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Allison, Arneo Nero, Camaldolese, Della Cava, Natalino Nero, Pasquale, Tre Volte l'Anno


(syns. Natalino Nero, Pasquale, Camaldolese, Della Cava, Tre Volte l’Anno, Verneo Nero, Arneo Nero, Allison). Described by Gasparrini (1845), Savastano (1885), Eisen (1888, 1901), Vallese (1909), De Rosa (1911), and Condit (1947). Leaves and fruit figured by Vallese, who treated Arneo Nero and Verneo Nero as distinct kinds; De Rosa described the two as synonymous. In his account of 1845, Gasparrini listed this variety as Vernino, but added that some called it Natalino, or Christmas fig; others called it Pasquale, since the fruits sometimes remained on the tree during the winter and matured near Pasqua, or Easter. The name Tre Volte l’Anno refers to the tendency of Vernino to produce fruit at various times of the year. Trees usually produce a second crop only, late in the season.

Few trees of Vernino have been found in California. The late G. P. Rixford mailed cuttings to the University of California in 1926 from a tree at Loomis, and reported the location of another specimen on the Bidwell place at Chico. Another tree has recently been found growing on the J.J. Mashio ranch in Hunter’s Valley, near Hornitos; this and several other varieties were probably imported by Italian settlers long before 1900. P.I. No. 130,464, obtained as Allison in 1931 from Angleton, Texas, as No. 8,379 of that station, proved to be identical with Vernino. See accounts of Allison by Stansel and Wyche (1932), and by Close (1933). A variety grown commercially near Bishop, Georgia, known locally as “Breedlove,” has recently proved to be identical with Vernino in the collection at Riverside, California. The following description is from a single tree, fruiting at Riverside since 1933.

Leaves medium, 3- to 5-lobed; upper sinuses shallow and narrow, lower sinuses very shallow, basal sinuses broad; base commonly truncate or subcordate; margins coarsely serrate; surface dull. Terminal buds of branches tawny.

Breba crop none. Second-crop figs small to medium, up to 1-1/2 inches in length and 1-5/8 inches in diameter, oblate-spherical to pyriform, with short, thick neck; average weight 28 grams; stalk short; ribs very slightly elevated, narrow; eye medium, slightly protruding, commonly surrounded by a zone of color lighter than that of the body; eye scales of green figs prominently pink, becoming violet at maturity; white flecks large and conspicuous; surface glossy, with pruinose bloom; skin tough or rubbery in texture; color purplish black on body, greenish toward the base; meat thin, white; pulp solid, strawberry in color (darker when caprified); flavor fairly rich; quality only fair. Season late. A small fig, of no particular value. (Plate 28, C.)

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