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Castle Kennedy
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see also Brunswick

DFIC 153



Similar to Brunswick (if not Brunswick). Very old cultivar - in Scotland since 1765 at 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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