Desert King

The exact origin and identity of this tree is not known in the ancient world. Desert King comes from a fig tree found in 1930, near Madera, California.

This is a fast growing tree with long and erected branches that the foliage is unable to completely cover, giving the tree a little “bare” appearance. In Spring, to force the tree to produce new ramifications and to prevent it from rising up too rapidly, the terminal buds of few ramified, but strong, branches must be pinched. The result of this pinching is that two or three new lateral branches will appear and will probably already bear new fruits next year.

The resistance to cold is quite good, as the fruit buds resist well to Winter frost, and to sudden temperatures changes in Spring. It has some resistance against wind, but in very cold, rainy and windy Springs, breba may significantly fall.

This fig tree produces brebas with excellent organoleptic qualities, of average size, melting in the mouth and very sugared. At complete maturity, the skin color changes from light green to pale yellow.

The fruit resists relatively well to rain showers, but can split in case of long rain periods. It is earlier than most breba varieties by about two weeks, with a fruiting duration that lasts two to three weeks and usually starts in the middle of summer.

This fig tree also produces a main crop of small figs, of medium quality, which usually drop. In fact, this second crop may only succeed in warmer regions where the Blastophaga Psenes, the insect pollinator responsible for caprification, is found.

Occasionally, one fig amongst many others may develop as if it were pollinated by Blastophaga Psenes. In this case, the fruit is really different; it is pyriform and flattened and has dark strawberry pulp. The organoleptic quality of the fruit is exceptional; melting texture, taste reminding of mulberry and strawberry, higher sugar content than the breba fruit with seeds that are felt in the mouth but remaining very pleasant. Finally the fruit possesses a medium skin size and weighs about 47 gr. Unfortunately, this behavior is observed much too rarely.

If the tree becomes too tall and large, and that trimming is envisaged in Spring, do not trim back all terminal branches because it would mean annihilating the entire breba crop; ideally trim one branch out of two or out of three.

To conclude, this fig tree is highly recommendable for its early crop, excellent and numerous brebas fruits, and the good resistance to cold.
General data
Origin United States of America
Synonym(s), local names White King, King
Tree type San Pedro
Crop Biferous
Tree morphological characteristics
Shape Erected
Vigor Strong
Ability to produce suckers Weak
Height after 10 years 350 cm
Width after 10 years 350 cm
Minimum width 400 cm
Branch morphological characteristics
Branch color Light brown
Caliber Medium
Buds Lemon yellow
Leaves morphological characteristics
Leaves Large
Lobs 3-5
Depth Medium sinuses
Adaptation outside the Mediterranean area
Cold hardiness Good
Wind resistant Very good
Pot culture
Breba crop
Yield Very Strong
Fruits dropping Partial fruit drop
Alternance None
Sensitivity to splitting Resistant
Crop begin date (day-month) Valleiry:24-07
External characteristics
Skin color Yellow
Skin thickness Thin
Shape Pyriform
Stalk Breaks off readily
Stalk shape Short and medium
Neck Medium
Neck color Yellow
Eye Medium, opened
Eye color Light pink
Average weight (grams) 46 g
Internal characteristics
Pulp color Light strawberry
Seeds Felt, medium
Organoleptic evaluation
Texture Melts in the mouth
Sugar Very sweet
Taste Excellent
Perfume Strong
Organoleptic descriptors Floral, Fruity, Dates
Main crop
Yield Weak
Fruits dropping High fruit drop
Alternance Strong
Sensitivity to splitting Very resistant
Crop begin date (day-month) Valleiry:30-09
External characteristics
Skin color Yellow
Skin thickness Thin
Shape Pyriform flattened
Stalk Breaks off readily
Stalk shape Short and medium
Neck Short
Neck color Yellow
Eye Very small, closed
Eye color Light pink
Average weight (grams) 16 g
Internal characteristics
Pulp color Light red
Seeds Felt, few
Organoleptic evaluation
Texture Dry
Sugar Little sugar
Taste Poor
Perfume Quite weak
Organoleptic descriptors