anderson (1874), Hyde (1877), West (1882), Massey (1893), Burnette (1894), Wright (1895), Forrer (1894), Eisen (1885, 1897, 1901), Earle (1900), Price and White (1902), Starnes (1903), Starnes and Monroe (1907), Van Velzer (1909), Hume (1915), Potts (1917), Gould (1919), Cook (1925), Mowry and Weber (1925), Davis (1928), Traub and Fraps (1928), E. A. Bunyard (1925, 1934), Stansel and Wyche (1932), Condit (1921b, 1922b, 1941b, 1947), Arnold (1926), Fruit-Grower (1936), Woodard (1938, 1940), Delbard (1947), and Preston (1951). Illustrations of the fruit in color are by Brookshaw, Anon. (1828), John Lindley, Morren, and James Anderson. Illustrations in black and white are by Potts, Price, Traub, E. A. Bunyard, and Condit (1941a fig. 2, L). Leaves are figured by Eisen, Price, Van Velzer, Gould, Traub, and by Woodroof and Bailey.

Brunswick is another variety about which considerable confusion has existed. Much of this arises from the fact that most English descriptions and illustrations deal with the first-crop fruit, which horticulturists in the United States have found so different from figs of the main crop. Furthermore, as Eisen stated in 1901, this variety is erroneously known in California and parts of the South as Brown Turkey; in fact, price quotations of fresh figs in the Los Angeles markets still refer to Brunswick when the actual variety on sale is San Piero (Brown Turkey). This variety has apparently been widely distributed in fig-growing countries, and various names have been attached to it. Cuttings of the following numbers have fruited at Riverside, and all were found to be identical with Brunswick.

  • Baidi—P.I. No. 80,294, from Palestine.
  • Belle Dame—P.I. No. 69,010, from France.
  • Belle Dame Blanche—P.I. No. 86,790, from Yalta, Crimea.
  • Blanche d’Argenteuil—P.I. No. 92,304, from France.
  • Brunswick—P.I. No. 93,276, from England.
  • Col di Signora—P.I. No. 102,099, from Morocco.
  • Dalmatia—P.I. No. 102,010, from Morocco.
Dor—P.I. No. 101,715, from the Caucasus.
  • Kennedy—P.I. No. 69,017, from France.
  • Kennedy—P.I. No. 102,015, from Morocco.
  • Khurtmani—P.I. No. 80,297, from Palestine.
  • Magnolia, from Texas; cuttings from local trees at Greenwich, Connecticut; also, from the vicinity of Washington, D.C.

Reference to descriptions of some of these varieties found elsewhere in this report will show that the names are not synonyms of Brunswick; therefore, the material was sent incorrectly identified. Castle Kennedy is similar to Brunswick, but is generally regarded as a distinct variety.

According to Rogers, the Brunswick “was introduced in the early days of Miller under the name of Madonna, which ought never to have been changed; but on the accession of George I, it was named as above.” Lindley used the name Brunswick in preference to Madonna because it was the better known of the two. The name “Magnolia” appeared in a publication by Thomas Affleck in 1854 as a synonym of Jaune, a French fig. Sometime previously, a tree peddler had gone through parts of Texas offering magnolia trees for sale; when planted, it was found that the trees produced figs rather than magnolia leaves and flowers, hence the name of the variety. Van Velzer stated that Brunswick had many pet names, among them Magnolia, Hanover, and Madonna. He added: “Those who still contend that the Magnolia is a new variety, distinct from the Brunswick, can discover their error by studying the leaves, bark, wood, and fruit, which have characteristics and habits that distinguish it from all others. Some nurserymen profit from this misconception by buying cuttings of Brunswick trees at a much lower price than is asked for Magnolia wood, and selling them afterward as the same stock.”

Audibert Frères (1854) described Figue Clémentine, a variety designated as Aubergine at Avignon. Both Thompson and Hogg regarded Clémentine as synonymous with Brunswick. In Japan, some growers have confused Brunswick with White Genoa; it was once a popular variety, but has been superseded by Dauphine.

In Texas, the Brunswick (Magnolia) is grown extensively as a preserving fig. It is commonly found as a dooryard tree in the southeastern United States, and at Washington, D.C., there are prolific specimens growing along the south wall of the Naval Observatory (plate 2). The variety is not so popular, however, as Brown Turkey, because of the tendency of the fruits to split and spoil. In Northampton and Accomac counties, Virginia, Brunswick fig trees are common, and are locally known under the name “Silver Leaf,” though the significance of the name is not clear. In California, trees of this variety are dwarf in habit of growth unless watered copiously. Small commercial plantings have failed to be profitable, as the production of canning figs per acre is considerably less than that of Dottato. As pointed out by Chandler (1934), the Brunswick is incompletely parthenocarpic in California, as fruit buds are forming and dropping prematurely all summer. In Texas, this fruit drop is almost or quite negligible on vigorous trees. George Lindley regarded the Brunswick as one of the most useful of the hardy figs in England, especially on walls with a southern exposure. It is not recommended for forcing under glass in comparison with Brown Turkey, as the immature figs are inclined to drop.

Trees, at least in California, are slow-growing, spreading, with fairly thick twigs; the terminal buds are green. Leaves, as described by Miller, are more narrowly lobed than those of most other varieties; such leaves especially characteristic of heavily pruned trees with vigorous branches, are 5-lobed, with deep sinuses, the basal lobes auricled; margins of lobes coarsely and irregularly crenate; base cordate; leaves from fruiting branches somewhat glossy above, 3- to 5-lobed, with lobes broader and base truncate (plate 13). The following description is of fruits produced at Riverside and at Fresno.

Breba crop generally very small; brebas large, up to 3-3/4 inches long and 1-3/4 inches in diameter, pyriform, decidedly oblique; neck a continuation of the body, or hardly distinguishable from it; stalk thick, often swollen up to 1/2 inch long; ribs few, indistinct; eye medium, wide open, scales pinkish; surface mostly dull, somewhat glossy at the apex; white flecks fairly numerous, but hardly conspicuous, becoming masked as fruit matures; color reddish brown, with a tinge of violet in the sun, much lighter brown to greenish on the shaded side and on the neck; meat white; pulp amber, with a tinge of pink, hollow, texture mealy; flavor flat, lacking character; quality fair. (Plate 21, A.)

Second-crop figs medium, oblique-turbinate; average weight 42 grams; neck absent; stalk thick, up to 1/4 inch long, often prominently swollen, as shown by Condit (1941a, figs. 4, A and 9, B); ribs inconspicuous, commonly colored more deeply than body; eye medium, open, scales violet-brown; white flecks numerous and conspicuous, irregular in size and shape; skin checking at maturity; color bronze; pulp amber, tinged with strawberry, hollow at center; seeds small, or rudimentary, the fruits therefore commonly referred to as “seedless”; flavor sweet, fairly rich. Quality good fresh; excellent for preserving; inferior for drying. (Plate 21, B.)

Caprified figs strikingly different from uncaprified ones, larger in size; average weight 67 grams; color bronze, shaded with violet, especially on ribs; pulp deep strawberry, solid; seeds numerous; flavor sweet and rich.

As Castle Kennedy?:

(syn. Kennedy). Described by Fowler (1865, 1866), Hogg (1866), K. (1873), J. S. W. (1873), Watts (1890), Barron (1891), Massey (1893), Simon-Louis (1895), Norwich (1898), Eisen (1901, after Hogg), Ward (1904), Starnes and Monroe (1907), Reboul (1908), Brotherston (1920), E. A. Bunyard (1925), Davis (1928), Burger and De Wet (1931), and Preston (1951).

A color illustration of Ficus carica kennedyensis Hort. is given in L’Illustration Horticole, vol. 13 (ser. 2, vol. 3), pl. 476. 1866. A writer in the Gardener’s Chronicle, November 19, 1864, observed that Messrs. Lawson and Son were to distribute the Castle Kennedy fig, which had been exhibited in Scotland and had obtained an award from the Edinburgh Horticultural Society. An anonymous account in 1865 (Florist and Pomologist, p.141) stated that this variety had then existed at Castle Kennedy for nearly a century; but how it came there or what was its origin were matters on which there was no reliable information. It was believed to be quite distinct from any other variety in cultivation in England. Archibald Fowler, who grew this fig at Castle Kennedy, along with Brunswick and Brown Turkey, also maintained that it was distinct from both varieties. Several reports indicate that the trees are poor producers; but on the contrary, Hogg stated, “The tree is an abundant bearer.” A writer of 1873, signed simply as “K., reported that Castle Kennedy was worthless as a is a runaway, unfruitful variety, not worth house room.” Brotherston noted that in England only one crop, presumably the first, is produced in a year. This seems to confirm the report of Burger and De Wet, that in South Africa the second crop requires caprification, a fact that places the variety in the San Pedro group.

A letter dated June 20, 1954, from Sir John Dalrymple, Earl of Stair, states that two trees of the Castle Kennedy fig are still being grown mainly for sentimental reasons at Lochinch Castle, Stranraer, Wigtownshire, Scotland. R. W. Rye, the head gardener, agrees with “K.” above that this fig “is not worth house room as it is very shy in setting fruit.”

Castle Kennedy was not included in the Chiswick collection that was introduced into California, nor is the name found among those tested by the Experiment Station. P.I. No. 69,017, obtained from a French nursery in 1928 as “Kennedy,” has proved to be identical with Brunswick in tree and fruit. Starnes and Monroe reported in 1907 that in Georgia, Castle Kennedy, obtained from the same French nursery as the above number, resembled Dalmatian (Brunswick), and might prove to be identical with it. Judging from the various accounts of this variety, the Castle Kennedy is very similar to Brunswick, but belongs to the San Pedro rather than to the Common group of figs.

Hogg described the fruit as very large, obovate; skin thin, tender, greenish yellow on the neck, pale brown on the body; pulp pale red, soft, not highly flavored.

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Very sweet
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