25' high and at least as wide.
Inconspicuous, fragrant. Male flowers occur in a group of three,
female flowers occur singly. Usually male and female exist on separate trees but
both can appear on the same tree, and rarely, perfect bisexual flowers appear.
Many (female) cultivars will produce seedless fruit without
pollination. Some will need pollination. Pollinated flowers may produce seeded
fruit that is larger and different than unpollinated ones. A second cultivar
nearby often increases the amount of fruit.
Years before fruiting:
Spherical to oval, with an indented stem and four sepals. Thin,
waxy skin, yellow to orange-red on the outside when ripe. The inside is thick
and pulpy, with a soft to fibrous texture. Seeded varieties may have up to 8
seeds. Persimmon cultivars fall into three groups: astringent, non-astringent
and pollination-variant (astringent when seedless).
Immature fruit has a high tannin content with a very astringent taste.
As the fruit matures, non-astringent cultivars like 'Fuyu' lose the tannins
and become sweet when fully colored and still hard. Astringent cultivars
like 'Hachiya' do not lose the tannins when fully colored and become edible
only after they change to a very soft, custard-like consistency.
Months for fruit to ripen:
6-8. Harvest fruit when fully colored but
still hard, to avoid bird predation. Leaving the calyx (green leaf-like
structure at the base of the fruit) on the fruit, use clippers to cut the stem
just above the calyx. The fruit tend to persist on a tree for several months
after ripening. The fruit will continue to ripen after harvest, especially
when placed in a bowl with apples or bananas. Fruit that are not fully colored
will take much longer to ripen off the tree.
Storage after harvest:
Several weeks at room temperature.
The quickest method to remove astringency from astringent cultivars like 'Hachiya'
is to place the fruit in a freezer for 24 hours. When thawed, the fruit is
non-astringent. Otherwise, place in a bowl and leave for several weeks
until very soft.
Some cultivars, such as 'Fuyu' and 'Suruga', suffer chill damage in
refrigeration, but can be frozen or kept at 30-32°F, not above.
Other cultivars, such as 'Hachiya', can be refrigerated for up to one month,
encased individually in plastic bags. Do not expose to other ripening fruit
in the refrigerator.
Persimmons can also be peeled and dried, whole or sliced, when hard. This
will make even astringent varieties sweet and ready to eat.
Medium to dark green, broadly lance-shaped, smooth margins, stiff.
The rootstock most commonly used for grafting is D. lotus.
D. kaki itself has a deep tap root and some cultivars may not be grafted.
Cultivars of note:
'Fuyu' medium size fruit, sweet and mild flesh,
keeps well, tree is vigorous, spreading, productive.
'Hana Fuyu' large fruit, new cultivar.
'Jiro' large fruit, excellent flavor, often sold as
Fuyu, tree is slightly upright.
'Suruga' large fruit, very sweet, keeps well,
recommended for warmer climates.
'Hachiya' large fruit, sweet flesh, good for drying,
tree is vigorous, upright-spreading.
The fruit attracts birds and mammals.
Toxic / Danger:
China. Cultivated for more than 2000 years.