NGA Articles: Persimmons

Persimmons (cont)

By: Charlie Nardozzi

22 Kinds of Persimmons

Nonastringent Persimmons: Edible when either hard- or soft-ripe

Fuyu
Size and shape: Medium-large; tomato-shaped
Ripening time: Mid- to late
Flavor, color and more: Reddish orange fruits with sweet, crisp, mild-tasting flesh can hold on trees for up to two months. The most popular nonastringent variety, but hardy to only 15° F.

Hana-Fuyu Size and shape: Very large; round
Ripening time: Midseason
Flavor, color and more: Reddish, juicy fruits with sweet, dark orange flesh on a dwarf tree.

Hana-Gosho
Size and shape: Large; flattened
Ripening time: Midseason
Flavor, color and more: Orange fruits with sweet, crisp flesh with streaks of cinnamon brown. Large tree.

Ichi Ki Kei Jiro
Size and shape: Large; flattened
Ripening time: Early
Flavor, color and more: Orange, sweet fruits mature earlier than 'Jiro' on a dwarf tree. Hardy to 0° F.

Izu
Size and shape:Medium-large; round
Ripening time: Early
Flavor, color and more: Orange-red fruits with sweet, pale orange flesh. Earliest ripening of nonastringent types. Recommended for the Gulf Coast. Dwarf tree.

Jiro
Size and shape: Large; round
Ripening time: Midseason
Flavor, color and more: Orange fruits are sweet and mild tasting. Similar to 'Fuyu' but has larger, flatter fruits. Hardy to 0° F.

Suruga
Size and shape: Large; round
Ripening time: Late
Flavor, color and more: Red fruits with sweet flesh. Late ripening. Recommended for the Gulf Coast.

Astringent Persimmons: Edible when soft-ripe

Eureka
Size and shape: Medium; tomato-shaped
Ripening time: Midseason
Flavor, color and more: Reddish orange fruits with firm, light yellow flesh. A prolific, heavy bearer that starts bearing early (in the third year). Recommended for the Southeast.

Giombo
Size and shape: Large; conical
Ripening time: Midseason
Flavor, color and more: Yellowish orange fruits up to one pound, less sweet than 'Saijo'.

Great Wall
Size and shape: Small; flattened
Ripening time: Early
Flavor, color and more: Orange fruits with sweet flesh. Hardy to 0° F.

Hachiya
Size and shape: Large; conical-acorn
Ripening time: Early
Flavor, color and more: Orange-red fruits with sweet, smooth-textured flesh. The standard commercial variety in California. Fruits drop if tree is stressed or excess nitrogen applied, but store well.

Hardy Russian
Size and shape: Small; pointed base
Ripening time: Very early
Flavor, color and more: Golden fruits have soft, melting flesh when fully ripe. The most cold-hardy Asian variety, to -15° F.

Hira-Tanenashi
Size and shape: Medium; flattened
Ripening time: Midseason
Flavor, color and more: Fruits are similar to 'Hachiya' but very slow to lose astringency. Popular in Japan. Thick skin, tends to be seedless.

Korean
Size and shape: Medium; flattened
Ripening time: Midseason
Flavor, color and more: A productive bearer with orange fruits. More cold-hardy than most Asian varieties, to -10° F.

Saijo
Size and shape: Medium; egg-shaped
Ripening time: Early
Flavor, color and more: Yellowish orange fruits with sweet, orangish, mostly seedless flesh. Excellent flavor. Skin resists cracking. Dries and stores well.

Sheng
Size and shape: Large; flattened and ribbed
Ripening time: Late
Flavor, color and more: Sweet, orange fruits dry well. Trees are similar to 'Hana-Gosho' but more dwarf.

Tamopan
Size and shape: Medium-large; round with turban-like ridge
Ripening time: Late
Flavor, color and more: Reddish orange fruits with light yellow, sweet, juicy, slightly stringy flesh and thick skin. Large tree.

Tanenashi
Size and shape: Large; heart-shaped
Ripening time: Mid- to late
Flavor, color and more: Light reddish orange fruits with pulpy yellow flesh. Good for drying. Small tree. Drops fruits easily if stressed.

Early Golden
Size and shape: Medium; round
Ripening time: Early to midseason
Flavor, color and more: Yellowish orange, sweet fruits. Usually seeded. Self-fruitful, but more productive with pollinator variety. Larger tree than Asian varieties. Most widely planted American persimmon. Hardy to -25° F.

Garretson
Size and shape: Small to medium; round
Ripening time: Early
Flavor, color and more: Seedling of 'Early Golden' with similar characteristics but ripens earlier and requires pollinator variety to set fruit.

John Rick
Size and shape: Very large; round
Ripening time: Late
Flavor, color and more: Orange fruit and red, pulpy flesh used for canning. Productive, early and hardy to -25°F. Needs a pollinator variety.

Meader
Size and shape: Medium; round
Ripening time: Early
Flavor, color and more: Orange, sweet fruits tend to be seedless. The hardiest persimmon, to -30° F. Self-fruitful, but does best with a pollinator.

Charlie Nardozzi is a senior horticulturist at the National Gardening Association.


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