Celeste (Malta). The Celeste fig is small, brown to purple in color and adapted to all areas of Texas. Celeste is the most cold hardy of all Texas fig varieties. The tree is large, vigorous and very productive. Celeste usually does not have a Breba crop; the main crop ripens in mid-June before the main crop of other Texas fig varieties. Celeste fruit has a tightly closed eye which inhibits the entry of the dried fruit beetle. The fruit does not have excessive souring on the tree. Celeste has excellent fresh dessert quality with a rich sweet flavor. It is an excellent processing fig, either frozen or processed as fig preserves. Do not prune mature Celeste trees heavily because this can reduce the crop.
The fig fruit is unique. Unlike most fruit in which the edible structure is matured ovary tissue, the fig's edible structure is actually stem tissue. The fig fruit is an inverted flower with both the male and female flower parts enclosed in stem tissue. This structure is known botanically as a syconium. At maturity the interior of the fig contains only the remains of these flower structures, including the small gritty structures commonly called seeds. Actually, these so-called seeds usually are nothing more than unfertilized ovaries that failed to develop. They impart the resin-like flavor associated with figs.