Home Growing Fruit Vern’s Brown Turkey Fig: Nice Fig Vern

Vern’s Brown Turkey Fig: Nice Fig Vern

Vern’s Brown Turkey Fig: Nice Fig Vern

Vern's Brown Turkey Fig

The bluebird of happiness has landed on this fig. I’m not sure who Vern is, but after taking a couple of bites out of his namesake, I’d had to say, “Thank you, thank you very much.”  (That was my Elvis voice.) The fig is a syrupy sweet bon bon of deliciousness, almost jam-like in its center. The skin is thin and beautifully mottled green and brownish purple.

sliced Vern's Brown Turkey Fig

My Vern’s Brown Turkey fig tree is relatively young and in a pot. I’m still figuring out just where to plant the tree to foil the deer militia posted in my woods. They have a serious appetite for leafy greens. I live in Zone 8, and this fig tree looks promising.

Other figs I grow, photos and info:


  1. Oooh good to know. We took out a sickly street tree and replaced it with Vern’s Brown Turkey Fig. We’re still in Year 1 but already can see it’s going to grow well in its new home. It looks like it’s going to be multi-trunked: do you think that’s okay?

    I love figs and make a mean fig preserves. It goes really well with fennel and/or orange preserves, or directly into ones mouth fresh and plain. 🙂

  2. This reminds me of my childhood visits to the Mississippi delta to see my Aunt Mattie. She had trees just hanging with figs…. At summers end, she would set me on the Greyhound bound for Nashville with a lap full of Fig preserves….. What I would’nt give for a jar of her jams and preserves……

  3. I think things are tastier when they’re named for someone, or maybe the better discoveries tend to be named for someone because the creators are proud. Either way, here’s to Vern!

  4. Skip, I find deer are a lot like me in a buffet line, they have their favorites. Apple trees, tulips and roses top the list, and when those pickins are slim they head for the figs and lilies. Or who knows, they may hate the taste but just do it to yank my chain.

  5. Oh gosh! That’s the same variety I have. My tree is young too. I just bought it this year, although I did spring for one that was a few years old already. Thanks for showing me what I have to look forward to.

  6. Those look delightful! Tom, have you ever had a fig tree that ended up only giving you caprifigs? I am knew to the fig game and as the first harvest for our fig tree, the fruit turned out to be this weird, fluffy insides, unedible fruit. I did search online about this but it’s just so confusing. What I got out of info overload, however, is that I need to wait until the tree bears fruit again…and perhaps even again. If I get the same weird figs then it gets the axe. Any thoughts on caprifigs at all?

  7. Rowena, as far as I know true caprifigs need a wasp to pollinate them as they have male and female parts. No wasp, no figs. I’ve also read that a true caprifig only produces inedible figs. I really don’t know much about them as all of my figs seem to be self-fertile, no wasps necessary. You may want to buy a self-fertile tree or find a local tree that bears fruit regularly and see if you can get cuttings from it. (Fig cuttings root easily.) It will bear the fruit of the parent.

    Also you may want to post your question on the fig forum of GardenWeb, the more details for them the better: http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/fig/

    Good luck!

  8. Rowena, I found more info for you on the caprifigs: http://nafex.org/figs.htm

    Excerpt: There are two basic types of figs: caprifigs and edible figs. Caprifigs are males, which produce pollen, but are generally unpalatable due to the presence of chaffy stamen structures. There are many varieties of edible figs which fall into the three following fruiting classes:
    Caducous (or Smyrna) figs need pollination to set crops. Without pollination the fruit drops before maturing. Caprifigs furnish the pollen needed. Examples are Marabout, Calimyrna (or Sari Lop), and Zidi.

    Persistent (or Common) figs do not need pollination to set crops and are the type home gardeners most commonly grow. Examples are Black Mission, Brown Turkey, Celeste, Brunswick and Adriatic.

    Intermediate Group (or San Pedro) figs do not need pollination to set a breba crop but do need it for the main crop (in some environments). Examples are King, Lampeira, and (of course) San Pedro.

    And Eileen, there’s a fig called Chicago Hardy, but perhaps Chicago is the Palm Springs of the Midwest.

  9. Tom!!!! You didn’t tell me you had bluebird plates! Do you know how much – well, never mind – the figs are delicious and beautifully photographed. Bluebird plates – who would have guessed… Dang.

  10. Tommy, I love the fig. All figs. I have a request, not involving the fig, of you. Is it possible to have a place on your website where you can email your posts to someone? I’d love to do this and not sure if it’s possible. Or is it already there and I cannot find the instrument? Miss you…love you too! Coming to visit soon? Or we’ll meet in Brooklyn…”fig etaboutit!”

  11. Hi Mif, just click on the SHARE/SAVE bar at the end of the post and an email icon will appear among other options. Click on the email envelope to continue to send the link via email. And miss you too!

    • Nichole, Vern’s Black Turkey is good, especially if given a chance to really ripen. I’ve only had a few so far on the tree, and so I’m transplanting it. The spot I chose was a less than stellar site for a fig tree. It wants more sun, as much as I can give it.

  12. I have mine in a large pot right now, grown from a small start. When is the best time to plant it in a permanent spot? I was thinking November…? I live in Portland, OR. Thanks!

    • Rebecca, I’d say September onward is a great time to plant your fig, as its roots will establish nicely in the cool and wet of autumn in the Northwest. If you do it now, keep the tree well watered until our rains return.


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