Fig Questions: Brown Turkey vs. Texas Everbearing or Blackjack?

I obtained a Texas Everbearing Fig tree online and then bought a Brown Turkey Fig locally. Afterward, I see posts that they are “similar” varieties and some others that says they are the exact same variety, that Texas Everbearing was an improvement over Brown Turkey for marketing purposes. Which is true?
Also, the size varies widely 10’ to 30’, so is this assuming pruning or the growth pattern varies widely?
I am looking at a Blackjack Fig, which is supposed to be more compact. Is that true? Is it very cold hardy? (I’m in zone 7a, middle Tenn,)
Thanks for the help.
Blessings,
Frank

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I’m not entirely sure of what is what, but there are at least 3 different brown turkeys floating around. The brown turkey most commonly sold in stores around here is english brown turkey, while texas everbearing and black jack are (supposed to be) similar or the same as california brown turkey. Both types have good breba figs, ebt is later ripening and cabt is more prone to split in the rain, has an open eye and is more compact in my experience.

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So, is Texas Everbearing a smaller tree than English Brown Turkey, if TE is more like the California Brown Turkey?

Should be, some pics I am seeing of TEB look like southern brown turkey though, with a longer neck. The southern type would probably be the best adapted to your location so it would be a happy mistake since it seems to be the rarest of the bunch. And there is also a white TEB that is probably Kadota. Figs are totally mixed up, you can get 3 under different names and end up not being able to tell them apart, or 3 under the same name from different sources and they are all different. Unless the seller has original pictures of the fruit from their mother tree it is probably a roll of the dice type situation…

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I meant the size of the tree. I have a limited area to plant. So the English Brown Turkey is a larger tree? It is strange to see a tree listed that it can grow to be between 10’ to 30’. With other fruit trees it is not so much variation.
Frank

I had California BT from the USDA and it had much shorter than normal internodes. EBT seems to have shorter than average internodes also.

If space is limited, I’d plant etna types (Hardy Chicago, MBVS, Sal’s…) They are medium sized trees but can still ripen after heavy pruning or winter damage. TEB and BT would probably do better in large pots.

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BlackJack is the dwarf variety of Southern BT, which I believe is the same as Texas Everbearing.

California BT and EBT are somehow different. Most of the European BTs are EBTs. The Asian BTs are either CBT or TBT/TEB.

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Black Jack fig
What I’ve seen
Is a smaller tree with
smaller fruits
but similar to the
Brown Turkey.
Also
Black Jack seems easier to root
than many other figs.

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Are saying Blackjack is the same as Texas Everbearing or that Southern Black Turkey fig is the same as Texas Everbearing?

As far as I know, BlackJack is the dwarf of the latter two, which are the same.

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Okay, thanks. I have seen that Texas Everbearing is the same as ENGLISH BROWN TURKEY but is different than SOUTHERN BROWN TURKEY.

I have stopped chasing the names of fig varieties. There are names all over the places for some of the same varieties.

Here from Texas A&M:
Brown Turkey. (Lee’s Perpetual, Eastern Brown Turkey, Brunswick, Ramsey, Harrison, Texas Everbearing, Everbearing)
Brunswick is clearly a different variety vs BT.

Here is from Florida:
Brown Turkey (Brunswick, Eastern Brown Turkey, Harrison, Lees Perpetual, Ramsey, Texas Everbearing)

If their BTs are England BTs, then what are those SBTs? Then how Texas Everbearing is related to England BT?

There are also more hardy BTs in Europe and in Northeast US. Some say they are “Improved BT”. I would group those together as EBTs…

They are not hugely different.

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I think all the cold hardy figs are offshoots of brown turkey.

Figs can grow very large in mild climates, but in Z7a you’re not likely to get a really big 30’ tree. It may not even get to 10’ without winter protection. Anytime your winter lows approach zero degrees, your fig tree will die back, potentially all the way to the ground. Figs get a bit cold hardier with age, and some will produce fruit the same season after they’ve died back to the ground, but others can’t.

Even if yours starts growing bigger than the space you’ve allotted to it, you can easily prune it to keep it to whatever size works best for you. Lots of people in Z7 grow figs as large multi-stem bushes.

I have a Texas Everbearing tree that I ordered from an online nursery, and it turned out to be a yellow fig with a pink interior. Not anything like any of the pictures of Texas Everbearing I’ve seen, and not really that close to the White Texas Everbearing either. But it’s a tasty fig, and I’m happy to have it.

Unfortunately, the only way to know what you actually have is to grow it out since there are so many so-called Texas Everbearing and Brown Turkey figs out there. Fortunately, figs can start fruiting for you within a year or two if they get a good start, so it shouldn’t take too long to find out what it is if it’s well suited to your climate.

Like @hoosierbanana said, you might be better off with a Mt. Etna type like Hardy Chicago if you want a more reliable producer of good figs in your climate and you don’t want to go through with trialing what you have now.

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Here in 6b/7a I have 10 plants all above 10 foot with no sign of slowing down. No protection. My first couple years had pretty bad die back then they just started cranking. Fruit production unfortunately has not been so steady.

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Thanks for your reply. I am asking because I see very different information about the SIZE of the tree. I have limited space and I would prefer to not do aggressive pruning. I have 2 Brown Turkey trees from TSC grown by Pirtle’s nursery that say they will grow to 8’-10’ (great!). However, another site says Brown Turkey grows 10’-30’ which is too big on the high end.

The 8’ to 10’ estimate is probably assuming dieback every year in your zone and growing the fig in the form a big bush with branches topping out around 8’ to 10’. The 30’ estimate is assuming a warmer growing zone where winter dieback isn’t a concern - I would be surprised if @Robert ‘s trees ever get to 30’ in zone 6b/7b, but of course I could be wrong. I’ve seen occasional figs in my zone 7b that get up to 15’ or 20’, but usually only in sheltered areas next to buildings.

You might want to consider which early ripening cultivars will actually bear fruit for you on a regular basis in addition to the maximum size of the tree. My smallest in-ground fig trees here in Zone 7B NC are a Dalmatie/Stella type fig and a Violet de Bordeaux/Little Miss Figgy type fig. (There are many other names for each of those as well) These are much smaller trees than most other figs, but they might not fruit for you as regularly as other fig cultivars if you plant them in the ground because they bear later in the season. They have attractive long fingered leaves, though, so if you’re primarily interested in ornamentals, they will do fine and stay small.

I concur with @hoosierbanana though, it’s hard to beat a Mt. Etna type fig like Hardy Chicago for the right combination of consistent fruiting and modest size in Zone 7A.

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Florea is a very small tree, and is always the first to ripen for me. It has more problems with rain and bugs than the Etna’s, and the fruit quality is lower, I do like them dried though. It also seems a little less hardy despite it’s reputation. Very tough to beat the Etna types.

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Just chiming in about Blackjack. I have been extremely unhappy with my tree…pithy tasteless fruit every year. I regret planting it.

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One advice I have is that, fig is easy to root and is not expensive to buy, keep or remove. So I’d trial as many as we can. Keep them to produce fruits for two seasons to trial them. Then decide which is the most productive in our own climate.

I just find there are so many opinions even on the same variety. There are many factors, like water, soil, rain and sun exposure etc.

I also tender to favor more local varieties from friends and neighbors. So I know they have been doing well locally.