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Oriental Persimmon Diospyros kaki L.

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Oriental Persimmon Diospyros kaki L. The tree, reaching 15 to 60 ft (4.5-18 m) is long-lived and typically round-topped, fairly open, erect or semi-erect, sometimes crooked or willowy; seldom with a spread of more than 15 to 20 ft (4.5-6 m). The leaves are deciduous, alternate, with brown-hairy petioles 3/4 in (2 cm) long; are ovate-elliptic, oblong-ovate, or obovate, 3 to 10 in (7.5-25 cm) long, 2 to 4 in (5-10 cm) wide, leathery, glossy on the upper surface, brown-silky beneath; bluish-green, turning in the fall to rich yellow, orange or red. Male and female flowers are usually borne on separate trees; sometimes perfect or female flowers are found on male trees, and occasionally male flowers on female trees. Male flowers, in groups of 3 in the leaf axils, have 4-parted calyx and corolla and 24 stamens in 2 rows. Female flowers, solitary, have a large leaflike calyx, a 4-parted, pale-yellow corolla, 8 undeveloped stamens and oblate or rounded ovary bearing the style and stigma. Perfect flowers are intermediate between the two. The fruit, capped by the persistent calyx, may be round, conical, oblate, or nearly square, has thin, smooth, glossy, yellow, orange, red or brownish-red skin, yellow, orange, or dark-brown, juicy, gelatinous flesh, seedless or containing 4 to 8 flat, oblong, brown seeds 3/4 in (2 cm) long. Generally, the flesh is bitter and astringent until fully ripe, when it becomes soft, sweet and pleasant, but dark-fleshed types may be non-astringent, crisp, sweet and edible even before full ripening.

Climate

The Japanese persimmon needs a subtropical to mild-temperate climate. It will not fruit in tropical lowlands. In Brazil, the tree is considered suitable for all zones favorable to Citrus, but those zones with the coldest winters induce the highest yields. The atmosphere may range from semi-arid to one of high humidity.

Trees in the Middle Atlantic States have been known to have withstood temperatures as low as 20º F (-6.67º C) and to have remained in excellent condition and fruitful after 40 years.

Soil

The tree is not particular as to soil, and does well on any moderately fertile land with deep friable subsoil. In Florida, a sandy loam with clay subsoil promotes good growth. While the young tree needs plentiful watering, good drainage is essential.

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This product was added to our catalog on Wednesday 05 January, 2011.