LSU Gold
Additional Information
USDA / UC Davis Accession Data
Leaf: base cordate; 3-5 lobes; latate. I obtained this variety in 1997 and have not yet gotten any fruit from it to date. A. J. Bullard of North Carolina and others say its flavor is outstanding. Said to do well from Florida to North Carolina. (006)

(Louisiana University) A very dependable, huge flat gold fig. Tender and exceptionally sweet . (013)

In the trade, but not an official release from LSU. Reportedly a very fine fig. (001b)Said to be very fine quality, but has not yet fruited for me. (001c)

They didn't produce much until they were 4 years old. Since then, they are so full of fruit that the branches bent to the ground. I find that the fruit quality varies with the weather. Drier weather really improves the flavor. (926)

I grew an LSU fig several years ago in a 15 gallon container in San Juan Capistrano, California. It usually had 15 to 2O figs a year- for a small containerized plant. The figs ripened well, had a paste-like pulp and were very sweet-almost like a Fig Newton paste but better flavored. (927)

LSU Gold had its beginnings more than 40 years ago. The Louisiana Agricultural Experiment Station conducted a fig-breeding program during the 1950s and early '60s to develop new varieties for Louisiana. During that time researchers, under the direction of Dr. Ed O'Rourke, made crosses and evaluated seedlings for adaptation. This breeding program was discontinued in the late 1960s, but some of the LSU selections were maintained by nurseries and home gardeners and at LSU AgCenter research station orchards. Although several of those selections have been distributed in the intervening years, none had been properly characterized and identified, Johnson said: "A few years ago we decided to find out what was out there." Johnson said: "Dr. O'Rourke, the original breeder, was still around and very knowledgeable about what he had developed." In 1994, LSU AgCenter faculty initiated a project aimed at reestablishing a research orchard that contained the best of the elite selections from the original breeding program," Johnson said. "The overall purpose of this project was to evaluate the varietal potential of the remaining selections," he said. "About 6-7 years ago we released LSU Purple, which had been maintained by the horticulture department," Johnson said, adding that LSU Gold came out of a longer evaluation process. "There was a lot of effort and work put into the project originally; we wanted to make sure we had an official description of this variety," Johnson said. Researchers collected shoots from reliable sources - mostly LSU AgCenter research stations - that had maintained trees from the original plantings. The trees were planted in small orchards and grown alongside commercial varieties for comparison of fruiting characteristics. O'Rourke, the original breeder, helped in the identification. "When we planted the old lines, we wanted to be sure they were original," Johnson said. "Through comparisons, we identified those that couldn't have come from anywhere else except the earlier LSU research program." Because figs are propagated by cuttings, Johnson explained, the lines stayed pure with no genetic changes. The orchards allowed comparison data with commercial varieties of the same age at several locations over a five-year period. Contact: Charles Johnson at (225) 578-1039 or Writer: Rick Bogren at (225) 578-5839 or (932)