Updated: Oct 2
There are 1000s of fig varieties in existence, but fig varieties like Hivernenca are worth learning about. Check out the other comprehensive variety reviews I’ve created on other fig varieties on the variety directory page found here:
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And check out my recent video on this variety to learn more about it below!
Similar varieties: De La Senyora (Hivernenca), Lampiera 1, Can Planetes, De N’Amoros, Verdal Longue, Moro de Bou, Margalera, Coll de Dama Cuitat, Bergunya, Labritja, Ouriola
Taste grouping: Complex Berry
Ripening period: Late
Rain resistance: Above average
Hang time: Below average
Split resistance: Above average
Climate preference: Well adapted
Hardiness: Reported Higher than Average
Taste rating: 4.9/5
Light requirements: Low
Hivernenca is not just a variety, but a classification of varieties that boasts various names, making this category of fig varieties somewhat confusing. Numerous figs fall under this category, such as De La Senyora (Hivernenca), Lampiera 1, Can Planetes, De N’Amoros, Verdal Longue, Moro de Bou, Margalera, Coll de Dama Cuitat, Bergunya, Labritja & Ouriola.
What is a fig tree synonym?
A synonym in the world of fruit are varieties with different names, but they're pretty much identical.
Unfortunately, there seems to be a lack of information regarding these figs, furthering the confusion and leading to an excessive amount of names. However, the distinctions between these varieties are subtle, but present, primarily due to epigenetic differences where figs, when grown in different locations, adapt to their environments over time, undergoing mutations.
To read more about mutations and epigenetic changes, read this very interesting article about the many strains of Celeste, here:
For details on the growing characteristics of various Hivernenca strains, Pons' book or website is a comprehensive resource. Pons has extensively written about these varieties. He notes:
"La Hivernenca, Coll de dama Ciutat, De la Senyora, Margalera, and Morro de Bou are genetically equal as per dendogram. However, due to differences in molecular and agronomic traits such as maturation, size, and shape, they're considered distinct varieties. Notably, the DE LA SENYORA variety has multiple names, influenced by the morphological variability in the figs and, to a lesser extent, the foliage."
Regarding Coll de Dama Ciutat, Pons elaborates that "Though Estelrich was unfamiliar with this variety, it's sometimes labeled as Hivernenca, sharing its origin. Nonetheless, distinguishing features include its appearance, taste, ripening duration, and peduncle."
Pons also brings attention to the BERGUNYA variety, which originates from Banyalbufar. While Estelrich identifies Bergunya as a Hivernenca synonym because of their similarity, in Banyalbufar and surrounding regions, it stands out as distinct from Hivernenca. This is based on fruit and leaf descriptors, agronomical, and biological characteristics. For instance, Bergunya figs have a more pear-like shape, are lighter, display a tighter eye opening, and possess a thinner skin.
For collectors, the silver lining is that many might already possess this variety in their collection. It's worth mentioning the superior short hang time observed in DLS (H). Whether this attribute is consistent in the other varieties remains uncertain, but it's a significant factor in its commendation.
One distinct characteristic of the Hivernenca fig is its physical appearance: a somewhat elongated fig often showcasing cracks. As the figs mature, they transition from a green-yellow hue to a combination of brown, purple, and gray. This colorful transformation, combined with the cracking, offers a unique aesthetic.
History and Other Information
Hivernenca figs are globally renowned for their taste and are often commercially cultivated. Historically, these figs have thrived better in hotter, drier climates rather than milder Mediterranean regions. Although frequently found in Spain, these figs are less common in countries like England, France, and Germany due to less optimal growing conditions. Particularly, Hivernenca ripens too late when grown in mild locations.
Moreover, these figs are highly productive, often yielding fruit on nearly every tree node. The productivity is so substantial that sometimes the sheer weight of the fruits causes the branches to droop towards the ground, which is something I’ve noted in my Lampeira 1 tree this season.
Hivernenca figs are renowned for their distinctive taste and texture, reminiscent of the Coll de Damas and the berry flavor of Black Madeira. The flavor's intensity varies with the specific Hivernenca type and ripening conditions, but in ideal climates, they are among the best-tasting figs available.
Their notable characteristic is the quick ripening period, even in cooler fall weather. They are optimal between days 4 to 6, making them one of the few fig varieties that can be picked early and still taste ripe. Such rapid ripening ensures a yield of about 90-95% of the tree's crop, unlike other top varieties like BM, where only around 30% is typically harvested. In essence, given its flavor and ripening pattern, this fig rivals and surpasses Black Madeira when grown in humid climates.
Day 3 -- Bottom middle: