Fig Variety Details

General

Variety
Desert King
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NPGS ID
DFIC 085
AKA

Charlie, King, White King

Description

A medium greenish-yellow fig with strawberry pulp. Pyrifrom to oblique. It ripens a large breba crop between late June and August. A San Pedro type, it sometimes sets main crop figs without pollination. Sweet and rich. Well-adapted in the Northwest and cooler areas of the South. Fairly hardy.

Origin Madera, Calif. 1920. Large, skin is deep green, minutely spotted white, pulp strawberry red. Sweet, delicious fresh or dried. Commonly matures good fruit without caprification near the coast. Tree highly vigorous. Hardy, best adapted to cool areas. Excellent coastal variety is unique in that it produces a heavy breba crop, which ripens early, followed by a light fall crop. Delicious sweet large green fruits with strawberry colored flesh. Does best in the North West and other cool areas. A vigorous growing and hardy tree.  

Large, skin is deep green, minutely spotted white, pulp strawberry red. Sweet, delicious fresh or dried. Commonly matures good fruit without caprification near the coast. Hardy, best adapted to cool areas. Excellent coastal variety is unique in that it produces a heavy breba crop, which ripens early, followed by a light fall crop. Delicious sweet large green fruits with strawberry colored flesh. Does best in the North West and other cool areas.

Food Republic: This cold-tolerant fig is grown on small farms around the country, mostly in cooler areas like the Pacific Northwest, and places where cold winters preclude other varieties, like the heat- loving Calimyrna and Black Mission. The King is a teardrop-shaped, green-skinned fig with dark purple flesh absolutely decadent when the fruits are allowed to fully ripen. Shop at farmers markets or natural foods groceries for the best bet at finding truly ripe figs. F4F: A medium greenish-yellow fig with strawberry pulp. Pyriform to oblique. It ripens a large breba crop between late June and August. A San Pedro type, it sometimes sets main crop figs without pollination. Sweet and rich. Well-adapted in the Northwest and cooler areas of the South. Fairly hardy.

Robert Harper in Connecticut: Upon seeing Adriano getting huge crops from his Desert King, I figured if he could grow a fig as cold sensitive as Desert King in Canada,  I should be able to grow cold hardy figs in Connecticut. Desert King was found growing wild, sometime between 1920 and 1930, in Madera, California. It being found growing wild in California, you would think it is not a cold hardy fig. But, because of its heavy bearing, and its excellent taste, a lot of gardeners in the north, simply had to have it. Upon planting Desert King in the north, most thought there was no way it would grow in the cold north.  It not only proved most people wrong, but it also has ended up being the fig to grow in the cold north were the summers are too cool to grow main crop figs. Whether you grow it in a pot or you grow it out side, and cover it for the winter,  everyone should have a Desert King fig. The key to getting a fig through the cold northern winters, is planting the fig at a 45 degree angle from the ground... That way it can be easily bent to the ground and covered for the winter.    Hardiness Zone 7b/8a?

Condit Monograph

As King: The exact origin and identity of the King fig have not been determined. About 1930, cuttings from a fig tree growing near Madera, California, were planted by Sisto Pedrini, Western Evergreen Company, at Los Altos and at San Francisco. The young trees produced such excellent fruit that hundreds of plants were propagated and distributed in Pacific Coast states and elsewhere by the King Fig Plantation, San Francisco. See account by Brooks and Olmo (1949). The King tree is exceptionally prolific of the breba crop, which often sets three to five or more fruits close together, somewhat like the crop of certain caprifigs. At Riverside, and in most other inland districts, the majority of second-crop figs shrivel and drop for lack of caprification, a fact which places this variety in the San Pedro group of figs. In cool, coastal sections, a fair percentage of the crop matures by parthenocarpy, as explained elsewhere by Condit (1950).

Of all the varieties fruiting in the collection at Riverside, the King is unexcelled for the production of brebas. Few home owners, however, have found the King satisfactory, because of the severe dropping of the second crop and lack of knowledge as to the cultural methods most likely to give best results with this variety. Branches of King trees should not be cut back heavily in winter, as this removes the fruit buds which normally produce a breba crop. A judicious thinning out of the older wood occasionally would seem to be the best procedure. The following description is of trees and fruit grown at Riverside since 1941.

Tree moderately vigorous. Leaves medium, 3- to 5-lobed; base subcordate; lateral sinuses broad, shallow; upper surface somewhat glossy, rugose; margins shallowly crenate.

Brebas above medium to large, short-pyriform, often oblique, with or without short, thick neck; average weight 88 grams; stalk short; ribs present, but not prominent; white flecks variable, large and widely scattered in some, small and numerous in others; eye large, scales chaffy or straw colored, semi-erect; color green; bloom prominent; meat thin, white; pulp strawberry; flavor rich; quality excellent. (Plate 16, A.)

Second-crop figs uncaprified, medium, with or without short neck; color greenish yellow; pulp amber to very light strawberry; seeds few, tender, hollow. Caprified figs with stalk very short and no neck; average weight 45 grams; color dark green; pulp dark strawberry; flavor rich; quality good. (Plates 12; 16, B.)

Family
Desert King
Type
San Pedro
Collection
Non-Carica
Availability
Excellent
Beginner
Excellent
Origin

Strains

Variety Strains

Images

Main Crop

Main Season
Mid-Late
Main Yield
Excellent
Main GDD
Main Ripen Days
Main Crop Flavors
Berry, Honey
Main Additional Flavors
Main Fruit Size
Main Seed Crunch
Main Skin Thickness
Main Eye Opening
Main Eye Description
Main Fruit Drop Resistance
Average
Main Split Resistance
Main Uses
Main Additional Notes

Breba Crop

Breba
Yes
Breba Yield
Excellent
Breba GDD
1377
Breba Flavor (Difference from Main)
Breba Ripening Days
Breba Fruit Size
50-75g
Breba Seed Crunch
Breba Skin Thickness
Breba Eye Opening
Small
Breba Eye Description
Breba Fruit Drop Resistance
Breba Split Resistance
Breba Uses
Dried, Fresh
Breba Additional Notes

Seattle: 7/19/18, 70.5g

Needs winter protection in colder climates to ensure breba fruits are not injured.

Reviews

Climate

Vigor
High
Cold Hardiness
High
Zone
7b/8a+
FMV Resistance
Average
RKN Resistance
Average
Container Adaptable
Excellent
Rooting Ease
Average
Produces After Die-back
Average
Rain Tolerance
High
Additional Climate Notes

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