Floridata Plant Encyclopedia

A Floridata Plant Profile 166 Diospyros kaki

Common Names: Japanese persimmon, Oriental persimmon, kaki persimmon Family: Ebenaceae (ebony Family)
Image Gallery

Japanese persimmon
Dozens of different kinds of Japanese persimmon have been developed over the centuries in Asia. This one is called 'Honan Red'.
Japanese persimmon
Kaki persimmon orchard in mid-October just as the fruit is ripening.

Description

The oriental persimmon is a slow growing globe-shaped tree eventually reaching up to 30 ft (9 m) tall. The deciduous leaves are large 4-6 in (10-15 cm) in length. They emerge glossy bronze in spring and turn to gold to orange-red in Fall. Although the flowers are not especially showy, they give way to delicious orange, baseball-size fruits that remain even after the leaves have fallen. There are two types of oriental persimmons: those that are astringent (puckery!) before softening to full ripeness, and those that are non-astringent even while still firm. Tananashi (which means seedless) is the most popular astringent variety, and non-astringent Fuyo is the most widely grown persimmon cultivar in the world. Although the fruit of the American persimmon (D. virginiana) is smaller than that of the oriental varieties, there are several cultivars available, and interest in its cultivation is increasing along with that of its Japanese relative.

Location

Oriental persimmons are native to Japan and mainland Asia where they have been cultivated for centuries. They were brought to the southern United States in the 1870’s. The native American persimmon, D. virginiana, occurs from Connecticut to Florida and west to Kansas and Texas.


Japanese persimmon
The fruit of the Japanese persimmon (this variety is 'Fuyu') is beautiful and delicious - squirrels and other wildlife enjoy stealing your persimmons at every chance...
Japanese persimmon foliage in fall
In autumn the Japanese persimmon foliage becomes a bright and brilliant orange that matches the juicy fruits.

Culture

Light: Does best in full sun. Moisture: Needs well drained, slightly acid soils, but they can tolerate a wider variety of conditions than most fruit trees. Kaki persimmons are drought tolerant. Hardiness: USDA Zones 7 - 9. Can stand winter temperatures as low as 0ºF, (-17ºC) yet they need only a short chilling period (100-200 hours below 45ºF) (7ºC). They are rarely bothered by diseases or pests, but sometimes scale insects can weaken trees. Control with horticultural oil spray. Propagation: Buy selected varieties on grafted stock. It is often used as root stock for oriental persimmon cultivars. Once established, they need minimal care and require little or no pruning. Fertilize three times a year as you would for other fruiting trees.

Usage

Oriental persimmons make attractive shade trees with the added bonus of delicious fruit. They can be espaliered or used as specimen trees in mixed plantings, where their colorful fall foliage and fruits will be emphasized against an evergreen backdrop.

Features

Oriental persimmons set fruit without pollination, and the fruits are usually seedless. The astringent varieties are commonly left on the tree until soft and fully ripe, when they can be eaten out of hand or used in persimmon cake. Ripe persimmons can be frozen whole and eaten like frozen custard.

Steve Christman 01/01/97; updated 11/20/99, 9/4/03, 10/30/04, 10/21/07



Master Plant List

Click here to find plants in our Encyclopedia using the Master Plant List grid. Use this widget to search, sort and filter Floridata's plant database to easily locate Plant Profile pages. Use the dropdown menus to filter the grid to display items matching the selected Plant Type and Feature tags.

Plant Type Tags

tree icon
shrub icon
palm
perennial plant icon
aquatic plant icon
cactus and succulents icon
grass icon
vine icon

Feature Tags

Attracts Birds
Attracts butterflies
Attracts Hummingbirds
Edible Plants
Cutting and Arranging
medicinal
for pots and containers
indoors
shade
drought tolerant plants
grows in wet soils
flowers
ornamental fruits
fall color
foliage plants
evergreen
easy to grow plants
fast growing

Site Search

Use Google to search all of the pages on Floridata including the Plant Profile pages




Diospyros species profiled on Floridata:


Diospyros kaki

( Japanese persimmon, Oriental persimmon, kaki persimmon )

Diospyros virginiana

( American persimmon, common persimmon )

Copyright 2015 Floridata.com LLC