Input on Scott's Black figs in South Louisiana, please

noss(Zone 9a Lafayette, LA)July 31, 2010

Hi Y'all,

I would like some input on Scott's Black figs in South Louisiana, please.

Do the trees do well here? How do the figs fare in humid/wet weather when they're ripening? Do they sour and split easily, or are they worth trying? Do they have open, or closed eyes? Is the skin edible, too?

One person on F4F lives nearby and said he'd be glad to let me go taste these figs when his get ripe and I'm excited about that. Can hardly wait. :)

Thanks so much,


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You will get more answers to your questions about the LSU figs on this GW fig forum. I specialize in the LSU bred cultivars and am studying the fruiting characteristics of several little known O'Rourke selections. These unknown selections deserve further study because they come from excellent parentage......Celeste and Hunt mothers. Those two cultivars are excellent all purpose figs that are very rain tolerant & bug resistant.

LSU Scott's Black is an excellent tasting medium size fig. It has a small eye and is rain tolerant & bug resistant. It was bred from a Celeste mother. LSU Late Black, on the other hand, is another great tasting larger black fig which has a larger eye than Scott's Black. It can tolerate some rain because the eye often leaks honey. However, it is not as rain tolerant as Scott's Black. Late Black has a complex taste and juiciness to it that I really like.


    Bookmark   July 31, 2010 at 11:00AM
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noss(Zone 9a Lafayette, LA)

Hi Dan,

I think that's why the person over there suggested I post my inquiry over here and he mentioned you supecifically because of your work with the LSU fig varieties. :)

I would like to be able to plant varieties of figs that are good in rainy weather and the heat and humidity, as well, which resist splitting and souring. I don't have much room and as it's going right now, the whole back yard will be taken up with fig trees! I told Mike that he should be happy about that because he'll only have to mow the front and side yards. :)

I already have two Celestes, then got what I thought was a Smith and also got a Hunt baby this April. I got an older baby that is supposedly an LSU Purple and it's ripening two figs and the one that's riper is indeed purple and it's a bit older baby than the others. Not sure just when I should pick that fig, but I'm watching it. I also have a young IC, a young BT and a young TX Everbearing. The last three are not good in rainy weather, so I don't know why I got those, but the TX E came from Mark Simon and he said it does pretty well for him and he lives here in this area. I got the Smith from him, as well.

I saw a post last night where it said there is more than one variety of Smith, so now I'm hoping that the Smith I think I have will be a good one.

I was thinking of the Scott's Black because I was told they are good and ripen in August and that would stretch out the fig season for me and be a different fig, also.

I would like to be able to just have a few trees, but a longer season and I really need the advice of someone like you and others who live here because y'all know the weather and I consider that very valuable. All input from people all over the country is very welcome.

I'm not getting any younger, so it would be great if I didn't have to muddle around with fig varieties and could just go for the ones that do very well here.

Does the Scott's Black drop its figs in hot, dry weather, here if its mother is a Celeste?

Marty invited me to go visit him and taste the SB when the figs get ripe and I'm going to take him up on it, gratefully. He lives around here.

I only wish I'd found GW and F4F years ago. The people on the sites are so kind and helpful.

I appreciate all the input people share here and hate to be a pest, though.

Thanks so much,


    Bookmark   July 31, 2010 at 5:28PM
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I am an avid fig hunter and determined fig researcher. One of my goals is to find the BEST fig cultivars for South Louisiana. Some of those cultivars may well turn out to be no name heirlooms. Name doesn't is mostly about a fig's taste and performance for me. Another goal is to find those cultivars that will significantly extend the fig growing season in our area. I have eaten good figs from my collection as early as mid June and as late as mid December. It just takes time to determine the growing and fruiting characteristics of fig trees. One day I hope to be able to make 3 or 4 very specific recommendations to the growers in our area....that will allow them to enjoy figs in all of the warm months.

You already have some good varieties in your collection.... Celeste, Hunt, LSU Purple, Smith, and IC. Regarding Scott's does not drop figs.

FYI, today I ate several Dark Portuguese figs that were extremely ripe.....they were absolutely fantastic. Dark Portugues was introduced to the fig community by Bass. This cultivar is pretty rain tolerant and similar to Sal's (EL). Today DP was even better than Gino's fig. Gino's fig is a rain tolerant black fig which I prefer over Sal's. Today I also ate my first Brown Greek is a very good tasting fig with an open eye and rather tender skin. It may turn out to be a splitter.....time will tell.

I also ate a St. Jerome is a splitter during heavy rains too. However,it is an absolutely awesome tasting fig during dry weather. The taste of St. Jerome is very consistent and always what I would describe as excellent. It is one of the top tasting figs in my collection....but; it has a problem with heavy rain. I would recommend it HIGHLY to a collector for its great taste. However, I would not recommend it to someone as their only fig tree.

IMO figs need to be selected based on tree size, taste, rain tolerance, bug resistance, productivity, ripening times, cold tolerance, and intended use (fresh, drying, or preserves). Developing this type information takes time (years) to determine. I'm retired and have the time and the desire to work on this.


    Bookmark   August 1, 2010 at 5:48AM
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Last season almost all of my Scott's Black figs split after a heavy rain. I thought it was because of the fact that we had a long drought and then suddenly lots of rain. But now I am thinking that maybe I do not have a Scott's Black, that maybe James Robin mixed it up with the Sicilian Black or something else. Here are some pics. What do you think?

Here is a link that might be useful: Scott's black

    Bookmark   August 1, 2010 at 5:32PM
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noss(Zone 9a Lafayette, LA)

Hi serena,

That fig, though it looks yummy, is not very dark in color. If a fig is called, black, wouldn't it be dark in color? Just wondering.


    Bookmark   August 1, 2010 at 11:35PM
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It is Scott black no doubt,But the one in the pix is not split,only superficially,and that is ok.
I wonder the location,where are you located?
And more deatail,like how old is the tree etc.
Sometime when very young they do it and later they adjust to new location,wich is different than,location of mother plant?

    Bookmark   August 2, 2010 at 10:12AM
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Your fig looks like it is a Scott's Black.

Like Herman said, those are not splits on your pictured fig. They are only surface "cracks" which indicate ripeness. Cracks are very superficial in that they only go up to the fig "meat". Fig meat is the area that lies between the outer fig skin and its interior pulp. Splits, on the other hand, are VERY DEEP and go completely through the skin, through the meat and often through the pulp itself. Surface skin cracks are harmless and a good indicator of a ripe fig. While splits are bad since they allow bugs & micro organisms to enter the sweet fig pulp and quickly turn it sour.

In my area, as Robin's Sicilian Black figs ripen they will change color from green to a very light yellow color....then will change to red and finally will turn purple/black. Robin's Sicilian Black has an eye that is more open than the fig you pictured. RCB can handle a little rain, but will split & sour badly following a heavy rain. Some RCB figs leak a honey that is tinged red and it has the taste of Concord grapes.


    Bookmark   August 2, 2010 at 10:43AM
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The pics are of a fig that I have not picked yet. I don't have any pics of last years figs that split and they exploded.
It was the tree's first year in ground so maybe that was the problem. Thanks for the positive I.D and the help!

    Bookmark   August 2, 2010 at 11:16AM
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