Persimmons

Small trees with tasty fruits!

There are two native persimmon trees in the U.S., the Texas and the American, but these are not known for the tastiness of their fruit.  The Japanese persimmon is the tree that persimmon lovers cherish.  It is an attractive, long-lived tree about 25’ tall, which produces a delicious orange-red fruit in the fall. It has good resistance to insects and disease.  This fruiting persimmon is originally from China, where more than 2000 cultivars exist.  It later spread to Japan and Korea, and arrived in the U.S. in the mid-1800s.

Location

To plant, choose a location in full sun.  Space trees 15-20 feet apart.  Japanese persimmons are tolerant of less than perfect soil but benefit from the addition of compost.  All our persimmons are self-fertile and do not need a pollinator.  We carry the varieties listed below, and our trees are grafted onto Lotus persimmon rootstock.

The word persimmon is derived from an Algonquian word meaning “a dry fruit.”  In 1612, Captain John Smith of Virginia wrote, “If it be not ripe it will drawe a man’s mouth awrie, with much torment; but when it is ripe, it is as delicious as an Apricock.”  This quote refers to the astringent nature of unripe persimmons.  The fruits are classified as either astringent or non-astringent.  Both types will continue to ripen after picked.

  • Non-astringent varieties may be eaten while still firm and have a milder flavor
  • Astringent varieties must ripen until they are fully soft, at which time they acquire a rich, complex, and very sweet flavor

Persimmon Varieties for Central Texas

Hachiya (astringent)

  • Very large, oblong-conical fruit with a short point
  • Ripens in November
  • Rich, sweet fruit with dark yellow flesh and bright orange skin ripens in November
  • Seedless fruits are good good for drying
  • Vigorous, upright, and productive tree and outstanding Texas variety since at least 1894.

Not currently available

Saijo (astringent)

  • Medium plum shaped fruit
  • Earliest fruiting persimmon ripens late September to early October
  • Seedless fruit has deep orange skin and tasty, sweet flesh
  • Great for fresh eating after fruit has softened

Tamopan (astringent)

  • Very large, flat, somewhat four-sided fruit with a distinctive indentation all around the fruit, making it look like an acorn in cross section
  • Ripens in November, usually seedless and moderately productive
  • Fruit has tender, juicy, sweet, light-orange flesh and thick orange-red skin
  • The most vigorous and upright of the varieties grown in Texas; Introduced into the U.S. from China in 1905.

Not currently available

Chocolate (non-astringent)

  • Medium, round fruit
  • Ripens in late October – early November
  • Flesh is brown colored when ripe
  • Hard-to-find variety with a complex flavor carrying hints of nutmeg

Fuyu (non-astringent)

  • Large, round, and flattened fruit
  • Ripens in November and may remain on the tree for up to two months
  • Bears red-orange, high quality fruit with red-orange skin
  • Fruit will be seedless unless it is pollinated
  • Susceptible to freeze damage