American persimmon size

creekweb(6,7)October 5, 2010

It's been a dry summer for many of us and so not the most favorable conditions for growing large persimmons, but I was wondering what some of the few of us here who grow American persimmons were achieving in terms of size of the fruit.

My largest persimmons this year so far have been about 2 1/4 inch diameter. The usually large Prok and Yates have been coming in less than 2 inches, and Keener, another large one, though still immature, smaller than that.

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My largest American persimmon fruits are 'ruby', 'pipher', and 'evelyn'. All 3 of these are slightly over two inches. 'Pipher' is barrel-shaped or elongated. All three of these varieties are more yellowish in color - skin and flesh compared to 'early golden, 'meader' 'yates', and 'john rick' which are darker orange. Out of all the ones I have fruiting so far the variety 'blue' has the most reddish flesh but is not as firm as most others. I dont notice a lot of differences in flavor among these though 'early golden' would likely be my favorite if I had to choose one based on flavor, color, and firmness. 'Blue' fruits need to set a day or two after dropping to lose all astringency.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2010 at 3:51PM
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hemnancy(z8 PNW)

The wild ones I remember as a kid in Texas were only about an inch. I'm growing some seedling ones but am wondering how large your trees were before they started to bear fruit as I am still waiting... one is now over my head slightly.

I did learn that I can make tea from the leaves so I harvest some in fall so I get something from growing the trees.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2010 at 6:24AM
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As you remember, wild seedling persimmons are most often no larger than an inch in diameter. Just when a seedling persimmon starts to bear will vary some and is more closely related to the age of the tree than its size, but I would say 5 or 6 years would be typical.


The size that you have been attaining on your Evelyn and Ruby is impressive; mine are little more than half that diameter. The conditions there may be particularly conducive to growing larger persimmons. Makes me wonder how my larger persimmon variety would do for you - email me if you'd like some scions.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2010 at 10:46AM
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Tony(Zone 5. Omaha, Nebraska)

Early golden seem likes the best tasting American persimmon, but how large is the fruit? I have heard meader supposed to taste pretty good too.


    Bookmark   November 19, 2010 at 6:09PM
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alexander3_gw(6 Pennsylvania)


If I read your message right, Prok is not your largest? Which variety is 2 14/4 inches?


    Bookmark   November 19, 2010 at 6:32PM
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Early Golden has medium sized fruit for me. My largest persimmons come from an as yet unnamed variety.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2010 at 10:42PM
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Creekweb, have you found any more information on your large fruiting persimmon? Who bred this variety? I had a few fruits survive the squirrels last year, they were tasty! Large, attractive foliage makes this plant a winner as a landscape tree as well.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2013 at 6:05AM
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Creekweb, would it be 100-46?

    Bookmark   March 8, 2013 at 8:12AM
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That one hasn't yet been named as far as I know but is referred to with increasing familiarity recently by persimmon growers here and elsewhere by the seedling number Jerry Lehman assigned to it which is indeed 100-46. It dose make a nice landscape specimen and the fruit is plentiful and tasty.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2013 at 9:11PM
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skyjs(z8 OR, USA)

Ruby is the biggest US persimmon I've eaten. Is 100-46 early, mid, or late? We can really only reliably grow early ones here. Anyone care to describe the taste?
John S

    Bookmark   March 9, 2013 at 2:24AM
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100-46 has a long season that starts before Yates (which is considered an early ripening one) but after the very early ones like NC-10. Flavor and consistency are good but IMO not as good as the very best varieties. The orange ones can be picked early and ripened off the tree.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2013 at 10:47AM
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Why is there so much emphasis on size with American persimmons anyways? I may have asked something similar before, but what do those of you who grow American persimmons use them for? I like to eat them fresh, but I like the bite-size, mostly seedless ones best for fresh eating. The only other thing I really ever do with them (although I'd love to find more good uses for them) is to make persimmon pudding, but if they're going to all be pulped together then why worry about the size of individual fruits? And surely larger fruits are at least somewhat more likely to go splat when they fall from the tree.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2013 at 1:02PM
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The breeding efforts for American persimmon are proceeding along two different tracks - one to produce clear and plentiful pulp primarily for pudding but also for a number of other products and the other for fresh eating. It is for this second purpose that breeders are seeking larger sized fruit.

Part of the reason is the aesthetics or visual appeal of the fruit. While small fruits in groups can be visually appealing, this quality is diminished when the individual fruits are isolated, and the delicate nature of persimmon skin requires they be to prevent damage. Picture an isolated grape...can make you just want to throw it away as residue.

Part of the reason is to offset the presence of seeds and increase the pulp to seed ratio. It means more edible fruit for the work of eating. This is a dessert fruit after all and the going needs to be easy!

Part of the reason is the paradigm set by the persimmon's very successful Asian brother. Comparison to the kaki, a major player in world markets, naturally has the breeder questioning, "why can't you be like your brother?" and so seeks a larger fruit.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2013 at 10:11AM
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Creekweb, thanks for the very informative response. Selecting for better pulp to seed ratio makes a lot of sense, and I can see the desire to want to compete with Asian persimmons.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2013 at 7:07AM
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They grow wild here, and are half-dollar size or smaller. Totally inedible until they're frosted and fall off the tree. If you beat the raccoons to them, and don't mind picking off the leaves and twigs, they are much sweeter and IMO better flavored than asian ones. Of course, there are more seeds than pulp.

I was unaware of any named varieties. Who sells these?

    Bookmark   March 13, 2013 at 12:20PM
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