Fig Variety Details

General

Variety
Ischia Black
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NPGS ID
DFIC 090
AKA

Black Ischia, Black Provence, Blue Ischia, Early Forcing, Nero

Description
The Ischia Black fig produces a good crop of very flavorful medium to small, pear shaped to turbinate, black figs with a noticeable blue bloom and ribs. The rich sweet flesh is dark strawberry to purplish red and are excellent fresh or dried and likely preserved as well. It is a vigorous tree that often bears a breba crop. Ischia Black, often Black Ischia or Blue Ischia, has an open eye and is probably best suited for coastal California and not so much for the Southern regions.

A small purplish-black fig with strawberry pulp. Oblique-pyriform to turbinate. Leaf: subcordate to truncate; unlobed to 3 lobes; sinuses shallow. Fairly sweet and rich flavor. Well-adapted in coastal California, but not very productive in the South. Not particularly hardy

Ischia is an island off the coast of Naples, Italy.

Condit Monograph

Ischia Black: (syns. Blue Ischia, Early Forcing, Nero). Described by Miller (1768), Hanbury (1770), Forsyth (1803), Brookshaw (1812), Green (1824), George Lindley (1831), Rogers (1834), Holley (1854), Dochnahl (1855), M’Intosh (1855), Hogg (1866), Thompson (1859), Eisen (1885, 1888, 1901), Coleman (1887b), Wythes (1890a, 1893), Barron (1891), Massey (1893), Burnette (1894), Starnes (1903), Starnes and Monroe (1907), Bunyard Hilgardia and Thomas (1904), E. A. Bunyard (1925, 1934), Hume (1915), Gould (1919), Mowry and Weber (1925), Cook (1925), Condit (1947), and Preston (1951). Illustrated in color by Brookshaw (1812) and Condit (1941a); in black and white by Eisen (1901).

Ischia Black was apparently introduced into England from the island of Ischia by Philip Miller, who described it as a black fig of high flavor, especially attractive to birds.

Later English authors add little to Miller’s brief description. Wythes did not grow many trees, as he found the fruit to be of poorer quality than that of Ischia. E. A. Bunyard (1934), however, added this note to his account: “A variety for the epicure when flavor is valued.”

Ischia Black was obtained by the California Nursery Company from England in 1893, and about the same time it arrived with the Chiswick collection as P.I. No. 18,894. Trees have fruited in collections at Niles, Chico, Fresno, and Riverside, and at various state experiment stations. Individual trees of this variety are also commonly found in orchards of the Franciscana fig, and occasionally in dooryards. As Eisen commented in 1901, Ischia Black “is a common variety, but one which could easily be dispensed with.”

The fruits are smaller, but otherwise comparable, fresh and dried, to those of Franciscana.

The tree is vigorous, upright in habit, with branches inclined to droop; terminal buds are reddish brown. Leaves similar to those of Ischia, medium to small; upper surface glossy, rugose; mostly 3-lobed, but often nonlobed; upper sinuses moderately deep and broad; base subcordate to truncate; margins coarsely crenate (plate 13). Description of fruit is from specimens maturing at Riverside and Fresno.

Breba crop fair; fruits medium or above, up to 2-1/4 inches long and 1-3/4 inches in diameter, oblique-pyriform, with a short, thick neck; stalk often 1/2 inch long or more somewhat swollen toward body of the fig; ribs narrow, slightly elevated; eye medium, open, scales purple; color purplish black; bloom conspicuous; meat thin, white, with a violet tinge; pulp strawberry; flavor fairly sweet and rich.

Second-crop figs small to medium, oblique-pyriform to turbinate, with or without a short neck; average weight 30 grams; stalk up to 1/2 inch long; surface dull, bloom fairly heavy; white flecks scattered, finally masked by black body color; pulp strawberry; quality good.

Caprified specimens similar in external characters to the uncaprified ones; pulp dark strawberry; seeds fertile, prominent. (Plate 27, C.)

Family
TBD
Type
Common
Collection
Non-Carica
Availability
High
Beginner
Average

Strains

Variety Strains

Images

Main Crop

Main Season
Mid
Main Yield
Excellent
Main GDD
Main Ripen Days
Main Crop Flavors
Acid, Dark Berry, Exotic, Honey
Main Additional Flavors
Main Fruit Size
15-30g
Main Seed Crunch
Main Skin Thickness
Main Eye Opening
Open
Main Eye Description
Main Fruit Drop Resistance
Average
Main Split Resistance
Main Uses
Dried, Fresh, Preserves
Main Additional Notes

Breba Crop

Breba
Yes
Breba Yield
Average
Breba GDD
Breba Flavor (Difference from Main)
Breba Ripening Days
Breba Fruit Size
30-50g
Breba Seed Crunch
Breba Skin Thickness
Breba Eye Opening
Open
Breba Eye Description
Breba Fruit Drop Resistance
Breba Split Resistance
Breba Uses
Breba Additional Notes

Reviews

Climate

Vigor
Excellent
Cold Hardiness
Average
Zone
FMV Resistance
Poor
RKN Resistance
Average
Container Adaptable
Average
Rooting Ease
Poor
Produces After Die-back
Excellent
Rain Tolerance
Average
Additional Climate Notes

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