Unusual & Old Fashioned Fruit Trees


Persimon Diospyros Kaki

The Persimon and the Sharon fruit are really one and the same as the latter is simply an Israeli hybrid named after President Sharon. Although a native of Western Asia, there are several species of Persimon that are widely cultivated and they are particularly popular in China and Japan. There is only one variety that is occasionally seen on sale in garden centres in the UK and that is the Chinese Persimon.

The deciduous Chinese Persimon is a tree that will grow up to about 40 feet quite happily in England, but it s best planted against a sheltered South facing wall for a little protection from cold winter winds and to make the most of the sun.

Fruits of the Persimon look a little like, large, slightly flattened, orange tomatoes with a prominent calyx on the top. Unripe, the flesh is bitter, but fully ripened it is very sweet and pulpy. It is said that the skin can be eaten on a ripe fruit, but it is easy enough to peel off with a sharp knife as on shop bought fruits it can be a little tough.

Unfortunately this is another of those fruits that, although the plant will grow well in our climate, a really long hot Summer is needed to produce ripe fruit.

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