The persimmon is native to the southeastern United
States and grows wild over much of southern Indiana.
But, occasionally individual plants are found in northern
Indiana. While native persimmons are not widely cultivated
commercially, the fruit is prized by southern
Indiana residents as a real delicacy, both fresh and in
persimmon dishes such as persimmon pudding. The
trees are often grown in home fruit gardens to provide a
ready supply of fruit in the fall.

The oriental persimmon, Diospyros kaki, is not native to
Indiana and is not adapted to Indiana conditions. Hoosier
winters are too cold to permit cultivation of this species
except in rare and very protected situations. It is not
hardy below about 10°F. This is the species of commerce
and is grown commercially in southern areas of
California. The fruit ranges to 3 inches across and is
seedless in most varieties. Nursery catalogs frequently
advertise this species, but Indiana gardeners are cautioned
against purchasing plants of D. kaki. (info from

There are many cultivars of Persimmon which exist. This yellowish orange/red fruit is native to China, but is also grown in Korea, Japan and parts of California.

Persimmons are classified into two main categories: Astringent and Non-astringent. The astringent varieties can be eaten only when soft-ripened, while non-astringent varieties can be eaten when crisp and firm. Two of the most common persimmon varieties are Hachiya and Fuyu.

Persimmons range in shape from oval to squarish, and can be deep orange or yellow in color. The only parts of the fruit that are not edible are the seeds and the calyx. The flesh can vary from mild to very sweet, similar in taste to apricots and mangoes.

Persimmons native to the US are highly astringent until thoroughly ripened. They are best after turning a dark color and soft to the touch - they actually look over ripe, but this is the best time to consume them. A good heavy frost will almost insure that the persimmons are ready. (Missouri)


Other names: Diospyros virginiana, Kaki, Oriental Persimmon, Japanese Persimmon, Chinese Persimmon
Translations: Hurma, PerSimonas, Curmal japonez, Dragun, Cây hồng, ख़ुरमा, Caqui, Хурма, Διόσπυπος, البرسيمون, 감, Kaki, Kesemak, Persimon, 柿子, Caqui, Dragun, Kaki, Cachi, אפרסמון, Каки, 柿, Caqui, Хурма, Kaki, Японско дърво

Physical Description

The fruit of the native persimmon is round or oval,
resembling some plum varieties. The calyx becomes
much enlarged and is considered quite decorative. The
fruit color is usually orange, ranging to black, and the skin
usually has a heavy waxy bloom. Fruit size is quite
variable, ranging from 1/2 inch diameter to 1-1/2 to 2
inches in the better varieties or selections. (info from

Colors: orange, reddish-black

Tasting Notes

Flavors: sweet, sometimes tart, very astringent if not fully ripe
Mouthfeel: Soft, Fleshy
Food complements: Cinnamon, Whipped cream
Beverage complements: Hot cider, Coffee

Selecting and Buying

Peak: opctober, november
Procuring: The persimmon is dioecious, that is, each tree produces
only either male or female flowers. This means that both
male and female trees are necessary to produce a crop
of fruit. The native persimmon is regularly dioecious, with
male trees producing only staminate flowers and female
trees producing only pistillate flowers. In only rare
instances are trees self-pollinating. Only the female trees
bear fruit.
It is probably best to obtain budded or grafted trees from
a reliable nurseryman to be sure of getting the type of
trees you want and to be sure of trees with desirable fruit
characteristics. If planting seedling trees, it may be many
years before they can be identified as male or female (info from

Preparation and Use

Persimmons are utilized in many ways. They are eaten
fresh, and when fully ripened have a delightfully sweet
flavor. Persimmons are also used in puddings, cookies,
cakes, custard, sherbet and the like. The pulp is prepared
from fully ripened persimmons, which have been washed
and had the calyx removed. The fruit is crushed through
a colander or food mill to separate the pulp from the
seeds and skin. The pulp then may be used immediately
or frozen for use later. Stainless steel or non-metallic
utensils should be used where possible. (info from



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