Oriental Persimmons Varieties for North Florida

Oriental persimmonOriental persimmon trees are suitable for small scale local production, or for the home gardener. Two species of persimmons are grown in the United States, the American persimmon (Diospyros virginiana) and the Oriental persimmon (Diospyros kaki). The American persimmon is a native component of eastern hardwood forests, and produces a small bitter tasting fruit that is not often marketed commercially. Oriental persimmons originated in China and were first cultivated in Florida in the late 1800’s. The Oriental persimmon (Diospyros kaki L.) can be grown in north Florida. Persimmons can be eaten fresh, made into pies, or consumed as a dried fruit. New non-astringent cultivars from Japan produce large attractive fruit with a high sugar content (15 to 20%).

The major limitations to the successful culture of Oriental persimmon is a fungal disease induced by Botryosphaeria species. Botryosphaeria induces the formation of black cankers in the trunk and limbs of persimmons and efficacious fungicides are not available. The American consumer thinks of persimmons as a small bitter tasting fruit; however, there have been recent attempts to marketed non-astrigent Oriental persimmons under a different name such as Fuyu.

There are two kinds of Oriental persimmons, astringent (which retains astringency until soft ripe) and non-astringent (which loses astringency and can be eaten when firm). Astringent persimmons contain very high levels of soluble tannins and are unpalatable, if eaten before completely softened. Tannins cause proteins in the saliva and tongue to coagulate. This coagulation of proteins produces the puckering and “furry taste” in the mouth that we refer to as astringency. Non-astringent persimmons are not actually free of tannins as the term suggests, but rather are far less astringent before ripening, and lose more of their tannic quality sooner. Non-astringent persimmons may be consumed when still very firm, and remain edible when very soft. Fruit are orange to orange red in color when ripe.

The Performance of Astringent and Non-Astringent Oriental Persimmons in North Florida

A replicated planting of Oriental persimmons (Diospyros kaki) was established at the North Florida Research and Education Center at Monticello, Florida in January 1986. All trees were budded on the American persimmon (Diospyros virginiana) rootstocks. Trees were spaced 15 and 20 feet within and between rows, respectively. Trees received 10-10-10 N-P-K fertilizer (200 lbs/acre) during February and June of each year after 1990. Irrigation was not provided. There were four to five replications for each cultivar. Weed free in-row strips were maintained with the use of herbicides. Insecticides and fungicides were not applied.

persimmon table 1Between 75 and 100% of the astringent cultivars (Table 1) survived the ten year period, whereas 0 to 75% of the non-astrigent persimmons (Table 2) survived. The astringent cultivars, Eureka and Giombo were the only cultivars to sustain 100% survival. The highest survival rate of non-astrigent cultivars was noted for Fuyu and Jiro. The reason for the high mortality of most non-astrigent persimmons cultivars was poor survival of newly budded trees and wood canker disease induced by Botryosphearia species.

Persimmon table 2Astringent cultivars of persimmons yielded between 28 and 57% of a full crop, while non-astrigent persimmons produced between 0 and 65% of a full crop. Yomato (astrigent) and Ichikikeijiro and Matsumoto Wase Fuyu (both non-astringent) were the only cultivars that produced more than 50% of a crop. All cultivars were satisfactory in size as denoted by a growth index of at least 3.0 m, with the exception of Izu and Suruga (both 2.3 m). Similarly, Izu, Suruga, Eureka and Sheng had the lowest tree vigor and the least resistance to wood damage. Fruit weight of astringent persimmons ranged from 193 to 300 g per fruit with Giambo producing the largest fruit; the fruit weight of non-astrigent fruit varied only slightly from 173 to 223 g. A description of some of the Oriental persimmon cultivars will follow:

Astringent Cultivars

Eureka is a common astringent cultivar. Tree vigor is moderate. It produces fruit that is medium in size. Harvest season is mid-October to mid-November.

Giombo is one of the most highly regarded astringent persimmons. Tree vigor is moderate. Fruit size is medium large and fruit size is conic. Both fruit appearance and fruit quality are rated very high. Giombo harvest season is early (mid-September to mid-October)

Sheng produces a distinctly 4 to 6 lobes fruit that is classified as oblate segmented. Fruit size is moderate to large. When at the optimum stage for eating quality fruit flesh is gelatinous. Harvest season is mid-October to mid-November.

Yomato, also known as Yomato Hyakume, is generally a heavy producer; however the apex of fruit often sustains cracks in the form of concentric rings. Fruit size is moderate to large fruit shape is long and conic. Harvest is thru October.

Non-astringent Persimmons

Fuyu is the most popular persimmon cultivar worldwide. Tree vigor is medium and fruit size is medium-large. Fruit quality is good, averaging about 18% soluble solids. Fruit shape is oblate and few fruit show imperfections. Harvest season is mid-November thru early December. Fuyu is highly recommended.

Ichikikei Jiro is a bud sport of Jiro and is low to moderate in vigor. It blooms later than most persimmon cultivars. Fruit size is medium large with soluble solids of 16-19%. Some fruit sustain tip cracking. Fruit are oblate in size. Harvest season is mid-October to mid-November. Ichikikei Jiro is recommended.

Izu has the distinction of being the earliest ripening. Tree vigor is very low and it is not precocious. Fruit size is medium-large and soluble solids average 16%. Fruit shape is oblate and a fair percentage of fruit show imperfections. Harvest season is late September thru mid-November. Jiro is sometimes recommended due to early ripening.

Jiro is moderate in tree vigor. Cropping can be erratic when trees are young, but more consistent yield are produced on older tress. Fruit size is medium-large, soluble solids is 16-19% and fruit shape is oblate. Some tip cracking on fruit may occur. Harvest season is mid-October thru mid-November. Jiro is recommended.

Makawa Jiro, a bud sport of Jiro, is low to moderate in vigor. Fruit size is large and fruit shape is oblate. There is some tendency for fruit to incur tip cracking. Harvest season is mid-October to mid-November. Makawa Jiro is not recommended.

Matsumoto Wase Fuyu is an early ripening bud sport of Fuyu. It is moderate in tree vigor but fruit may have to be thinned in years of heavy fruit set. Fruit size is medium in size and oblate in shape. There is little or no tendency for fruit to incur tip cracking. Harvest season is mid-October to mid-November. Matsumoto Wase Fuyu is recommended.

Midia trees are moderate in vigor, but are more susceptible to tree decline than most other Oriental persimmons. Fruit set and fruit retention until harvest is not consistently high. Midia produces the largest fruit of any cultivar of non-astringent persimmon. Fruit shape is round and it has an indented ring around the top of the fruit. Harvest season is late-October to mid-November. Midia is not recommended.

Suruga trees are moderate in vigor. It produces late-ripening fruit that are exceptionally sweet (soluble solids=18-21%). Fruit shape is classified as oblate conic and fruit imperfections are fairly common. Fruit size is medium large. Harvest season is late November to early December. It appears to be susceptible to premature defoliation. Suruga is not recommended.



Posted: May 30, 2014

Category: Agriculture
Tags: Fruit, Horticulture, Oriental Persimmon, Panhandle Agriculture


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January 23, 2022

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Mary Derrick
May 17, 2016

You or your Master Gardener Coordinator can contact the author of the article Gary Knox at the NFREC for possible tour information.

May 13, 2016

Hi--my name is Pat Watkins and I am a master gardener in Columbia County, FL. I am trying to put together field trips for my group and wonder where I can find info about the Gardens of the Big Bend. If field trips/group tours are not available, then I am personally interested in the Magnolia Gardens. Where can I find out about that, please?

Donna Legare
April 21, 2016

One of my favorites! Nice article - we enjoyed speaking with the Gardening Friends last week and glad we had time to walk through the garden first. Keep up the good work! Thanks Donna

Vanderlei Barbosa
April 19, 2016

Dear Joe: I work with tomato in Brazil, west part of S.Paulo State, and so far TSWV in one of most important virus disease in my area. This article is very important, because I can now be more confident that there is a new strain (TSCV) of tospovirus also occurring in my field. Hopefully TSWV tolerant hybrid tomato could be also be tolerant to this new strain TSCV. Vanderlei Barbosa (Agronomist, tomato grower)

Donna Durgin
April 1, 2016

Good Morning Dr. Ober - Do you have any information on building bat boxes? We would like to build some to put down by our pond on our property - Thanks, Donna D

Doug Mayo
January 25, 2016

Yes I think these numbers are set by the Ag Census and are not completely accurate.

Mary Veitch
January 22, 2016

Would love to have our 6 acres of Blueberries in Jackson County. Mary Veitch Veitch's Blueberry Farm 7772 Howell Rd Sneads, FL 32460

Suzy Young
November 16, 2015

Is there a soil fumigant that works on Sclerotium rolfsii fungus? We have a home garden and have rotated crops but are running out of options.

Doug Mayo
November 16, 2015

Follow the links in this article and go to the App store that applies to your smart phone. If you don't have a smart phone, you can get similar information on the following website: http://www.iowabeefcenter.org/estrus_synch.html

Doug Mayo
November 16, 2015

Follow the links in this article and go to the App store that applies to your smart phone. If you don't have a smart phone, you can get similar information on the following website: http://www.iowabeefcenter.org/estrus_synch.html

Dr. Mohamed Kndiel
November 14, 2015

I would like to receive the AI cow calculator

Nicolas DiLorenzo
October 27, 2015

It is a relatively new byproduct but our first estimates based on digestibility and nutrient analyses indicate that the TDN of B. carinata meal should be around 70-75% TDN.

Doug Mayo
October 6, 2015

What is the average TDN value for carinata meal?

Chris merritt
August 30, 2015

Have you tried fixation clover ? I am thinking about in north Jefferson county

Chris Baker
June 27, 2015

I would like to receive the calculator

Gary Knox
June 24, 2015

Thanks for your comment! The Black Diamond series of crapemyrtles have been planted at the UF North Florida Research and Education Center (outside Tallahassee). An older, outstanding planting can be found at the Louisiana State University Hammond Research Center, if you happen to be traveling along I-10 in Louisiana.

Dena DiFilippo
June 24, 2015

I found this article most timely as I just purchased my first crape myrtle ever. It is the black diamond series with red blooms. I can't wait to see how well this performs here. I hope eventually to plant it in my yard also at my home in Brevard county(Melbourne) also. Are there any evaluations ongoing for this new black diamond? It's the first crape myrtle ever that I liked well enough to plant. Thanks!!!!!

Doug Akers
June 23, 2015

Hi Gary, I was just reading the crapemyrtle article and then looked at the bottom to see it was by Gary Knox. Marilyn (Bennett) Akers and I live in Elberta, AL (near Pensacola) six months a year. We've planted several crapemyrtle at our home there. I retired from Purdue Extension 2 summers ago. In case you don't remember, Marilyn was Phil Carpenter's grad student. She say hi! I got a Master's in Botany & Plant Pathology. I was Purdue Extension Educator, Ag & Natural Resources for 30 years. All in Boone County, (Lebanon) less than an hour from W. Lafayette. We still have our home in Lebanon, too. Doug Akers

February 6, 2015

Excellent, and to the well trained ear, this article may well be the best introduction to profitable grazing for all ranchers, and not just for cattlemen. "Adjusting the stocking rate...is the most important grazing management tool to improve forage utilization." Well said, but rotational grazing only marginally adjusts the stocking rate and still allows the animals to pick and choose what they eat, taking the best and leaving the worst--thereby affirming that animals don't make good business decisions. Adjusting the stocking density (not rate) using management intensive grazing whereby one restricts the amount of available forage insures the animals consume only an amount of forage required to meet their demands for the day and are then released the next day into a new paddock (subunit). The amount of acreage provided daily can easily be estimated while considering all the factors listed above. The key is inexpensive temporary electric fencing and a good eye for growth rate. For those willing to follow the successful and disregard the "That won't fly around here Sonny"-mentality, I'd point you to "Management-Intensive Grazing: The Grassroots of Grass Farming" by Jim Gerrish; or visit http://www.americangrazinglands.com/

Matthew Orwat
February 6, 2015

Take a look at this link for info on Crapemyrtle Pruning. http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ep399 Thanks, Matt

Phil Stump
February 6, 2015

What level of pruning is appropriate for a Crepe Mytle? Is there any or should I just let it grow? Thanks! Phil

Matthew Orwat
February 6, 2015

We don't have a button yet..... Just copy and then paste the URL on your facebook page and post it...this will achieve the same effect.

February 4, 2015

I looked for a Facebook "Share" button.

kenneth avery
December 22, 2014

please send me a catalog on you January 17 2015 florida bull test sale. Kenneth avery 2993 county road 67 Hartford Alabama 36344.

thomas loeffler
December 5, 2014

Finally! Would you be able to supply me a list of sellers of trees that are the most scab resistant? I believe now would be a good time to plant a few. Regards, Tom

Doug Mayo
August 4, 2014

I wrote an article few weeks ago on that very topic. Check out this article: http://nwdistrict.ifas.ufl.edu/phag/2014/07/18/tips-for-controlling-armyworms-in-hay-fields/

T.J. Gates
August 1, 2014

Other than cutting my hay field, what can be done when army worms are found ? Is there any preventive measure that can be taken to help prevent army worms ? Will adding sulfur to my fertilizer help prevent army worms ? If so how many pounds to the acre ? What can be sprayed to kill army worms ?

Tim Tucker
July 19, 2014

Is there any Balansa Clover seed available for sale to the public? I would love to try some on my farm. Hope I can get over and see all the projects you all have going on. Tim Tucker Uriah AL.

July 16, 2014

I adore pomegranate fruit and shrubs, so I was especially thrilled to learn of this new variety. However, I’m not sure how I feel about one that doesn't produce edible fruit . I've had a pomegranate in my greenhouse for several years, and although it doesn't produce much fruit, it’s always a beautiful, flowering plant. I’d recommend them to anyone. As to fruit, I think the Wonderful variety (as its name implies), is simply wonderful and the most delicious variety I've tried. Richard

May 30, 2014

Hello Peter, My wife and I are new at planting trees. We have 20 acres in North Walton County and the pH is 5.7. Please correct me if I am wrong, but it looks like the fuyu species is the best all-around fruit. We are looking at planting 5-10 trees. In addition to applying fertilizer as you discussed, should we address the pH level as well? Can we obtain the trees through the extension office? If not, can you recommend a source where they are available? We are open to any suggestions you may have. Thank you in advance for your help- Brett

girish karamta
January 12, 2014

sir, can i have more information on above two newly introduced variety of peanuts? if so i will be thankfull to you, I from India guajrat state and we are the farmers and maily cultiviting peanuts on our farms, here is production is around 1ooo kg per acre i.e. 2500 kg per hectare, so please let me know about new variety Thanks

Matthew Orwat
January 10, 2014

The sort of trimming known as "crape murder" will not ensure the long term health of the crapemyrtle. Those repetitive cuts will allow disease and rot to enter the tree. Older cultivars might be in too much shade and not blooming to their full potential. They may also be suffering from powdery mildew, scale or sooty mold. Thinning of the interior of the tree may help. See this publication on crapemyrtle pruning for more information.

January 8, 2014

I love crepe myrtles of any kind. I guess it reminiscent of my grandmother's gardens. In southwest Florida she never cut back our crepe myrtles and they were more like the last photo in bloom. However, here in the Panhandle everyone does what I my sister and I call crepe murder, cutting the trees back. I want to know what is really appropriate. I've always said this was improper, but I notice that the trees that are cut this way to appear more healthy and vibrant each spring. I've moved to a home that has several varieties and the older ones are not doing well (blooming profusely) but I'm afraid it's because I have refused to cut the trees, I just trimmed them a little. Thanks for your help.

Doug Mayo
September 15, 2013

Dr. Anderson was talking about the gradual cooling that occurs normally in Northwest Florida. More damage occurs with extreme temperature changes, like can often happen in South Florida.

Ron Potts
September 14, 2013

What is meant by cold pre-conditioned trees in your article above? Is that something that nature does, or something that the grower can do?

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