Plant Common Name
Asian Persimmon, Japanese Persimmon, Kaki, Sharon Fruit
The Asian persimmon is a deciduous tree widely grown for its flavorful peach-sized fruits. Native to China, this long cultivated plant has been much improved by selection and breeding.
The beautiful small tree has large, glossy, elliptical green leaves that turn lovely shades of orange, yellow and red in fall. The flowers appear in spring. Persimmons are commonly dioecious, which means that some trees only have male flowers while others only have female flowers, though some cultivars like have both. This is vitally important for fruiting because only female-flowered trees produce fruit and male flowers are needed for pollination and fruit-set. The female flowers are small, waxy, ivory and have four petals. Their desirable fruit develops over the season and matures in fall after the leaves drop.
There are many cultivars and their fruits range widely in size, shape, flavor, sweetness and astringency. Most cultivars yield sweet fruits, some with a bitterness that declines with ripening off the tree. After leaf drop, the orange-scarlet fruits hang on the tree into winter, like Christmas ornaments. Harvest the fruits before they turn soft to keep birds from eating them.
The Oriental persimmon grows and fruits best in full sun. With good drainage, it tolerates a wide range of soils. With training, it makes a handsome ornamental tree. Most modern cultivars are self-fertile, but pollination by another tree yields sweeter fruits in greater quantity.
Oriental persimmons can be enjoyed in pudding, pies or dried. They are also highly ornamental and add a touch of flare to holiday fruit displays.
AHS Heat Zone
10 - 7
USDA Hardiness Zone
6 - 10
H1, 6, 7, 8, 9, 12, 14, 15, 16, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Full Sun, Partial Sun
25'-30' / 7.6m - 9.1m
18'-22' / 5.5m - 6.7m
Summer, Fall, Winter