Bayernfeige Violetta Fig Finishes Out the Season

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Violetta Fig and Leaf
Bayernfeige Violetta Fig fresh from the tree
(Big fig; that’s a 10-inch dinner plate.)

Clogged gutters and one wet Tom welcomed October this week, and while I have some rock hard green figs that have no chance of ripening in the chilly downpours of recent storms, my Bayernfeige Violetta fig came through with a handful of juicy gems. A feat I don’t take lightly, especially for a three-year-old tree shaded by a pair of healthy douglas firs.

Bayernfeige Violetta Fig: Good grower, productive after three years, does well in the cool summers of the Pacific Northwest, great flavor and good color.  The skin is thin and flesh firm with nice texture. One of the most popular figs in the PNW is Desert King, a green fig that is great for cooking and jams. I like the Violetta better for fresh eating, as the Desert King has a thick green skin and a softer flesh. Still good  but I like the firmer texture of Violetta and for me, its richer flavor.

The Violetta fig was recently introduced from Germany and has several UK and US distributors. Oddly I found mine at grocery store, but I’ve seen in them at the West Seattle Nusery.  Negronne or Violette du Bordeaux is my favorite fig here on Vashon, but Violetta is a very close second. They ripen about 3-4 weeks apart, so plant both and have a nice long season of figs.

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25 COMMENTS

  1. How do you tell when the figs are ripe?
    I have had the tree for 2 years now, still in a large container. There are about 16 good size green, hard figs on it.
    It’s in my greenhouse at the moment, but I plan to bring it inside my house very soon as it is getting much colder.
    I bought it at a nursey in Issaquah.

  2. Hi Richard, Figs have this convenient mechanism when ripe. The stem softens and the fig drops down on the branch, bowing to gravity. The fig itself also becomes soft and pliable in the coming days. Some even drip nectar (like Dessert King variety) but all will soften when ripe. How soft? Push the fatty palm part of your hand and that’s about what’s it’s like. An unheated greenhouse may be the way to go; as the figs can ripen and the tree still gets the dormancy period it needs after harvest. A warm house may do more harm than good in the long run. Good luck.

  3. I was thinking of putting the fig in the house until the fruit ripens, then moving it to my unheated garage, which stays at 45-55 degrees.
    I really appreciate your comments.

    thanks,
    Rick

  4. I have a Violetta that is about two years old. I live in Seattle. The tree seems very healthy (about 3 feet tall). It’s in a pot. It produces a few (this year, 7) figs and then, about two weeks later they fall off. Not sure what the problem is. The leaves look healthy. No sign of bugs. The figs just start to develop and drop. Any ideas? Thanks!

  5. Beth fruit drop may occur because the tree was stressed at some point, perhaps our unusually cold winter (as some of mine fell victim to) or perhaps the pot dried out (even for a short time). I find that watering plays a vital role with all my fruit trees is our dry summer season. How you water this summer will affect the blossom/fruit output next spring. I love this site below as they love figs and sharing their knowledge of this relished fruit.

    Figs for Fun: home http://figs4fun.com/
    or basics page http://figs4fun.com/basics.html

  6. Hey I checked your link on this and they are calling it the Bavarian Violetta, the most frost resistant fig with a mature “frost resistance” down to -4 degrees! Wow ! & the fruit is huge! I got to get one. Which store did you find this at?
    Thanks in advance, Jon

  7. Hi Jon, I saw it recently at West Seattle Nursery, but if you live in Seattle give Swanson’s or Sky Nursery a call. I also really like Negronne fig, a.k.a. Violette du Bordeaux, a nice purple fig that does well in the Pacific Northwest. Dessert King is a green fig that is seemingly always productive in this area.

  8. I bought a Violetta (in a 5 gal. container) last fall at Molbak’s in Woodenville. I planted it against a South facing wall and covered it during the most severe frosts. It has grown tremendously over the summer and is bearing about 20 fairly large figs. They are bending at the neck, but are not purple yet, like the tag showed. Does anyone know if they really do get purple?

  9. Erika, I’m trying to jog my memory banks, but all of my Violetta just figs dried up and dropped, no doubt from our harsh winter. Now I have new figs forming. So considering the fig harvested in this photo last year was harvested in October, I recall I only got fruit from the main crop not the breba crop (overwintered fruit).

    Here’s an explanation from California Rare Fruit Growers: Fruits: The common fig bears a first crop, called the breba crop, in the spring on last season’s growth. The second crop is borne in the fall on the new growth and is known as the main crop. In cold climates the breba crop is often destroyed by spring frosts. The matured “fruit” has a tough peel (pure green, green suffused with brown, brown or purple), often cracking upon ripeness, and exposing the pulp beneath. The interior is a white inner rind containing a seed mass bound with jelly-like flesh. The edible seeds are numerous and generally hollow, unless pollinated. Pollinated seeds provide the characteristic nutty taste of dried figs.

  10. Thank you for your comments, Tom. I really enjoyed reading your website!
    It looks like some of my figs are almost ripe, and the bush is now forming its third set of fruit this year (the breba crop that you described). The second set started forming a few weeks after the first set, and those figs are now also quite large, but not bending at the neck yet. I can’t wait to taste my first fresh fig!

  11. Tom, I just stumbled across your website tonight and really enjoyed the visual feast of Figs! Where did you get your Peter’s Honey tree (mine don’t match the leaf shape or fruit in your photo)? Next time I’m over to Vashon, I need to stop by and visit.

    Happy Growing, kiwibob

  12. Hi Tom, Thanks for the encouraging fig info. I was able to pick up both varieties you mention during the last month, and look forward to enjoying the process all the way to harvest in the years to come. My neighbor also ‘had to have one’ after seeing and hearing about them. May it was the especially good mulberry ruhbarb sauce, another couple of garden plants that love to be fruitful around here.

  13. I found a Peter’s Honey at the nursery in Morton, WA. After several years it is bearing. Found the Baverian Violetta this summer– can’t wait!

  14. […] Boz and Gracie asked that I point out they would rather tap a nap than eat a hothouse tomato. I’d also like to point out that they’d rather take a nap than do a lot of things. My friends Beth and June (Four Green Acres) have weighed in and it looks like the Persimmon tomato has a devoted following. June, in fact, has a great blog post where she shares her top tomato picks this season. I can’t wait to try them myself and discover other new tomatoes in the coming season. What are your favorite homegrown tomatoes and why? What I was blogging about a year ago: Violetta Fig Finishes Out the Season […]

  15. I just got my Violetta fig tree from Sky Nursery. I’m so excited, hop it starts producing in the next few years. 🙂

  16. Tom;
    My Violetta is now 3 years planted in my front yard in Mount Vernon. Last year it stood around 3 1/2 feet tall and gave me about 3 dozen great-tasting figs in the second yield of the year. But now, nearly 5 ft and lost of foliage it was and is still heavy with figs but only about a dozen ever ripened. I must have nearly 250 or so left on the tree and they’re rock hard. The tree is in a great location for lots of sun and the temps here in MV were warm all summer. Any idea what went wrong? Note: Last year at end of season I plucked off all of the remaining figs thinking it would prevent rot or disease. This year I was thinking of just leaving them on the tree as nature would. ‘Have any advice?
    Gary

    • Hi Gary, I feel your pain. My Violetta fig has been disappointing at best. The first couple years it produced some decent figs, but now nothing, nada, zippo, zero ripe figs first or second crop. I’m going to try fertilizing the tree this spring and summer and hope for better growth. I’ll prune some trees around it to provide more sunlight, but I’m discouraged. I may replace it with a Lattarula fig, which seems to be better, or a Desert King which is he best producer in the Pacific Northwest. Both are green-skinned figs. Negronne (violette du bordeaux) has been a good purple fig for me.

      It sounds like your tree is really healthy and happy but just not producing ripe figs. Some research says you should pinch grown tips in summer, encouraging new growth and new first crop figs for the next season. I may try that before giving up on the Violetta. You may cover a small section of the tree with clear plastic, creating a micro-climate and see if that helps ripen the figs in that section of the tree. I’m going to try that too, just as a fun and potentially enlightening experiment. Good luck Gary!

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