In the book Grow Figs Where You Think You Can't, I set out to help people grow figs where they think they can't. I explain how varied figs can be, and I also tell readers not to sweat variety names. Named varieties are great if you're a collector, but if you're getting started, worry more about what grows well in your area.
Here's what I say in the book:
Don’t Fret About Named Fig Varieties
I teased my friend Bob about being an orchid snob. He loves growing orchids, so I offered him one that I was given as a gift. “What’s the variety name?” he enquired. When I said that it was unnamed, he was aghast and would have nothing to do with it.
Don’t be a fig snob. I stupidly bought a fig from a nursery, and saw that the tag said “Higo,” which I assured myself was the variety name. I speak French, not Spanish, so of course I had no idea that “higo” simply means fig in Spanish. All I was buying was a fig with a label that said fig in Spanish. Oops! I was mortified to have this unnamed fig in my midst…yet over time it’s proven to be one of my most fruitful trees. So I’ve decided not to be a fig snob.
If you’re keener than I am, you can review published scientific literature describing fruit and leaves and growth habit so you can bone up on variety traits. Me, I just want to eat figs!
In the book, I don't list scads of varieties. Instead, I give readers a few varieties that are favoured by experienced fig growers, keeping it simple.