Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Diospyros - Persimmon

The Persimmons are a long lived tree and can live for centuries.
They prefer full sun and fertile, moist, well drained soil. Persimmons have root spread that is often double the width of the crown. Soak the tree once a week if dry.
1 pound per tree of fertilizer per year can be given to a Persimmon for the first 4 years, more than 5 pounds after.
Young trees should be pruned to a single leader and feathered.
Persimmons hate to be transplanted however seedlings are very easy to grow if planted on their permanent site. The deep taproot makes transplanting difficult if the tree is over 2 feet, it may die or grow very poorly if the taproot is broken.
Propagation is from seed though cultivars can also be grown from root cuttings and grafting. Seeds should be soaked overnight in hot water to break dormancy. The seed can either be plants ripe or stratified for 3 months at 40 F.

Diospyros armata
A medium-sized, semi-evergreen to evergreen tree native to central China that reaches a maximum height of 60 feet with a trunk diameter of 20 inches.
The narrow-elliptical leaves, up to 2.5 x 1.2 inches in size, are leathery, glossy deep green.
The fragrant, small, white flowers, up to 0.2 inches in length, are borne during late spring.
The rounded, yellow berries, up to 0.8 inches wide, ripen during late summer, sometimes persisting into early winter.
The twigs are spine tipped.
Hardy north to zone 7 tolerating as low as 0 F with no damage.

Diospyros blancoi ( Mabolo )
A large evergreen tropical tree reaching up to 100 feet with a trunk diameter of 4 feet. The leaves are up to 9 x 3.5 inches.

Diospyros cathayensis ( Cathay Persimmon )
An extremely rare, evergreen tree, reaching a maximum height of 33 feet with a trunk diameter of 2.6 feet, that is native to south and western China. Moderate growing, up to 11 feet in 6 years.
The elliptical leaves, up to 4.5 x 1.4 inches in size, are glossy deep green.
The small, white or pale yellow flowers are borne on cymes during late spring.
The rounded, orangish-yellow berries, up to 1.2 inches wide, ripen during late summer into early autumn.
The stems are brown and tipped in a spine.
Hardy zones 7 to 10, preferring regions with hot humid summers.

Diospyros dignya ( Black Persimmon )
A very fast growing, handsome evergreen tree reaching around 60 feet that is native to Mexico and Central America. Some records include: largest on record - 90 x 70 feet with a trunk diameter of 8 feet.
The alternately arranged, smooth edged, pointed, oval, leathery leaves are up to 12 x 3 inches in size. They are bronze in spring turning smooth glossy deep green above, hairy and paler green beneath. The foliage turns orange and red in autumn. The large drooping leaves gives this tree an attractive tropical appearance during summer.
The small bell shaped flowers up to 0.5 inches in length are yellow and borne in late spring. The male flowers are borne in small clusters and the female flowers are borne singly.
The fruits are a large rounded, juicy edible berry up to 5 inches across. They are green with kelly-like brown flesh. The Black Persimmon can bear fruit in as little as 3 years.
Hardy zones 10 and warmer ( tolerating as low as 28 F ) the Black Persimmon is an excellent tree for south Florida. It is moderately drought tolerant but not salt tolerant.

Diospyros japonica ( Silky Persimmon )
Also called Diospyros glaucifolia. An extremely rare, deciduous large tree, reaching a maximum height of 100 feet, that is native to much of central and southern China as well as Japan.
The lance-shaped to elliptical leaves, up to 7 x 3 inches in size, are thinly leathery. The attractive foliage is glossy deep green above, bluish-white beneath.
The tiny flowers are borne during late spring into early summer.
They are followed by a rounded fruit, up to 1.2 inches wide, ripening during early autumn, often persisting into late autumn. The berries are orangish-yellow, later deepening to red. The fruits are edible and quite tasty in some.
The stems are deep brown.
Hardy zones 6 to 9.

Diospyros kaki ( Chinese Persimmon )
A medium size tree reaching around 35 feet that is native from India to the Orient.
Some records include: fastest recorded growth rate - 5 feet ( 6 feet for subsp 'Silvestris' ); 20 years - 33 x 20 feet; largest on record - 90 x 40 feet with a trunk diameter of 5.3 feet. In DC it can be found on the Asian trail at U.S. National Arboretum and Hillwood Estate. Long-lived, it can live as long as 400 years.
The alternately arranged, smooth-edged, pointed, oval leaves are up to 10 x 6 inches in size. They are bronze in spring turning smooth very glossy deep green above, hairy and paler green beneath. The foliage is late to appear in spring and turns orange and red in autumn. The large drooping leaves gives this tree an attractive tropical appearance during summer.
The small bell-shaped flowers up to 0.5 inches in length are yellow and borne in late spring. The male flowers are borne in small clusters and the female flowers are borne singly.
The fruits are a large rounded, juicy edible berry up to 4 ( very rarely 5 ) inches across. They are green at first ripening to orange-red with the paper thin calyx remaining on the fruit. Up to 50 pounds of fruit or more can be borne on a tree in a year. The record single tree production is 250 pounds in a year. The highest yields possible per acre are around 10 000 pounds!!! The fruit sell for about $1 per pound ( wholesale ).
The scaly light gray to beige bark can either be peeling or furrowed.
The Chinese Persimmon is hardy from zones 5 to 10 however only seed source from the coldest parts of its native range should be used in zone 5, 6 and 7. Hot summers are required for good fruit production. It prefers full sun, average water and fertile, well drained soils. Drought and clay tolerant.

* photo taken on May 8 2010 @ U.S. National Arboretum, D.C.

* photos taken on October 17 2010 @ U.S. National Arboretum, D.C.







* historic archive photos

* video found on Youtube


* due to the numbers of new cultivars on the market including dwarfs, this entry will soon be revised and updated. An excellent source of hardy Asian Persimmons for purchase is http://www.nuttrees.net/persimmon.html

'Great Wall'
Very sweet, small orange fruits. Hardy north to zone 6, reported to thrive in Pennsylvania.

'Hachiya'
Large tender pink-orange fruits that are sweet when ripe on a shapely tree.

'Hokkaido'
Dwarf and hardy north to zone 6. A very heavy producer of large fruits, up to 5 x 3.5 inches.

'Izu'
Low tannin fruit on a compact tree

'Jiro'
Large low tannin fruit

Korea Kaki
May actually be the hardiest "True Kaki". Having been grown in Bulgaria and originating on the China-Korean border known for its frigid winters, it is most likely hardy north to zone 5.

'Northrop'
Grows in the north where Chinese Persimmon generally does not. Hardy to zone 3 ( -40 F ). I have not been able to find any recent info on this cultivar including sellers. It may actually be a hybrid with the North American Persimmon ( Diospyros virginiana ) that is synonymus with 'Rosseyanka'

'Oriental'
Sweet, seedless, orange fruits. Reaching around 15 feet. Hardy north to zone 7

'Pendula'

* photo taken on June 23 2013 @ U.S. National Arboretum, DC


'Rosseyanka'
A hybrid between Diospyros kaki and D. virginiana that is hardy at least to zone 5.
The large fruits, up to 3 inches across, taste like Diospyros kaki and are nearly seedless. It originated at the Nikitsky Botanical Gardens in Yalta, Russia.

'Saijo'
Very sweet, small, oval, yellow-orange fruits, up to 3 inches. Hardy north to zone 6 ( -10 F ).
Original tree is over 600 years old.

'Sheng'
Very cold hardy, at least to zone 6. Sweet flavor and ripens early.

'Sheno'
large, sweet, seedless fruits. Dwarf in habit and hardy north to zone 6

'Tamopan'
Abundant fruit production

'Tanenashi'
Excellent autumn foliage color and heavy fruit productions.

'Wright's Favorite'
Abundant, very sweet fruit.

Diospyros lotus ( Date Plum )
A very rapid growing tree reaching up to 75 feet that is native to northern Iran and southwest Asia though sometimes also naturalized in parts of Europe. Some records include: fastest recorded growth rate - 7 feet; 20 years - 30 feet ( avg ); largest on record - 100 x 50 feet with a trunk diameter of 3.8 feet. Moderately long-lived, it can live up to 270 years or slightly more ( Botanic Garden Leiden in Netherlands ).
The untoothed, wavy-edged, pointed, oval leaves are up to 7.5 x4 inches in size. The attractive foliage is glossy, very deep green above and gray-green beneath. The foliage drops while still green late in autumn. In mild climates it may be semi-evergreen.
The small bell shaped flowers up to 0.5 inches in length are deep pink and borne in mid summer on the undersides of the young shoots. The male flowers are borne in small clusters and the female flowers are borne singly.
The fruits are a large rounded edible berry up to 0.75 inches across. They are green at first ripening to purple though can also be yellow to red or black. The calyx remain on the ripened fruit. Up to 30 pounds of fruit or more can be borne on a tree in a year.
The gray bark is smooth at first later fissuring into square plates.
The Date Plum is hardy from zones 5 to 10 ( tolerating - 20 F ) however only seed source from the coldest parts of its native range should be used in zone 5 and 6. It prefers full sun, average water and fertile, well drained soils. This tree is very tolerant of hot humid summers and should be planted much more in the mid Atlantic U.S. The deep taproot makes it difficult to plant at large sizes.

* photos taken on October 17 2010 @ U.S. National Arboretum, D.C.








* photos taken on Sep 3 2017 @ U.S. National Arboretum, D.C.

* historic archive photos


Diospyros melanoxylon ( East Indian Ebony )
A deciduous or evergreen, medium-sized tree, reaching a maximum size of 82 feet with a trunk diameter of 2 feet. It is native to Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka and Nepal. The leaves are up to 14 inches in length.
Hardy zones 9 to 11 ( est ) on just about any well drained soil.

* photo of unknown internet source


Diospyros morrisiana
A medium-sized, deciduous to evergreen tree, reaching a maximum height of 66 feet, that is native to southeastern China, Taiwan, Vietnam & southern Japan.
The thick, entire, elliptic or oblong leaves are up to 4.5 x 1.8 inches in size. The foliage is glossy deep bluish-green above, brown hairy beneath.
The tiny flowers appear during early summer.
They are followed by rounded, yellow fruits, up to 1 inch wide, during late autumn.
The shallowly-fissured and peeling bark is very dark gray to nearly black.
Hardy zones 8 to 10 ( estimate based on native range...some seed source might be hardier ).

Diospyros rhombifolia ( Diamond Leaf Persimmon )
A small deciduous tree native to Fujiang & Jiangsu Provinces of China, and Japan; reaching up to 13 feet in 15 years, eventually reaching up to 27 feet.
The ovate leaves, up to 3.3 x 1.6 ( rarely over 2 ) inches in size, are deep green.
The white, axilliary flowers are borne during late spring.
They are followed by orange to red fruits, up to 2 ( rarely over 1 ) inches wide, ripening during early autumn. Both male and female trees need to grow in close proximity for fruit to be produced.
The spine-tipped shoots are light purple and the bark is gray.
Hardy zones 6 to 8 ( possibly 5 though further testing needed ).

Diospyros sandwichensis ( Hawaiian Persimmon )
A small dense foliaged tree reaching around 35 feet that is native to Hawaii. Some records include: 5 years - 10 feet; largest on record - 50 x 40 feet.
The very attractive foliage is pinkish at first turning to green.
The striking bark is black.
Hardy only zones 10 and warmer.

Diospyros texana ( Texas Persimmon )
A moderate growing, dense, rounded, medium-size tree reaching around 35 feet that is native from southwestern and central Texas to northern Mexico. Some records include: fastest recorded growth rate - 2 feet; 5 years - 6 x 3 feet; largest on record - 82 x 25 feet with a trunk diameter of 2 feet.
It takes 5 years to produce a good saleable 5 gallon size plant from seed.
The rounded, leathery, obovate leaves are up to 2 x 1 inches in size. The foliage is dull dark green above and hairy beneath. Evergreen in mild climates.
The flowers are white and are followed by small sweet tasting fruits up to an inch across that ripen to black though sometimes light yellow to red.
The attractive bark is smooth and gray later becoming gray and peeling showing pink underneath.
Hardy zones 7 to 9 ( zone 6 on sites protected from wind ) in sun or shade. This tree is best used for landscaping in its native range where it exhibits superior drought tolerance, it is a poor choice for moist, humid areas. Deer do not browse this tree. It is very heat and extremely drought tolerant and disease free when used in the south central U.S.

* photos taken @ U.S. Botanical Garden, Wash., DC on Aug 25 2014

* photos taken on Aug 24 2017 @ U.S. Botanic Garden, Wash. DC.

* historical archive photo


Diospyros virginiana ( American Persimmon )
A large dense canopied, upright, broadly spreading tree reaching around 70 feet that is native to the eastern U.S. ( from central Kansas to southeast Nebraska to central Iowa to northern Ohio to Connecticut; south to central Texas and central Florida ). It is endangered in Nebraska and New York State, extinct in the wild in Connecticut. Some records include: fastest recorded growth rate - 5 feet; 1st year - 2 feet; 20 years - 33 x 20 feet; largest on record - 140 x 65 feet with a trunk diameter of 7 feet. Very large trees close to 130 feet in height grow at Big Oak Tree State Park in Missouri, Tuckahoe @ Screven Co. Georgia and Congaree Swamp National Monument in South Carolina ( many record size trees of various species grow there in "the forest of giant trees" ). It does not exceed 65 feet in England where its growth is slowed due to summers too cool for its liking.
In Washington D.C. it can be found at the U.S. Capital and National Zoo and in Ontario, Canada it can be found planted at Willistead Park in Windsor and Byrnam Woods Arboretum in Stratford. The American Persimmon is moderately long-lived and can persist as long as 200 years.
The alternately arranged, smooth to wavy edged, oblong leaves are up to 8 x 4 inches in size. They are smooth glossy green above and glaucous white ( unlike Black Tupelo ) beneath. The foliage usually turns orange, red and purple often with black spots in autumn.
The small bell shaped flowers up to 0.5 inches in length are yellow and borne in early spring. The male flowers are borne in small clusters and the female flowers are borne singly.
The fruits are a large rounded edible berry up to 3 inches across. They are green at first ripening to orange-red. The calyx remain on the ripened fruit.
Up to 30 pounds of fruit or more can be borne on a tree in a year.
The fruits are sweet after the first fall frost finally fully ripens them.
They sometimes persist into winter.
The stout, lightly zigzagged twigs are light brown and have broad deep red-brown buds.
The dark brown bark is very rough fissured and separating into smallish, square plates and looking somewhat alligator hide like in appearance.
The wood is used commercially.
Hardy zones 4 to 9 preferring sandy, fertile, deep, well drained soil. It is very heat tolerant and not normally prone to pests or disease other than Black Spot ( an anthracnose fungus ) that can completely defoliate a tree in August in the eastern U.S.
Persimmons should be planted while very small; they quickly develop a deep taproot and transplanting can be fatal. Once establish it is very easy to grow.

* photo taken on July 2008 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on May 1 2010 @ U.S. National Arboretum, D.C.

* photos taken on 4th of July 2010 in Washington, D.C.


* photos taken on August 4 2010 @ Birnam Arboretum, Stratford, Ontario






* photo of unknown internet source

* photo taken on Aug 20 2011 @ Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, MD

* photos taken on June 14 2012 in Ellicott City, MD
* photos taken on Aug 25 2013 @ University of Maryland, College Park

* photos taken on May 7 2014 @ London Town Gardens, Edgewater, MD

* photo taken on Oct 24 2014 in Columbia, MD

* USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database

* photo taken by E.R. Jackson @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database

* photo taken on Sep 20 2014 in Baltimore Co., MD

* photo taken on Nov 11 2014 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on Apr 27 2015 in Howard Co., MD

* photos taken on Aug 20 2016 in Olney, MD

* photos taken on Sep 18 2016 @ Patuxent Research Refuge, Laurel, MD

* historic archive photos

* photos taken on June 18 2016 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on Sep 17 2016 in Annapolis, MD

* photo taken on Nov 19 2016 @ London Town Gardens, Edgewater, MD

* photos taken on June 15 2017 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on Sep 1 2017 in Howard Co., MD

* video found on Youtube


'Early Golden'
Large sweet fruit and clean anthracnose resistant foliage. 'Meader' is a good pollinator but it can also be self fertile.
Hardy north to zone 4.

'John Rick'
Fruits considered superior and more consistant than wild forms.
Bears fruit in 6 years.

'Meader'
Self fertile not needing a pollinater. The seedless, orange fruit is delicious and very sweet. Hardy zones 3 to 8 tolerating as low as -35 F

'Pipher'
Large fruit and anthracnose resistant foliage.

Diospyros wilsonii ( Wilson's Persimmon )
An extremely rare moderate growing tree native to China. Known to reach up to 16 feet in 10 years, eventually 30 feet or more.
The oblong leaves are very glossy deep green above, bright green beneath.
The orange fruits are similar to that of D. virginiana in appearance.
Hardy zones 6 to 8 ( estimate )

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