top of page

Rome Unk Fig | Comprehensive Variety Review

There are 1000s of fig varieties in existence, but fig varieties like Rome Unknown are worth learning about. Check out the other comprehensive variety reviews I’ve created on other fig varieties on the variety directory page found here:

Want to learn more about fig varieties? Subscribe to the Fig Boss newsletter at the top of the page for more fig-related information!

And check out my recent video on this variety to learn more about it below!

Varietal Characteristics

  • Origin: Rome

  • Categorization: Unknown

  • Similar varieties: None

  • Taste grouping: Sugar Berry

  • Texture: Jammy

  • Size: Small - Medium

  • Ripening period: Likely midseason

  • Vigor: Average

  • Rain resistance: Above average

  • Shape: Pyriforme

  • Hang time: Below average

  • Split resistance: Above average

  • Climate preference: Well adapted

  • Hardiness: Unknown

  • Taste rating: 4.7/5

  • Light requirements: Unknown

  • Productivity: Unknown

History & Other Information

Rome Unk is a unique variety that was initially believed to be synonymous with English Brown Turkey. However, after evaluating it, it's clear that it's unique from other fig varieties. Not only does it possess a desirable skin that resists moisture absorption and has a desirable shape that helps it shed water, but it also has a below-average hang time. I've never encountered a variety like it. The credit for discovering Rome Unk goes to a grower named Moonlight who found it growing in Rome, which is how the variety got its name. This variety is certainly worthy, however of a real name rather than the town it comes from.

Last year I dubbed it one of the best new varieties and this year it got even better. The eating experience is certainly high quality with a medium berry flavor and overall this fig has a nice profile and texture.

I've discussed at length the flavor profiles of figs. The berry-flavored figs are what I and most growers look for and prefer. This is what makes Verdino del Nord (VR) one of if not my favorite varieties for its incredible performance but also its flavor that's packed with berry notes.


The Rome Unknown fig captivates with its beautiful skin. Its skin showcases a striking meld of green-yellow undertones highlighted by purple overtones. While some might be inclined to categorize it as a dark fig due to its purple hues, its tone resonates more with a shade of gray or brown.

Tree Growth:

Cultivating the Rome Unknown variety has presented certain challenges. Years ago I grafted it onto a rootstock that I later identified as unhealthy, complicating its establishment. Currently housed in a five-gallon container, the tree's growth is not yet optimal. A cautionary note to those considering grafting: it might not always yield desired results, especially for novices or when using an unhealthy rootstock.

To learn more about grafting fig trees and the pros and cons of the technique, watch this exclusive video below:

Grafting Fig Trees | Pros and Cons

Fig tree grafting offers multiple benefits, including the ability to produce fruit in a shorter time span and having multiple varieties on a single tree. Grafted trees can be particularly advantageous for those who have limited space and want a diverse range of figs without the need for multiple trees. However, there are considerations to be mindful of, such as ensuring the health of both the scion and rootstock. When grafted trees are young, they're vulnerable to wind, which can snap graft unions, so they require careful securing.

Grafting can also be problematic if you're planning to plant in the ground, especially in colder regions like zones 5-7. Grafted fig trees might not be as hardy in these zones, risking damage to either the graft union, the scion, or the rootstock. In warmer climates, such as zones 8-10, grafting can be beneficial as it allows for varied fruit ripening times and tastes.

Additionally, while some trees require cross-pollination to bear fruit, figs do not. However, grafting multiple fig varieties onto a single tree is akin to having trees that ripen at different times, offering varied flavors and fruit qualities. This presents an advantage in terms of diversifying fruit yield without the need for cross-pollination. The practice of grafting, when done correctly, can be both a rewarding learning experience and a means to optimize fig tree production.

In conclusion, grafting fig trees can be a practical approach for those looking to maximize fruit variety and optimize space. Yet, it's crucial to weigh the pros and cons, consider the local climate, and ensure the health of the trees being used. Those interested in diving deeper into the topic and understanding the intricacies of the process are encouraged to seek out more comprehensive resources on the subject.

189 views0 comments


ross raddi_edited.jpg
I'm Ross, the "Fig Boss." A YouTuber educating the world on the wonderful passion of growing fig trees. Apply my experiences to your own fig journey to grow the best tasting food possible.
bottom of page