Pernette Noire, a fig variety originally sold by Figaholics in California, initially failed to gain popularity among buyers, leading to its discontinuation. However, its unique elongated shape caught my attention for its suitability in humid climates. This shape, featuring a short stem and a long neck, allows the fig to hang with its eye facing the ground, reducing susceptibility to rain damage during ripening. Rain can be detrimental to many fig varieties as it causes the skin to absorb moisture, leading to expansion and splitting. The downward-facing eye of Pernette Noire might make it less vulnerable to such damage, and it has shown a remarkable ability to repel water, further enhancing its resistance to rain.
Pernette Noire distinguishes itself not only through its shape but also through its ripening process. It has a relatively short hang time, which is beneficial for achieving a higher quality, well-ripened fig more consistently. This shorter hang time allows for strategic harvesting before or after rain, effectively circumventing rain-related issues. Additionally, Pernette Noire often dries on the tree, especially during hot summer days, taking only 3 or 4 days to shrivel, which is another advantageous trait.
Despite its initial resemblance to the more common Black Mission fig, Pernette Noire offers a unique experience. While the Black Mission variants have often disappointed growers with their susceptibility to cracking and poor rain resistance, Pernette Noire impresses with its performance, flavor, and texture. It boasts a rich, jammy pulp, and although its flavor is more sugary and figgy than intensely berry-like, the slightly bitter skin adds a pleasing complexity.
All of this elevates Pernette Noire above the typical Black Mission fig, making it a superior alternative and a valuable addition to any garden.
Pernette Noire Cuttings (3 Cuttings Per Order)
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: