Violette de Bordeaux Fig vs. Black Mission (Compared)

Fig trees are the best addition to any garden. They are attractive, simple to grow at home, and yield plenty of tasty fruit.

There are two main types of fig trees: the Violette de Bordeaux and the Black Mission. Both figs have unique flavors, textures, pros, and cons, but which is the better choice for you?

In this article, I’ll compare and contrast Violette de Bordeaux Fig vs. Black Mission so that you can make the best decision.

Violette de Bordeaux Fig: at a Glance

The Violette de Bordeaux Fig tree is a strong plant that can withstand cold temperatures and drought. It is a small black fruit with dark crimson flesh. It produces sweet, dark purple figs that are perfect for eating fresh or using in recipes.

The tree is tolerant of most soil types and can be grown in coastal and inland areas. It also has an enticing aroma.

So, if you’re thinking of investing in a Violette de Bordeaux Fig tree, think no more! It is worth it. Violette de Bordeaux Fig is a great option that is easy to grow and produces delicious fruit.

Black Mission Fig: at a Glance

Black Mission Fig trees are one of the most popular species because of their dark black color. The fruit has a sweet, tangy flavor. People grow this fig tree and make jams, jellies, and preserves.

The Black Mission Fig trees are native to the southern United States and grow in areas with hot summers and moist, well-drained soils. They can also live in colder climates if planted in the ground and not developed as container plants.

Taste, Texture, Color

The Violette de Bordeaux Fig is a bit sweeter and softer than the Black Mission Fig. But the Black Mission Fig has a more intense flavor and a slightly rough texture. The color of Violette de Bordeaux Fig is deep purple, while the Black Mission Fig is deep black.

They’re both beautiful, but the color is where these two figs differ. However, the Violette de Bordeaux Fig is the way to go if you’re looking for something that pops.

Fruit Size

When it comes to figs, size does matter. The Violette de Bordeaux Fig is small to medium-sized, typically weighing 20-40 grams. The Black Mission Fig on the other hand is large, typically weighing 80-100 grams.

Two varieties have different-sized fruit, with the Violette de Bordeaux being smaller than the Black Mission.

The Black Mission Fig is also darker, with purple-black skin. While the skin of Violette de Bordeaux Fig is greenish-brown in color.

Not only are Violette de Bordeaux Figs bigger, but they’re also sweeter and more flavorful. So, if you’re looking for a fig that’s can wow your taste buds, Violette de Bordeaux is the way to go.

Related: The Top 3 Largest Fig Varieties (with Photos)

Health Benefits and Nutritional Value

Violette de Bordeaux’s Fig is low in calories and high in fiber. It is a good source of potassium, copper, and antioxidants.

With sweet and delicate flavor that pairs well with cheese, nuts, and wine it contains many nutrients, including vitamin C and polyphenols, which can lower human cholesterol levels.

On the other, Black Mission Fig is a good source of fiber, potassium, and vitamins A and C. It also has a rich, sweet flavor, making it a popular choice for desserts and jams. They also contain pectin and vitamin K, which help to reduce the risk of cancer

The Black Mission Fig is another healthy option. They have dried and wrinkled skin with juicy and moist flesh.

These are the health benefits thatmake them essential in every home garden.


The price of the Violette de Bordeaux Figs is always much higher than that of the Black Mission Figs. One key reason for this has to do with their scarcity.

The first one only grows in a specific climate and will only be harvested every other year. Fewer trees are available, which adds to the cost of producing this variety.

Tree Appearance

The Violette de Bordeaux Fig tree is a beautiful sight with its deep purple leaves. The Black Mission Fig tree also looks great with its black leaves. Both trees are stunning and have unique appearances.

The Violette de Bordeaux Fig is a small to medium-sized fig with dark purplish-black skin, and its flesh is a deep red color with a sweet flavor.

The Black Mission Fig is a large fig with blackish-brown skin. The flesh is a deep purple color with a tarnished, rich flavor.

Related: How Long Does Fig Tree Live? (Explained)


Regarding feeding, Violette de Bordeaux’s Figs are a little more finicky. They need to be fed with a special fertilizer that is high in potassium. Black Mission Figs are a little easier to provide. You can feed them with a general-purpose fertilizer.

When choosing a fig cultivar for your garden, consider your climate and the size and shape of the fruit you prefer.

Also, the best choice is a triple 8 fertilizer, such as Dr. Earth Organic 8 Bud & Bloom Fertilizer (buy it here), which is made with 100% organic ingredients.

Tree Maintenance and Care

Taking care of Violette de Bordeaux Figs and Black Mission is necessary for proper growth and a healthy yield. Here is how you can take care of your figs.

Violette de Bordeaux Figs

Violette de Bordeaux Fig is a little harder to find, but it’s also easier to care for them compared to Black Mission. Here are some steps you can take.

  • Plant these figs in a clay pot, then set them in a larger container of gravel.
  • Take proper steps to ensure the roots do not get too wet and rot.
  • Use boiled water to water these figs. It will help kill bacteria. However, make sure the boiled water is cooled down.
  • Keep the plants away from cold drafts. Otherwise, their leaves will drop.

Black Mission Figs

The Black Mission Fig is more common but isn’t as strong as the Violette de Bordeaux. So, they usually need more care.

  • These plants need a lot of sunlight but must also be protected from dry heat and winds. So, choose the location carefully when planting Black Mission Figs.
  • The plant should be watered when the topsoil has dried, but it should not be overwatered.
  • It needs regular fertilization, at least once every three months or so. You can use Miracle-Gro Performance fertilizer (buy it here). It features a high yield, and the application is hassle-free.


Violette de Bordeaux Fig is ready to harvest when the skin is deep purple, and the fruit is soft to the touch. Violette de Bordeaux Figs are harvested in the summer.

It is a type of fig native to South Africa and the Mediterranean and a great choice for home gardens. For many years, the best variety was the Black Mission Fig. It produces the most figs, is simple to cultivate and maintain, and has a long shelf life.

While Black Mission Figs are harvested in the fall. This Fig is ready to harvest when the skin is dark brown or black, and the fruit is soft to the touch.

Black Mission Figs need to be peeled before they are eaten. It’s more resistant to pests and diseases, making it a better choice for commercial growers.

However, it’s not as prolific as the Violette de Bordeaux Fig and can be more challenging to harvest.

Violette de Bordeaux Fig: Pros and Cons


  • Available in a variety of colors
  • Contain high levels of iron
  • Best taste compared to figs


  • Expensive due to its rarity
  • Difficult to find

Black Mission Fig: Pros and Cons


  • Grows in the cooler climates of California
  • High resistance to drought and frost
  • Excellent for storage as fresh fruit or dried fruit.
  • Attractive appearance because of the purple-black color
  • Contains high sugar and low acid levels


  • Hard to get the flesh out of the skin
  • Difficult to use for baking purposes
  • Unfavorable quality

Violette de Bordeaux Fig vs. Black Mission Fig: Which Variety Should You Plant?

Violette de Bordeaux and Black Mission Figs are two of the most popular fig varieties. Though both are best in their own way, Black Mission Figs are preferable for home gardening. They are drought tolerant and easy to grow. Besides, they have a robust flavor.

Violette de Bordeaux Figs are smaller and have a more delicate flavor than Black Mission Figs. They are also more challenging to grow and comparatively less drought-tolerant than Black Mission Figs.

In a nutshell, if you are looking for a small fig with a delicate flavor, then Violette de Bordeaux is the variety for you. If you are looking for a large fig with a robust flavor, go for Black Mission Figs.