Autumn months bring their own bounty from fruitscapes, and today weâ€™re learning all about persimmons, including growing and eating your own. They bear fruit just in time for Halloween, through the Christmas season, making them great additions to holiday decorations. Check out this partnership blog post showcasing their decorative possibilities. But keep in mind, one variety is sweet and edible right off the tree, while the other is inedibly astringent until properly ripened. From excellent nutritional value, to beautiful mature trees, persimmon trees are a great addition to any garden or orchard!Â
There are two distinct varieties of persimmon trees, Asian and American. Asian persimmon trees are known for their sweet fruit, with varieties like the well known Fuyu Persimmon. Whereas American persimmon trees are known for being astringent unless fully ripened, like the Hachiya Persimmon.Â
Popular varieties like the Fuyu and Hachiya, are cold hardy and are perfect for 7A to 9B growing zones. Mature heights are 12-15 feet tall, and 8-10 feet wide. While not suitable for containers, growing persimmon trees is fairly easy as they are relatively low-maintenance. Fruit ripens mid-October through late-December.
Fuyu Persimmons bear small, tomato-shaped fruit that you can eat straight off the tree, pictured in the first photo above. When theyâ€™re still firm but just starting to soften, similar to a pear, theyâ€™ll be a beautiful bright orange color. Eat them while theyâ€™re still more firm, slicing like you would an apple. Toss them on a salad, use in crostini or dry them as chips.
Hachiya Persimmons have a longer, oblong-shaped astringent fruit, pictured in the immediate photo above. Which, if eaten too soon, will dry your mouth out and leave a bitter taste for quite awhile. The best time to eat astringent persimmons are when they are deeply orange and squishy-soft. Once mushy-soft, scoop out their flesh and use them in baked goods, like a spiced persimmon loaf.
Not only will persimmon trees provide fruit during winter months, they also provide beautiful fruitscaping to any yard. Now that you know all about persimmons, we hope youâ€™ll grow one, or a few, in your own yard!