I know, it may not be a “top labeled variety”, nor is it a new, made-up newcomer. But for those who want something with a background, almost vintage, affordable, easy to root, does well in the hot, humid Southern states and takes rains very well… this variety is a soldier!
LSU Improved Celeste is one of those varieties we have decided to keep. Our goal has been to truly keep only what works for us. I’m not interested in opening a nursery or to get rich from figs. I much prefer to give them out for free and just sell the necessary to maintain Fig Database.
How would I describe this variety: some what of a slow grower, productive is an understatement. LSU Improved Celeste produces early and does so through the season. The variety itself seems to be very tolerant to disease. You can grow it in a small space and or in a container. No brebas but there is no need for any as it produces plenty.
As for the looks and flavor:
This beautiful mauve-purple look is acquired while the temperatures here have kept below the 60’s. Many days and night have hit the 40’s. At this time, the eye is very small, practically closed. With a hanging, bell-shaped form and beautiful cracks to indicate, it is ready to pick.
The flavors where of sugar and pure, sweet love but when crackling showed,, it was a complex ripe banana and plums.. An unforgettable experience of flavors.
The leaves are as beautiful as many of the high, sought after varieties and like mentioned before, resistant to these environments.
In summer and later, this variety still keeps on producing, however, I did not taste the more complex flavors. Instead, I noticed many changes. The color of the fig went to a more brown-ish, ribbed pattern and at times, it acquired a beautiful caramel appeal. The ribbing very evident, flesh was more of a caramel/sugar flavor and strong. The eye at this time is more open but still handled the climate very well..
So this is my report on LSU Improved Celeste and I hope you consider adding it to your collection to test it and enjoy its figs.