O’Rourke Fig Tree
O’Rourke is yet another excellent fig selection with the Southeastern-favorite Celeste in its parentage, and is widely regarded as one of the most valuable of any fig released by the LSU fig breeding program. Of all the figs that came out of that prolific breeding program this is the one that received Dr. Ed O’Rourke’s name. In the span of just under a decade O’Rourke spear-headed the cross breeding and release of the largest number of fig cultivars in modern history. Though funding dried up and his orchard was eventually bulldozed, a great many figs were released, officially and unofficially, to the nursery trade and fig community. Thanks to Dr. Ed O’Rourke for everything he did to further the fig and bring so many valuable, new varieties to us.
A great little article on Dr. Ed O’Rourke.
A true gourmet delight, you should not live your life without feasting on this sweet, delectable fruit. One of the easiest fruits to grow, figs are happy outdoors in the Maritime Northwest and, with winter protection, in ports or in the ground in colder climates. To fully enjoy fresh Figs you must grow your own. When fully ripe and at their tender best, shipping them long distances is virtually impossible. While many fig varieties are not suitable for the Northwest, our varieties have been chosen for their ability to ripen in our climate. Another plus for Figs – deer don’t like them (most of the time)!
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: 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
Fruit Skin: Brownish
Fruit Flesh: Strawberry red to amber
Yield: 10-15 lbs. or more per plant
Pests & Diseases: Figs are not bothered by pests in our region. Cover plants with netting if birds are a problem.
Fig Mosaic Virus is a benign virus that exists in all cultivated fig trees. Yellow spotting of the leaves is a cosmetic symptom that shows more in container culture, but is quickly outgrown once trees are planted in the ground. The presence of FMV in all cultivated figs has become widely accepted, as even the national germplasm repository for figs maintained by the USDA has Fig Mosaic Virus. If the presence of FMV is a concern, then purchasing fig trees may not be the best option for you.
USDA Zone: 7, maybe 6