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The LSU Tiger fig is a product of Louisiana State University's breeding program with Celeste as one of its parents. Their goal was to improve Celeste, an already incredible fig variety for the South, but to improve it in a way that could still withstand Lousiana's humid weather, but bring along with it commercial qualities.


Personally, I think they succeeded. LSU Tiger is very similar to Celeste, sharing a similar flavor profile but it is notably double in size. It's also distinguished by its thick and chewy skin, which becomes sweeter and develops a distinct flavor as it softens. The skin's texture contrasts with the pulp, offering a non-uniform texture unlike most other figs. Because of its harder skin, LSU Tiger could be grown commercially, but for hobbyists and the average backyard fig grower, LSU Tiger offers a very unique and underrated eating experience. Only a fig variety called De la Roca reminds me of the same skin quality.


LSU Tiger is particularly known as a sugar fig like Celeste but is enhanced with flavor notes of concord grape and blueberry, making it a favorite for many. It is also referred to by other names such as Calderwood and Easton Purple. The LSU Tiger fig is highly regarded for its productivity and vigor. My Great Uncle has a tree growing in Ocean City, Maryland, where it has become an impressive specimen. Their sandy and well draining soil aids in a better eating experience and due to LSU Tiger's impressive vigor and production, it thrives in that soil condition producing hundreds of figs each growing season.


Its productivity extends to its ability to dry well on the tree, showing resilience even after heavy rain. In 2022, this realization, along with its unique skin texture and flavor profile, has significantly raised its standing among other fig varieties suited for humid climates. It has now become one of the best and most underrated fig varieties in my collection.


In 2022, it was also the favorite fig variety my friend Jenny chose at a local tasting I hosted where 20-30 fig varieties were compared at peak ripeness. Having said all of that, my LSU Tiger tree has proven to be reliably hardy and early fig variety for those in difficult fig growing climates.

LSU Tiger Fig Tree - 4 Gallon Pot

  • Why choosing the right fig variety matters


    Choosing the right fig variety can make all the difference in so many positive or even negative ways. A variety that is well suited to your climate and taste preferences will ensure that your getting the fig experience that you deserve.


    It's heartbreaking when you put years of work into a tree to finally realize that it's just not suited to your location because it will rarely produce high quality figs and in some cases, may never produce fruit that's even edible!


    Fig varieties are very location specific because they're so highly subjected to their environment while they're ripening. Unlike many other fruits, the fig can be destroyed in its final ripening stage. It's a soft fruit that can absorb water into its skin causing cracking, splitting, mold & fermentation all because the inside of the fruit gets exposed to the outside elements of nature.


    An apple has a hard covering. A persimmon has a hard covering. Berries and other soft fleshed fruits are also susceptible to bad weather conditions, but they have a short window of time in which they're soft and ready to be picked. Figs can be soft hanging on the tree for 5, 10 or even 15 days!


    How to choose the right fig variety for your climate


    When choosing a fig variety, it's important to consider the climate in your area during the winter, summer and fall.


    • Some fig varieties are more tolerant of cold weather and others can be grown in climates that have mild summers because of their reliable breba production or their early main crop harvest period.

    • Others are better suited for humid climates because they don't need to hang as long on the tree and they have a skin that acts like a waterproof jacket. The water just slides right off.

    • Others are better suited to warmer climates and have the ability to taste incredible even in 100-110F temperatures.


    If you want fig variety recommendations, read through the description of each fig variety carefully, or better yet, don't be afraid to contact me. In your message, include your growing zone, location, annual rainfall, and how you want to grow them.


    To read more about choosing the right fig variety, click here:

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