Persimmons in the United States are classified as either Oriental (Diospyros kaki) or American (Diospyros virginiana). Under these sorts, dozens of cultivars produce trees differing in appearance and fruit quality. That persimmon tree is the best depends on how you would like to use it. Many different flavors are available if your focus is always on the fruit; and if you’re looking for the easiest to grow or the hardiest, your selection will likely be different as well.
Astringent persimmons have a very bitter and grainy texture when they are under-ripe. Sensors must break down with ripening in order to make them palatable. Once incredibly ripe and jelly-like, they are sweet, and excellent for baking and cookingsoda. “Hachiya” is perhaps the most readily available of the astringent persimmons and can be eaten directly out of the skin with a spoon after a frost has set it to soften. Like the vast majority of Asian persimmons, it grows best in U.S. Department of Agriculture hardiness zones 7 through 9. The native American Persimmon is also an astringent fruit and is typically harvested after leaf fall.
Non-astringent persimmons are often more attractive to the American crowd who is used to firmer fruit. All these persimmons can be sliced and eaten before they turn to your jelly-like substance. The “Fuyu,” grown in USDA hardiness zones 7 through 9, is the most widely eaten of the type. While they can be used for cooking, they are usually enjoyed for off-the-tree eating.
All persimmons present exquisite autumn leaf and have smooth bark. Leaves are large and copious, ranging up to 3 inches wide and 6 inches long. Asian persimmons are usually more compact than American, with Americans growing around 60 feet in height in comparison to the Oriental variety’s maximum height of 30 feet. The vast majority of trees have a curved appearance, with spread being half to equivalent to the height. A couple of exceptions to this include the “Great Wall” astringent persimmon that grows tall and conically with pink shades in the fall. The “Passion Crystal” astringent is a compact persimmon that grows tighter and lower than other alternatives. For those looking for a dwarf variety, the “Giant Hanafuya” is among the smallest persimmons, growing only 10 to 12 feet in stature, but keeping fruit.
Usually, it is always easiest to grow plants that are natives, making the American persimmon the choice for simplicity of care. It needs to be mentioned that persimmons are very adaptable and garden-friendly plants, which makes even non-natives easy to grow. Even though the vast majority of persimmons survive best in USDA hardiness zones 7 through 9, a couple varieties can withstand colder climates. The American “Early Golden” can flourish through Formula 5, although the “Meader” can endure temperatures as low as -30 F. Asian varieties tend to be less hardy, but the astringent “Tam Kam Non” and also non-astringent “Jiro” can equally do nicely as low as USDA zone 6. Most astringent persimmons require a dash of frost to ripen and shouldn’t be grown in subtropical or tropical areas. If you chose to plant American persimmons, it needs to be noted that this species is either female or male and only the females may produce fruit.