[nafex] Figs: Brown Turkey vs Celeste

LONGDISTSHTR longdistshtr at shtc.net
Tue Sep 12 22:03:04 EDT 2000

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vbgarden at aol.com wrote:
> Hi, NAFEXers!
> I'm looking for opinions on identifying characteristics of Brown
> Turkey and Celeste fig trees.  We've received stock at the nursery
> that we are convinced has been mislabelled.
> I've got the info from AJB's talk at the Charlottesville conference,
> but am looking for additional ID suggestions from anyone who is
> growing both varieties.
> Depending on the location of the original wholesale nursery, we've
> got stock that came in (unexpectedly) labeled as Eastern Brown
> Turkey, Texas Brown Turkey, Vern's Brown Turkey, Celeste, Blue
> Celeste, Hardy Celeste.... you know the drill.  Obviously we expect
> that all of the BT are just that, and all of the CEL are just that --
> we're not too breaking out special divisions at this point {although
> I am very interested in folks' opinions on these regionalized sub-
> varieties or cultivars).
> My problem is that I'm convinced, looking at fruit and
> characteristics (this is a huge quantity of very young stock), that
> we've been sent Celeste as Brown Turkey and vice-versa.  I don't want
> to use any of this for propagation or sales until I've got them
> straightened out...that is how these mistakes get continued in the
> industry.
> I'm up for any determinations, insights, intuitions you've got.  Any
> ideas will be MUCH appreciated!
> Frustratedly,
> Sybil Mays
> Paradise Nursery, Virginia Beach VA
> VBGarden at aol.com
> www.paradisenursery.com

Good Luck! I planted one each of Celeste, Brown Turkey and Texas Ever
Bearing (or ever-something) from Rain Tree. After ten years I've yet to
tell the difference. I think the climate where it is growing and the
conditions of the year determines what they may be classified as that
year. There is a lot of hype in this fig business and a lot of sales
people get into trying to name one after them or their location. We fig
hobby growers want something different and are taken by this desire. Sal
in Conn. just didn't know what his was and admitted it. Now for expert
advise, I'd just go directly to Dr. Bullard (919) 658 4424 and get the
straight scoop, mainly because he is in the region (NC) where just about
all figs are (or said to be) Brown Turkey. Celeste is called "Little
Sugar Fig" but mine isn't "little" (compared to Dakota) and this year
the Brown Turkey is sweeter. I think we are missing something by not
comparing how the same cultivar from the same source grows in different
locations and in different years. It would be nice to start all over in
naming figs and get a better way to describe their characteristics and
leaf and fruit shapes. We lose it when say that one is shaped like a top
when the new age people doubtfully could describe a toy top. I can in my
mind describe a toy top but never seen a fig shaped like one. Maybe, a
little bit like a top, but more like another fig. My Alma wasn't as good
this year, it has always been my favorite. All of my figs differ every
year in taste quality, so a description would also. Good Luck! Doc
Lisenby Zone 7-8 SC

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