Fig Variety Details

General

Variety
Hardy Chicago
Favorite

Favorited By 3 Users

Average Overall Rating

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NPGS ID
n/a
AKA

Belleclare #6, Bensonhurst Purple, Chicago, Chicago Hardy, Mongibello

Variety Strains
Description

"Fred Born acquired this variety from an Italian grower in Chicago a number of years ago and has shared it with other enthusiasts. It has also become a commercial variety for it is an excellent fig. (Note: Hardy Chicago does resemble Brown Turkey, but the leaves and fruit are distinguishable. It is very hardy. The fruit is small to medium with blackish-purple skin and strawberry pulp. Small eye. Pyriform with long slender neck. Leaf: base calcarate; 5 lobes, lyrate. Very good fresh, dried or in preserves. Responds well to oiling (a method of inducing ripening of immature fruit in late Fall) . Well-adapted in the Eastern U.S. and deserves trials in the Northwest. Last summer I confirmed to my own satisfaction that the commercial variety offered by Edible Landscaping is identical with Fred's variety. Synonym: Chicago Hardy."

"Productive and easy to grow. Bears delicious medium-size figs. Exhibits drought-tolerant once established. Plant will die back in colder climates and resume growth in spring. Has tendency to bear fruit on new growth. Fruit produced on the old wood will appear in early summer and fruit on new growth will appear in early fall. Ripe fruit has a dark mahogany color. Also known as Bensonhurst Purple fig. Originates from Sicily. Grows well in containers! Heat-tolerant. Ripens in July through frost."

"A brown fig, rich and sweet. Good for potted culture, although it is our most dependable outdoor fig. Hardy Chicago ripens its figs from August until fall frost and will have some fruit in July. Has produced as many as 100 pints of figs in one season. Does extremely well in NC and we send this one to enthusiasts up north, because of its early fruiting tendency. Success will vary with every location, so be sure to give it the warmest, most protected place. It's our best fig and came to our attention in the 1970's when cuttings for propagation came from Fred Borne, a North American Fruit Explorer member. Cuttings were supplied to him from a man from Chicago with a "U" shaped house, from a bush he had protected for some years. Without protection the mature bushes top would die back from winter cold, but sprouted from the roots and ripened some figs at the end of the season. Most fig varieties do not share this trait. Usually, a fig's above ground growth must survive the winter in order to fruit the following season. Leaves are the 5-lobed type and the plant has a bush form in the east. Space 8' to 10' circle in Zone 7"

"This edible fig can take subfreezing temperatures, dying back in the fall and resprouting in the spring. The medium-sized fruit ripens to a delicious, sweetness in late summer and early fall. For northern growers, give it a heavy mulch with hay or leaves when dormant. An excellent candidate for pot culture, this easy-to-grow fig is also known as 'Bensonhurst Purple.' Its origins are from Sicily."

 

Robert Harper in Connecticut: Also known as Besonhurst Purple. Discovered growing out side in a suburb of Chicago, by long time fig lover, Fred Born. Considered a standard for flavor for cold hardy, midseason figs, by many well know fig collectors. Cold hardy to around minus 4 degrees Fahrenheit to minus 6 degrees Fahrenheit? Most have at least 8 hours off direct sun light to produce a decent crop of figs. Does not like rain while ripening. If it rains while it is ripening, the fruit must be covered or the rain will dilute the flavor. Considered a standard for flavor, among many fig connoisseurs, for mid-season cold hardy figs. Also, it’s strong berry profile makes an outstanding fig candy when rain and dew are kept off the ripening fruit. See above picture of dried fruit. We used slit cups to keep the rain and dew off of the ripening fruit. The original finder of Sal’s EL, does not think Hardy Chicago is as hardy as Sal’s EL, and culled his test tree in place of Sal’s EL. We agree that Hardy Chicago does not appear to be as cold hardy as Sal’s EL. But, a lot of fig collectors we know think it’s great enough to keep in their collections any way.  Zone 6b/7?

Pedigree
Condit Monograph

n/a

Family
Hardy Chicago
Sub Family (New)
Type
Common
Collection
Belleclare
Non-Carica
N/A
Availability
Excellent
Availability Rating

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Beginner
Excellent
Beginner Rating

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Origin

Images

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Main Crop

Main Season
Early-Mid
Main Earliness Rating (5=early, 1=late)

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Main Yield
Excellent
Main Yield Rating

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Main GDD
2200
Main Ripening Days
75
Main Primary Flavors
Berry, Dark Berry, Fruity
Main Additional Flavors
Main Primary Flavor (New - In Process)
Main Secondary Flavor (New - In Process)
Main Flavor Notes (New - In Process)
Main Flavor Rating

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Main Fruit Size
15-30g
Main Seed Crunch
None-Little
Main Seed Crunch Rating (1=none-little, 5=heavy)

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Main Skin Thickness
Very Thin
Main Eye Opening
Small
Main Eye Opening Rating (1=large/open, 5=tight)

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Main Eye Description
Main Fruit Drop Resistance
Excellent
Main Fruit Drop Resistance Rating

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Main Split Resistance
Excellent
Main Split Resistance Rating

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Main Rain Tolerance
Average
Main Rain Tolerance Rating

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Main Uses
Main Additional Notes
  • Ripens 5-7 days later than Celeste.
  • Seattle: 9/27/18, 41g

Breba Crop

Brebas?
Yes
Breba Yield
Breba Yield Rating

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Breba GDD
Breba Flavor (Difference from Main)
Breba Primary Flavor (New - In Process)
Breba Secondary Flavor (New - In Process)
Breba Flavor Notes
Breba Ripening Days
Breba Fruit Size
Breba Seed Crunch
Breba Skin Thickness
Very Thin
Breba Eye Opening
Breba Eye Description
Breba Fruit Drop Resistance
Breba Split Resistance
Breba Rain Tolerance
Average
Breba Uses
Breba Additional Notes

Climate

Vigor
Excellent
Vigor Rating

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Cold Hardiness
Excellent
In Ground Zone
5+
Produces After Die-back
Excellent
Produces After Die-back Rating

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Lignified Wood Winter Survival Rating

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Rooting Ease
Excellent
Rooting Ease Rating

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Container Adaptable
Excellent
Container Adaptable Rating

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RKN Resistance
Average
RKN Resistance Rating

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FMV Resistance
High
FMV Resistance Rating

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Additional Notes
  • Cold Hardiness: excellent

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