Marseilles Black Fig Tree
A very popular but still somewhat rare fig, Marseilles Black is one of the finest tasting of any fig that we can reliably ripen here. The flavor is often compared to Black Madeira though it ripens much earlier than that variety. It’s often called a Mt. Etna type fig as it is similar to Chicago Hardy and a host of other figs that supposedly come from around Mt. Etna in Italy, though we’d assume this one to be French in origin. The only downside of this fig is that it does seem to be quite susceptible to Fig Mosaic Virus when it’s young but it really doesn’t seem to slow it down much at all or effect the fruit quality. Skin is a beautiful purple black when fully ripe with a red interior and notes of dark berry and a very high sugar content. Absolutely delicious!
This is the variety also known as Marseilles Black VS and if you’ve tasted the figs growing in the parking strip by the yucca just to the north of the nursery driveway and fallen in love with them, that tree is Marseilles Black.
Latin Name: Ficus carica
Site and Soil: Figs like 1/2 day to full sun and well-drained soil.
Pollination Requirements: Self fig-ful
Hardiness: Figs are hardy to between 0° & 5° F.
Bearing Age: 1-2 years after planting
Size at Maturity: 10-20 ft in height, smaller with pruning.
Bloom Time: Flowers are not noticeable as they are inside the fruit
Ripening Time: late August-September
Yield: 10-15 lbs. or more per plant
Pests & Diseases: Figs are not bothered by pests or diseases in our region. Cover plants with netting if birds are a problem.
USDA Zone: 7, maybe 6?
Sunset Western Zone: 4-9, 12-24
Sunset Northeast Zone: 31, 32