Grown in China for over 2000 years, the persimmon is a popular small deciduous tree grown in California for its sweet fruit and beautiful fall coloration. There are two types grown in California. The first type, such as the Japanese’s cultivar ‘Hachiya’, contains a high tannin content that makes the fruit astringent and bitter until it fully matures. The other type, such as ‘Fuyu’ , lacks the tannins and the fruit can be eaten like an apple at any time during its maturity. The fruits of both the astringent and non-astringent persimmons have a jelly like consistency when fully ripe and contain high levels of beta-carotene. In addition to being eaten fresh, persimmon fruits can be used in baking cookies, cakes, and muffins. Trees provide excellent shade with their large, four to six inch glossy leaves that turn rich gold and orange-red in fall. They may be planted in containers and espaliered.

Fruit Description: Spherical to oval with shiny yellow to orange skin, and weighing up to a pound; high in beta-carotene, some cultivars with astringent flesh until fully ripe; mild fruity flavor.

Fruit Availability: Early to late fall

Plant Size: 15-20’H x 15-20’W

Light: Full sun

Soil: Fertile, moist, well drained, pH 6.5-7

Fertilizer: Apply compete fertilizer such as 16-4-8 in late winter

Hardiness: Zones 8-10

Care: Protect from drought and strong, cold wind.

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By Karen