Persimmon Japanese - Diospyros kaki L.
Japanese persimmon
Fig. 1 

Persimmon
Fig. 2 magnifying glass
'Fuyu' persimmon

Leaf habit
Fig. 3 magnifying glass
Leaf habit

A. Diospyros kaki. Real Jardín Botánico, Madrid
Fig. 5 magnifying glass
 Diospyros kaki. Real Jardín Botánico, Madrid

Persimmon fruit and leaves
Fig. 9 magnifying glass
Persimmon fruit and leaves

Fruit habit
Fig. 10 magnifying glass
Fruit habit

Fruit
Fig. 11 magnifying glass

Dispyros kaki.
Fig. 12 magnifying glass

Protecting your fruit from critters
Fig. 18 magnifying glass
Protecting your fruit from critters

Diospyros kaki tree
Fig. 19 magnifying glass
Diospyros kaki tree

Tree in full fall color
Fig. 20 magnifying glass
Tree in full fall color

Persimmons in Nakagawa, Nanyo City, Yamagata Prefecture, Japan
Fig. 21 magnifying glass
Persimmons in Nakagawa, Nanyo City, Yamagata Prefecture, Japan

Bark
Fig. 24

My Japanese Mother-in-law prepared some Hachiya Persimmons for drying, to become hoshigaki (dried persimmons)
Fig. 25 magnifying glass
My Japanese Mother-in-law prepared some Hachiya Persimmons for drying, to become hoshigaki (dried persimmons)

Japanese persimmons hung to dry after fall harvest
Fig. 26 magnifying glass 
Japanese persimmons hung to dry after fall harvest

Dried 'Kaki' Fruit
Fig. 27 magnifying glass
Dried 'Kaki' fruit or Hoshigaki

Dried persimmon lady
Fig. 36 magnifying glass

Monkey and persimmon
Fig. 37 magnifying glass

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Scientific name
Diospyros kaki L.
Pronunciation
dye-OSS-pih-ross KACK-eye 5
Common names
Japanese persimmon, Kaki Persimmon, Oriental Persimmon, Sharon Fruit
Synonyms
Diospyros kaki var. aurantium André; D. kaki var. domestica Makino; D. kaki var. elliptica André; D. kaki var. glabra A.DC.; D. kaki var. kaki; D. kaki var. macrantha Hand.-Mazz.; D. kaki var. silvestris Makino    
Relatives
Black Sapote (Diospyros digyna), Mabolo, Velvet Apple (D. discolor), Date Plum (D. lotus), Texas Persimmon (D. texana), American Persimmon (D. virginiana)
Family
Ebenaceae
Origin
Asia (China, Japan)
USDA hardiness zones
7a-9a
Uses
Usually eaten fresh; or dried for storage and later consumption 4; container or planter; specimen 5
Height
20-30 ft (6.1-9.1 m)
Spread
15-25 ft (4.6-7.6 m)
Crown
Symmetrical, round, dense 5
Plant habit
Small
Growth rate
Moderate
Longevity
50-150 years
Trunk/bark/branches
Branches droop; typically multi-trunked 5
Pruning requirement
Pruning secondary branches so that bearing shoot stay close to the main branches will help reduce drooping
Leaves
Deciduous; alternate, simple, serrate, entire, 4-8 in. (10.2-20.3 cm) 5
Flower
White/creamy/grey; not showy 5
Fruit
Oval, round, fleshy, orange; fruit borne on the current season's branch growth 5
Season
Late fall to early winter
USDA Nutrient Content Raw pdf 4 pages
USDA Nutrient Content Raw pdf 3 pages
Light requirement
Full sun
Soil tolerances
Clay; sand; loam; acidic; alkaline; well-drained 5
PH preference
5.0-6.0
Drought tolerance
Moderate
Aerosol salt tolerance
Low
Soil salt tolerance
Low
Cold tolerance
20 °F (-6.67 °C)
Plant spacing
15-20 ft (4.6-6.1 m)
Roots
Not a problem, tap root if grafted to Diospyros virginiana
Invasive potential *
Little invasive potential
Pest/disease resistance
Resistant to pests/diseases
Verticillium wilt susceptibility
Susceptible
Known hazard
A trouble-free tree, but messy in fruit 5

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Reading Material

Japanese or Oriental Persimmon- Diospyros kaki from the University of Hawaii
Japanese Persimmon from the University of Florida pdf
Persimmons Publication from Aggie Horticulture® pdf
Japanese Persimmon from Julia Morton's book Fruits of Warm Climates
Persimmon from Just Fruits and Exotics



Oriental persimmon has been grown throughout Florida and other Gulf coast states for many years. At one time an estimated 22,000 trees were grown in Florida alone. Today, there are a few hundred acres of persimmon in Florida; however, the crop has great potential to expand commercially. There are new cultivars available, especially of the non-astringent type that are very tasty and amenable to shipment. Oriental persimmon is also a popular dooryard fruit that is relatively easy to grow. 3

Origin
The tree is native to Japan, China, Burma and the Himalayas and Khasi Hills of northern India. In China it is found wild at altitudes up to 6,000-8,000 ft (1,830-2,500 m) and it is cultivated from Manchuria southward to Kwangtung. Early in the 14th Century, Marco Polo recorded the Chinese trade in persimmons. Korea has long-established ceremonies that feature the persimmon. Culture in India began in the Nilgiris. The tree has been grown for a long time in North Vietnam, in the mountains of Indonesia above 3,500 ft (1,000 m) and in the Philippines. It was introduced into Queensland, Australia, about 1885. 3

Description
Persimmons are one of the loveliest trees to be found. They have smooth, gray to tan bark, and broad, leathery, jade-green leaves  (2-3 inches wide and 4-6 inches long). The large varieties average 25 to 30 feet at maturity, a good size for lining driveways and paths, or as a specimen or accent tree. The small ones are usually very heavy bearers, and are great in small groups in the shrubbery border, with low annuals or ground cover beneath them. All persimmons have spectacular fall colors -- bright yellows to clear oranges, light pinks to fire-engine reds -- and the whole show happens just as the fruit colors up! 2      

Plaqueminier (Diospyros kaki) et ses kakis dans un jardin de Saint-Bonnet-du-Gard (Gard, Languedoc-Roussillon, France)Kaki crw 8247
Fig. 22 magnifying glassFig. 23 magnifying glass

Fig. 22, 23. Plaqueminier (Diospyros kaki) et ses kakis dans un jardin de Saint-Bonnet-du-Gard (Gard, Languedoc-Roussillon, France)

Leaves
Persimmon leaves are alternate, simple, ovate and up to 7 inches long and 4 inches wide. They are often pale, slightly yellowish green in youth, turning a dark, glossy green as they age. Under mild autumn conditions the leaves often turn dramatic shades of yellow, orange and red. Tea can also be made from fresh or dried leaves. 1

Folla, hoja, folha, leaf (Galicia - Spain)
Fig. 4 magnifying glass

Flowers
Male and female flowers are usually borne on separate trees; sometimes perfect or female flowers are found on male trees, and occasionally male flowers on female trees. Male flowers, in groups of 3 in the leaf axils, have 4-parted calyx and corolla and 24 stamens in 2 rows. Female flowers, solitary, have a large leaflike calyx, a 4-parted, pale-yellow corolla, 8 undeveloped stamens and oblate or rounded ovary bearing the style and stigma. Perfect flowers are intermediate between the two. 3

FlowerPersimmon flowerFlower habit
Fig. 6 Fig. 7 magnifying glassFig. 8

Fruit
The fruit are large and round, about 3" across, bright orange, with either a pointed end or flattened end. There are about 1000 known varieties, but the most common in the West are 'Hachiya' and 'Fuyu'. The flesh of the first is astringent until they are extremely soft, when they have a rich flavor. The 'Fuyu' may be eaten firm-ripe, like an apple, because its flesh in non-astringent at all stages. 1

Three kaki fruits, one cut openA 'Hachiya' and 'Kaki' persimmon next to each other.
Fig. 13 Fig. 14
Diospiros 'Kaki' FruitMature Kaki fruitsCaqui chocolate em fundo preto
Fig. 15 Fig. 16 Fig. 17

Fig. 13. Three kaki fruits, one cut open
Fig. 14. A 'Hachiya' and 'Kaki' persimmon next to each other
Fig. 15. This is a properly sound, ripe fruit with its flesh soft enough to permit one to lift the calyx out cleanly and easily and split it for eating
Fig. 17. Caqui chocolate em fundo preto

Varieties

Harvesting
Persimmons are harvested when mature but still firm, with color nearly fully developed. 'Maru' fruit is greenish yellow when ripe; 'Fuyu' and 'Hachiya' fruits are orange. The fruit is removed from the tree by clipping or breaking the stems, leaving the calyx lobes attached to the fruit. Persimmons must be handled carefully to avoid damage. Rough handling causes bruising and skin discoloration. 4

Protect Your Fruits & Nuts from Squirrels & Other Varmints

Pollination
To sum up conditions as they are at present in the Lower South, and based on numerous observations extending over more than a decade, it is a fact that trees of all varieties of D. kaki, in good health and which bloom under normal weather conditions, can be depended upon to bear good crops if pollinated and it is equally true (a few varieties only excepted) that they will not do so if pollen is not provided. In the last two seasons it has been amply demonstrated that all that is necessary is to have staminate flowering trees in proximity to the pistillate ones and bees, wasps, flies and other insects will take care of the problem according to nature's own plan.It may be mentioned that Tane-nashi, normally a seedless variety, fruits well without pollination, and it is thought that Tamopan may do the same. 6

Propagation
Diospyros kaki seedlings are the preferred rootstocks for persimmon cultivars. They develop long taproots with few fibrous laterals, and rootstock cultivars have been selected that produce vigorous, uniform seedlings. Rootstocks of D. virginiana (American persimmon) and D. Iotus (date plum) are known to be better for wet soils, but the former produces variable trees and excessive suckering. D. Iotus is susceptible to crown gall and is incompatible with the 'Fuyu' cultivar as rootstocks or scionwood. 4
Seeds are sown in 3-in.-deep (7.6-cm) containers. When seedlings are 3 in. (7.6 cm) high, they are transplanted to deep plastic planting bags 6 x 18 in. (15.2 x 45.7 cm) or to nursery beds. At that time, the bottom one-fourth of the taproot is pruned to encourage lateral rooting. Grafting is done during the dormant season on rootstock stems that are at least 3/8 in. (9 mm) in diameter. Whip-grafting low on the rootstock is preferred, but chip-budding is also done. Scions with two to four buds from the previous season's growth are used. After grafting, the scion should be enclosed in a plastic bag to maintain high humidity. Large plants may be bark-grafted or cleft-grafted. In Hawaii, the three cultivars commonly grown develop very few seeds, and seed for rootstocks is usually obtained from California. 4

Culture
Well-drained, sandy loam soils are preferred, but persimmons will grow on many soil types if good drainage is provided. Persimmon will grow more vigorously and produce more fruit in full sun. Avoid frost pockets – trees may be damaged by unseasonable frosts. 2

Pruning
Persimmons in the South are usually pruned to an open center habit. At planting select 3-4 scaffold branches spaced equally around the trunk and remove other branches flush with the trunk. In the second dormant season, top the scaffold limbs approximately 36 inches from the trunk to encourage secondary branching. Remove any strong branches growing into the center. You want the tree to have good air circulation in the interior. Continue to train persimmon trees during the first 5 years. Pruning should be designed to train the tree outward by removing strong branches growing into the center and removing water sprouts. The tree can be topped out at 7 or 8 foot with mold and hold cuts, which are devigorating heading cuts made into two year old wood. Do this by topping back the main scaffold limb to a weaker outward growing shoot. This will keep the tree at an easy picking height as well as stimulate new growth lower on the tree. 2

Fertilizing
Fruit drop is a common problem for persimmons in the South. High nitrogen fertilizer or uneven watering patterns can cause this problem. Some varieties are more prone to fruit drop when young, but grow out of it with age. Make sure that the fertilizer contains iron, zinc, manganese, magnesium, molybdenum, copper and boron. These minor elements are very important to plants and most soils are low in these elements. 2

Irrigation
The first year is a critical time for the establishment of a new persimmon. Water thoroughly twice a week on light soils and once a week on clay soils. Soak the entire root system deeply – this usually takes 40-50 minutes. Persimmons should receive at least 1 inch of water each week for best growth and fruit production. Water regularly, especially during dry periods. 2

Pest page

Diseases
Susceptible to Verticillium wilt

Food Uses
Fully ripe Japanese persimmons are usually eaten out-of-hand or cut in half and served with a spoon, preferably after chilling. Some people prefer to add lemon juice or cream and a little sugar. The flesh may be added to salads, blended with ice cream mix or yogurt, used in pancakes, cakes, gingerbread, cookies, gelatin desserts, puddings, mousse, or made into jam or marmalade. The pureed pulp can be blended with cream cheese, orange juice, honey and a pinch of salt to make an unusual dressing.
Ripe fruits can be frozen whole or pulped and frozen in the home freezer. 4

Hoshigaki. Japanese traditional dried persimmonDried persimmon in the makingDried Asian persimmons in Xi'an, China
Fig. 28 magnifying glassFig. 29 magnifying glassFig. 30 magnifying glass
Work to make a dried persimmon Koshu-city JapanDried persimmonsDried persimmon & chestnut from nakatsugawa
Fig. 31 magnifying glassFig. 32 magnifying glassFig. 33 magnifying glass
Persimmon Wine in the Daegu Wine Tunnel Winery, South KoreaPersimmon Bundt with Walnuts
Fig. 34 magnifying glassFig. 35 magnifying glass

Fig. 28. Hoshigaki. Japanese traditional dried persimmon
Fig. 29. Dried persimmon in the making
Fig. 30. Dried Asian persimmons in Xi'an, China
Fig. 31. Work to make a dried persimmon Koshu-city Japan
Fig. 32. Dried persimmon Singapore
Fig. 33. Dried persimmon & chestnut from nakatsugawa
Fgi. 34. Persimmon Wine in the Daegu Wine Tunnel Winery, South Korea
Fig. 35. Persimmon Bundt with Walnuts (foodlibrarian.blogspot.com.)

How to Make Hoshigaki (Dried Persimmons)

Medicinal Uses **
A decoction of the calyx and fruit stem is sometimes taken to relieve hiccups, coughs and labored respiration. 3

Other Uses
Tannin from unripe Japanese persimmons has been employed in brewing sake, also in dyeing and as a wood preservative. Juice of small, inedible wild persimmons, crushed whole, calyx, seeds and all, is diluted with water and painted on paper or cloth as an insect- and moisture-repellent. 3
The wood of the tree is fairly hard and heavy, black with streaks of orange-yellow, salmon, brown or gray; close-grained; takes a smooth finish and is prized in Japan for fancy inlays, though it has an unpleasant odor. 3

Korean chest with persimmon wood panels
Fig. 38 magnifying glass

Fig. 38. Korean chest with persimmon wood panels

General
The astringent substance in the persimmon, generally called "tannin", has been much studied and variously defined as knowledge of tannins and other phenols has unfolded. To put it simply, it is classed as a condensed tannin (proanthocyanidin) of complex structure. 3
Fuyugaki means "winter persimmon."

Further Reading
Persimmon Production in China from the Archives of the Rare Fruit Council of Australia
The Oriental Persimmon from the Archives of the Rare Fruit Council of Australia
Growing Oriental Persimmons in North Carolina from the North Carolina State University Extension pdf
Persimmon from Clemson University Extension pdf
Florida Fresh: Persimmons from the Florida Deparment of Agriculture and Consumer
Services pdf
Add Fruit To The Landscape with Oriental Persimmon from the University of Florida pdf
Harvesting Oriental Persimmons from Aggie Horticulture®
Japanese Persimmon from W. Popenoe's book Manual of Tropical and Subtropical Fruits
Persimmon from the California Rare Fruit Growers Inc.
Home Garden: Persimmons from the University of Georgia Extension pdf
Varieties Video from Wilson's Nursery ext.link
Oriental Persimmons from Mississippi State University Extension pdf
Japanese Persimmon Botanical Art


List of Growers and Vendors


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Bibliography

1 "Persimmon." crfg.org. 1969-1989. Web. 27 May 2014.
2 "Persimmon." justfruitsandexotics.com. Web. 9 Mar. 2015.
3 Morton, J. "Persimmon." hort.purdue.edu. Fruits of warm climates, p. 411-416. 1987. Web. 18 Nov. 2014.
4 "General Information Crop." extento.hawaii.edu. Hawaii Cooperative Extension Service, CTAHR, University of Hawaii. N.d. Web. 26 Dec. 2013.
5 Gilman, Edward F. and Watson, Dennis G. "Diospyros kaki: Japanese Persimmon." edis.ifas.ufl.edu. This document is ENH388, one of a series of the Environmental Horticulture Department, UF/IFAS Extension. Original publication date Nov.1993. Reviewed May 2014. Web. 21 Dec. 2016.
6 Popenoe, Wilson. "Persimmon." chestofbooks.com. Manual of Tropical and Subtropical fruits. 1920. Web. 20 Nov. 2014.
7 Diospyros kaki synonyms. The Plant List (2010). Version 1. theplantlist.org. Web. 1 Mar. 2017.

Photographs

Fig. 1,7 Persimmon. N.d. toptropicals.com. Web. 27 May 2014.
Fig. 2 Olegivvit. Persimmon. 2006. commons.wikimedia.org. Under (CC BY-SA 2.5). Web. 22 Dec. 2016.
Fig. 3,8,10,19,24 Gillum, A., Mark, W., Reimer, J. and Stubler, C. SelecTree. Diospyros kaki 'Fuyu' Photo Record. 1995-2012. Urban Forest Ecosystems Institute. selectree.calpoly.edu. Web. 11 Mar 2015.
Fig. 4 Sánchez, Luis Miguel Bugallo. Folla, hoja, folha, leaf (Galicia - Spain). 2005. commons.wikimedia.org. Under (CC BY-SA 3.0). Web. 1 Mar. 2017.
Fig. 5 Barra. A. Diospyros kaki. Real Jardín Botánico, Madrid. 2001. commons.wikimedia.org. Under (CC BY 3.0). Web. 1 Mar. 2017.
Fig. 6  MR. Persimmon flower. N.d. toptropicals.com. Web. 10 Mar. 2015.
Fig. 11 Starr, Forest and Kim. Diospyros kaki (Oriental persimmon)Fruit. 2006. starrenvironmental.com. Kula, Maui. Web. 10 Mar. 2015.
Fig. 12 Karduelis. Dispyros kaki. 2007. commons.wikimedia.org. Public Domain. Web. 22 Dec. 2016.
Fig. 13 Nesnad. Three kaki fruits, one cut open. 2009. wikipedia.org. Web. 18 Nov. 2014.
Fig. 14 Tduk, Lozupone, Alex. . A 'Hachiya' and 'Kaki' persimmon next to each other." 2010. commons.wikimedia.org. Under (CC BY-SA 3.0). Web. 10 Mar. 2015.
Fig. 15 Richfield, Jon. "Diospiros 'Kaki' Fruit". 2012. wikipedia.org. Under (CC BY-SA 3.0). Web. 27 May 2014.
Fig. 16 Haneburger. Mature Kaki fruits. 2009. commons.wikimedia.org. Under GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2. Web. 22 Dec. 2016.
Fig. 17 Argenton, Rodrigo. Caqui chocolate em fundo preto. 2015. commons.wikimedia.org. Under (CC BY-SA 4.0). Web. 1 Mar. 2017.
Fig. 18 Jackson, Karen. "Persimmon Series". 2014. growables.org. File JPG.
Fig. 20 ATIS547. Persimmon Tree Foliage. 2007. Sebastopol, California. flickr.com. Under (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0). Web. 27 May 2014.
Fig. 21 Cla68. Japanese persimmons hung to dry after fall harvest. 2008." commons.wikimedia.org. Web. 10 Mar. 2015.
Fig. 22 Semnoz. Plaqueminier (Diospyros kaki) et ses kakis dans un jardin de Saint-Bonnet-du-Gard (Gard, Languedoc-Roussillon, France).  commons.wikimedia.org. Under (CC BY-SA 3.0). Web. 1 Mar. 2017.
Fig. 23 Oblak, Boris. Kaki crw 8247. 2007. commons.wikimedia.org. Under GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2. Web. 1 Mar. 2017.
Fig. 25 Tachikoma805. My Japanese Mother-in-law prepared some Hachiya Persimmons for drying, to become hoshigaki (dried persimmons). 2009. commons.wikimedia.org. Under (CC BY 3.0). Web. 10 Mar. 2015. 
Fig. 26 Cla68. Japanese persimmons hung to dry after fall harvest. commons.wikimedia.org. Public Domain. Web. 10 Mar. 2015.
Fig. 27 Searobin. Dried 'Kaki' fruit. 2005." commons.wikimedia.org. Under (CC BY-SA 3.0). Web. 10 Mar. 2015.
Fig. 28 AOYAMA, jun. Hoshigaki. Japanese traditional dried persimmon. flickr.com. Under (CC BY 2.0). Web. 1 Mar. 2017.
Fig. 29 Midori, Sakurai. 民家の軒先に吊るされた干し柿、岐阜県 Dried persimmon in the making. 2006. commons.wikimedia.org. Under (CC BY-SA 3.0) and GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2. Web. 22 Dec. 2016.
Fig. 30 Greg. Dried Asian persimmons in Xi'an, China. 2005. commons.wikimedia.org. via flickr.com. Under (CC BY 2.0). Web. 10 Mar. 2015.
Fig. 31 さかおり. Work to make a dried persimmon Koshu-city Japan. 2010. commons.wikimedia.org. Under (CC BY-SA 3.0). Web. 1 Mar. 2017.
Fig. 32 Choo Yut Shing. Dried persimmons. 2017. flickr.com. Under (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0). Web. 1 Mar. 2017.
Fig. 33 tokyofoodcast.com. Dried persimmon & chestnut from nakatsugawa. 2010. flickr.com. Under (CC BY-NC 2.0). Web. 1 Mar. 2017.
Fig. 34 Eckert, Ken. Persimmon Wine in the Daegu Wine Tunnel Winery, South Korea. 2013. commons.wikimedia.org. Under (CC BY-SA 4.0). Web. 1 Mar. 2017.
Fig. 35 Hudson, Janet. Persimmon Bundt with Walnuts. 2009. flickr.com. Under (CC BY 2.0). Web. 1 Mar. 2017.
Fig. 36 Lee Tzung-Tze. Dried Persimmon Lady. 2006. flickr.com. Web. 10 Mar. 2015.
Fig. 37 CC0 Public Domain. pixabay.com. Web. 23 Dec. 2016.
Fig. 38 Wildbarbara. Korean chest with persimmon wood panels. 2006. commons.wikimedia.org. Web. 10 Mar. 2015.

UF/IFAS Assessment of Non-native Plants in Florida's Natural Areas
** Information provided is not intended to be used as a guide for treatment of medical conditions.

Published 27 May 2014 LR. Last update 1 Mar. 2017 LR
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