White Marseilles

White Marseilles

Regular price $23.00 Sale

The oldest-known and longest-grown fig in the English speaking world, White Marseilles was introduced to Britain at the Archbishop's Palace at Lambeth in the reign of Henry VIII. Planted at many country places during the following 300 years, the oldest tree now is found at Oxford Botanic Garden. But the most impressive is that at Roscoff in Brittany, planted by the Capucines in 1621, it covers an area of 30 by 20 meters, its branches propped up at many points to ensure its survival.

The variety is attributed to Provence, but is hardly known there now. It was grown on walls at Argenteuil for the Paris market a century ago, known as le figue blanche d'Argenteuil or simply, 'Blanche.' Those cultures have been abandoned with the wall-grown Chasselas grape also at Argenteuil.

Unverified opinion attributes this fig to the missions at Santa Clara and San Diego, but it was definitely propagated and sold by Felix Gillet at Nevada City. Amend at Portland invented his own name, 'Lattarula' for sale of trees there, and the false name survives in the Northwest for this variety.

Fruits are of medium size, greyed yellow when ripe, flesh clear lemon yellow. Among the sweetest of figs, but lacking in a distinct fig flavor. Wood is among the hardiest to cold and generally resistant to wintertime Botrytis infection. Produces two crops, in climates where the second can be ripened in October. Is the definitive fig of Pacific Northwest and for its sweetness and two crops is not to be slighted elsewhere.