Apples & Figs

Tim Hensley claims in “A Curious Tale: The Apple in North America” that about 14,000 varieties of apples were grown in the US in the 1800s under 17,000 different names. More recently NPR has claimed that nearly 8,000 varieties of apples were grown in the US and that well over 6,000 of those have since gone extinct, globally.

Worldwide, there are literally thousands of different kinds of figs, each with its own unique combination of size, ripening time, flavors, skin and pulp colors, and texture. A relatively small number are grown for commercial production worldwide. Meanwhile, dooryard growers and home orchardists grow and trade hundreds of different varieties of figs for personal and local consumption – perhaps a thousand named varieties in the US.

With so many different kinds of figs available, fig feature diagrams benefit both new and experienced growers. A fig flavor, pulp & skin color chart helps sort through the forest of figs, listing a few varietal examples of each type. A list of some of the earliest, most productive ripening fig varieties is also important, especially for short season, northern growers. More examples.

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