aka Barnisotte, Bourjasotte Noire, Violette de Sollies, Parisienne, Evita
The most widely planted variety in South Africa originating from the Sollies Pont area of France where about 2000 tons are produced annually. The figs from this area have an AOC -like Champagne-, which means it may only be called Violette de Sollies when originating from farms in the designated area.
An excellent fig with good shelf life and taste characteristics however under SA climatic conditions the leaves tend to have sandpaper like consistency which results in a high percentage of fruit scarring. It is a prolific bearer. Farms growing this variety are found near the towns of Porterville, Malmesbury, Hermon, Riebeek Kasteel, Paarl, Worcester, Napier, Ladismith and the Kammanassie area near Oudtshoorn.
Ronde de Bordeaux
aka Precoce de Barcelona
The origin is not exactly known but was first described in 1885 in France. This is a small niche market fig averaging 15 grams, which has a unique taste and very good shelf life. It is the earliest fig to ripen in the season by as many as 3 weeks before Parisian. Two farms in Porterville were the first to plant this variety commercially in the world and now small commercial plantings are found in Egypt, Spain, France and Tunisia. Farms growing this variety are found near Porterville and Napier.
A two crop variety commonly found throughout the country as backyard trees. When American Ira Condit compiled his monologue on fig varieties in the 1950’s he received information from Burger and de Wet who described the variety in 1931 as a popular dessert fig in SA. Although at first thought to be similar to Dauphine the origins weren’t discovered. The Koorts family near Prince Albert has been producing this fig for fresh consumption for many years prior to the introduction of new varieties in 2001. A fairly large fig with an amber to red pulp and yellow brown skin with a characteristic purple flesh between skin and pulp. Does not have good transportability for export and is fussy about climate. Another commercial orchard is located near Rustenburg NW province.
The variety was discovered as a bud sport of the Zidi variety in Citrusdal. It has several variants in its place of origin in Tunisia where it is grown commercially for the local market and was imported by the ARC in Stellenbosch from Riverside California in 1981. A fig variety that requires caprification it produces figs that have a large average size with very good taste and shelf life and is characterized by its very large leaves, which are soft and unlike Parisian it is very good for drying. Farms growing this variety are found near Piketberg, Napier, Prince Albert and Hermon.
aka Boule d’Or, Grosse Violette
A French variety was grown near Paris using special techniques to overcome the winter cold for the table of French King Louis 14th and now grown in the south of France primarily for its abundant large breba figs which can weigh up to 240 grams. The large size and colour, which is more green than purple, makes it less popular with importers. The only commercial planting is near Napier.
aka Col de Dame Noir
A Spanish variety roughly translated as “neck of the lady” which is a character of its shape. It is a late season fig with very deep red pulp and excellent luscious taste although the average size is small and is prone to cracking. Commercial plantings can be found in Worcester, Ladismith and Oudtshoorn area.