There are about 850 varieties worldwide Some are dessert/hot climate varieties and some can produce 2 crops in one. Some are good for eating as they can be very sweet, and some are good for drying and canning. Some can also withstand very cold winter temperatures down to -15 deg C the tops may die off but they reshoot from the base.
If left to grow naturally they can grow to over 10m tall (33ft). For production its is normal to confine there roots, to make the tree grow less tall and also maximize production
They will not produce seed in the UK, as they need a special wasp 'Blastophaga' for the flower to be pollinated. But they still will produce very good fruit, if kept warm and given fertilizer and water when needed. As the flowers are parthenocarpic the figs will develop and ripen without needing pollination.
There are two fruiting types, those that only have 1 crop per year sometimes known as UNIFERES, and those that can produce 2 crops sometimes known as BIFERES. Obviously in the UK outdoor climates single crops are best, but if given protection 2 crop types can be grown. The first crop is known as the 'first or breva' crop, whilst the second crop is known as the 'main' crop.
There are 3 main types.
Common (or Persistent) - Most types are common and do not need pollination for the fruits to develop.
San Pedro (or Intermediate) - Are more hot climate types. These do not need pollination to set the breva crop, but do need pollination, at least in some regions, for the main crop.
Smyrna (or Caducous) - Require pollination by the fig wasp and caprifigs to develop crops and are mainly the varieties used for dried figs.