From the Archives
of the Rare Fruit Council of Australia, inc.
by Celso and Elisa Gomez-Sanchez
The Oriental Persimmon
Scientific Name: Diospyros kaki
oriental persimmon, referred to as the "apple from the Orient", is
highly acclaimed in other countries but is not properly appreciated in
America. Persimmons can be classified into two major groups:
non-astringent and astringent. Each group can be further classified on
their response to pollination into: pollination constant (no change in
flesh color after pollination) and pollination variant (flesh is light
color when seedless and dark when seeded, especially around the seed).
There are over 1000 named cultivars. Individual trees can live up to 100 years and produce up to 400 lb of fruit per year.
persimmons were brought from Japan to the USA by Commodore Perry in
1856 and imported in great quantities by the USDA late last century and
up to the 1920s.
(fuyugaki means "winter persimmon") is a large ½ lb round, flat
fruit that ripens to a deep red. It is of excellent flavor and long
shelf life. The tree is vigorous and spreading with no male flowers,
but some parthenocarpic ability. Pollination assures good fruit set.
Unfortunately, several varieties have been sold as Fuyu or Fuyugaki
with fruit of varying quality. The real Fuyu is incompatible with D.
lotus rootstock. This is the most planted variety in Japan and the one
that holds the most commercial promise here.
is an old cultivar. The fruit is slightly larger than Fuyu, oblate and
characteristically segmented by eight longitudinal grooves, four of
which are more prominent and pass from the fruit apex to calyx. This
variety is a pollination constant. The skin is yellow-crimson,
sometimes uneven; the flesh is of excellent quality.
is an early maturing bud mutation of the Jiro with excellent fruit
quality. The tree vigor is weak, growth habit is dwarf and spreading
with medium fruit set and only female flowers are produced. Fruit
stores well so it is a promising commercial cultivar.
("flower of the Imperial Palace") is an excellent old variety, medium,
yellow fruit 1/3 lb of excellent flavor and good storage which ripens
late. The tree is vigorous and upright and has some male flowers so it
can be used for pollination.
is a seedling of Fuyu x Okugosho. Fruit is medium size 1/3 lb, oblate,
mottled orange red skin and pale orange flesh. Pollination constant.
Seedling of Hanagosho x Okugosho, the fruit is large ½ lb,
orange-red, very sweet and even better than the Fuyu with a long shelf
life. The tree is vigorous, upright with good fruit set and produces
only female flowers.
Shogatsu is a large, sweet fruit, ripening
to deep orange-red. The tree is medium size and spreading and produces
many male flowers. Fruit set is medium. Quality is not as good as other
varieties. It is an excellent pollinator.
Hanafuyu, "Winter flower", obliquely rounded, large ½ lb sweet, juicy, reddish-orange color fruit. Tree is dwarf.
Sheng. Similar to the Hanagosho but smaller, dwarf tree size.
is an early variety introduced in the USA. It is the most common
variety available in Florida. The fruit is seedless, conical and of
"flat seedless", the fruit is large, flat, sweet, with four sides and
four shallow grooves and the skin is tough, glossy, orange-red, the
flesh is pale yellow orange with poor shelf life. It is the second most
popular in Japan. Pollination is constant.
"the very best one" is a medium-size fruit, 1/3 lb, oblong conical,
four-sided with deep grooves and orange skin. Pollination is constant.
Fruit becomes very soft after astringency disappears.
is a very early ripening Chinese variety with a small, very sweet fruit
discovered by explorer J. Russell Smith. The tree is cold-hardy.
Glombo is a giant, conical fruit, 1 lb, of excellent taste. The tree is very productive.
Yamato Hykume is an elongated, conical, pretty fruit. The flesh turns chocolate with pollination.
Okugosho is medium-sized, round and orange with inconsistent astringency loss.
Homestead is a small, conical, orange-red fruit with good taste. The tree is a good and consistent bearer.
Hachiya is the most popular California persimmon. The fruit is large, conical and orange-red. The tree is spreading.
Galley is an excellent pollinator. The fruit is small, conical and of fair quality.
Korean is medium-sized, flat, orange and sweet. The tree is productive and cold hardy.
Kung-Sun-Ban or Kyungsun-Ban-Si is similar to the Korean and is a showy tree.
Peiping is similar to the Korean, but the tree is dwarf and fruit smaller.
Tamopan is a large fruit shaped like the acorn cap on the top end. The tree is very ornamental. The fruit has fair flavor.
Giant Tamopan is a very large tamopan(1 lb) bred by Dr. R.T. Dunstan using colchicine.
is a compact, densely-branched, small prolific tree found on the farm
of J. Russell Smith who was the first to popularize the persimmons. The
fruit is small-to-medium and of high quality, chocolate-colored flesh.
Tecumseh is small-to-medium and of excellent quality.
San Pedro is deep orange, oblate fruit of excellent quality.
Japanese Persimmon Page