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Fuyu Persimmons – the Best Tasting Persimmons to Grow

But wait… persimmons Taste awful, right..? Yes and no. We’ll sort that out here. Bottom line? Fuyu persimmons are the best tasting persimmons to grow, and the most resilient! Also known as Fuyugaki, Diospyros kaki, Fuyu persimmons account for approximately 80% of the persimmon market.

Not only is the fuyu persimmon tree a strong growing tree, but the fuyu persimmon fruit is much larger than American wild persimmons you may have grown up with. They’re also long lasting, hardy and incredibly delicious with no seeds, whereas the American persimmons are small with several large seeds and minimal fruit.

We’d love to plant an entire orchard of Fuyus, so we’ll definitely be adding more to our landscape over time.

The fuyu persimmon fruit is large, very sturdy, long lasting and incredibly delicious.

AUDIO ARTICLE – Fuyu Persimmons:

What Do Fuyu Persimmons Taste Like?

The taste of Fuyu persimmons is a luscious, delicious, seedless fruit reminiscent in taste of a cross between a mango and a peach, or a mango and papaya. Lush, juicy, and delectably sweet, Fuyu persimmons are a luxurious fruit experience that taste equally heavenly, when almost mushy ripe to not fully ripe and still firm.

Aren’t Persimmons Bitterly Astringent?

Well, that depends on what kind of persimmon and when you eat it. Wild persimmons are the highly astringent ones that will cause involuntary puckering and feel somewhat like you’ve got cotton in your mouth. However, if allowed to ripen fully, wild persimmon are sweeter than sweet plums, and more like a pudding or applesauce in texture.

Wild American Persimmons – Let ripen fully and drop from the tree naturally. You can read more about how to harvest wild American persimmons here, which we’ve linked again at the end of this article in the footnotes.[1]https://www.gardensall.com/harvest-wild-persimmons/

Wild American Persimmons - if allowed to ripen fully, wild persimmons are sweeter than sweet plums, and more like a pudding or applesauce in texture. #AmericanPersimmons #WildPersimmons #GardensAll #AstringentPersimmons
Wild American Persimmons are too astringent to eat unless ripened until soft, squishy and falling off the tree.

Fuyu Persimmons

One of the more popular persimmons are Fuyu Persimmons, also called Fuyugaki. With a unique, like no-other kind of taste the closest correlation we’ve come up with for texture and taste is a cross between a mango, peach and plum with an infusion of honey. These are sweet, rich, mellow and delicious even when firm.

Fuyus are ready to eat when bright orange, and can be enjoyed equally when firm, or when soft.

Persimmon Origin and History

Japanese or oriental persimmons (Diospyros kaki), originated in Asia and have been grown in China for centuries. In the 1800s, a United States Commander brought a Japanese persimmon back to the states and the rest is delectable history.

Fuyus were introduced into California during the mid-1800s and is now the largest seller of Fuyu persimmons in the US. 

It’s interesting to consider that although this amazing little fruit has been growing in the US for well over a century, many folks have never heard of it, let alone tried it.[2]https://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/fruit-month-persimmons#1 

Origin of the Persimmon Name

Persimmon” is an early colonial word that comes from the Powhatan Native American Indian name for the fruit, pichamin, with variants.

ROOT NAME ORIGINS OF PERSIMMON

  • Pichamin
  • Putchamin
  • Pessemmin
  • Pushemin
  • Parsemen
  • Etc.

Persimmons were a favorite fruit of many Native American Indian tribes, eaten plain or cooked into sweet puddings.

SOURCE: Native-Languages.org

Growing Fuyu Persimmons

We’re currently growing ten Fuyu persimmon trees of varying ages, with one at maturity for fruiting thus far.

Our 10 year old Japanese Fuyu persimmon tree is loaded with large apple-sized fruit. Last year, we planted nine more fuyu trees that are coming along quite well though it will be several years before they attain sizable production. Any fruit that comes on during 3-4 years after planting, will be picked off so the branches don’t get broken by the weight. 

Pick off fruit on young Fuyu persimmon trees up to 4 years old to prevent branches from breaking under the weight.

Planting Fuyu Persimmon Trees

DIGGING and SOIL PREP

Planting Fuyu is just like any other task of planting a tree. Dig a $25 dollar hole for a 5 dollar tree. The dirt is shoveled into a wheelbarrow or other large container. Add in organic matter, bone meal, and mix well with the existing soil while busting up clumps as you mix. 

SETTING and MULCHING

Set the tree in the hole so the base of the tree is at ground level. We like to fill in around the rootball about halfway, give it a good watering and then fill in the rest of the way and water again. Do not compress the soil around the root ball. Place the fill soil so it forms a shallow depression around the perimeter of the hold. Then add 2-3 inches of organic mulch. We use wood chip mulch or shredded bark. 

See the videos at the end of this article for more explanation and visuals.

STAKING and WATERING

Staking depends on the size of the tree with smaller saplings having just one stake and larger trees getting a stake on either side. We’ve used plastic baling twine and paracord as weather resistant ties. Avoid damage to the plant stem by using pieces of garden hose or similar material where the tie makes contact.Be sure to leave some wiggle room for the plant to bend and thus strengthen its trunk. 

Water as needed, especially in dry periods. 

Planting Fuyus is just like any other task of planting a tree. Dig a $25 dollar hole for a 5 dollar tree, and stake young trees for support.

YOUNG FUYU PERSIMMON TREES need to be staked for support. #FuyuPersimmonTree #FuyuPersimmons #GardensAll.com #FallFruitTrees #StakingFruitTrees #StakingFuyuTrees

The Fuyu Persimmon Tree

  • GROW ZONE: 7-10
  • SIZE:
    • Mature Height: 10-12 feet
    • Mature Width: 10-12 feet
  • APPEARANCE: Full foliage, attractive landscape plant with fall colors of gold and red
  • POLLINATION: Self pollinating
  • SUN: Full sun or partial shade
  • TYPE: Deciduous
  • TOLERANT/RESISTANT TO:
    • Drought
    • Disease
    • Pests

Persimmon Tree Wood

FUYU PERSIMMON FRUIT APPEARANCE - Similar to tomatoes in shape and size.#FuyuPersimmons #FuyuPersimmonAppearance #GardensAll.com
Fuyu persimmons – wide and squat, similar to these Better Boy tomatoes in appearance – Image by GardensAll.com

The Fuyu Persimmon Fruit

  • SIZE: Medium size is 4″ fruit diameter & 7.3 ounces (our average fuyu)
  • WEIGHT: (The weight of our current crop of Fuyus from the same tree)
    • Small fruit – 2 ounces & 2″ (smallest fruits are from small sapling fuyus)
    • Medium Fruit – 4 ounces
    • Large fruit – 7.5 ounces 7″
  • SHAPE: Resembles the size and shape of an average medium tomato; squat with a tough, thick stem end to core out
  • COLOR: Grows from green to yellow to bright orange when fully ripe
  • SKIN: edible smooth skin
  • TEXTURE:
    • Firm and crisp
    • Soft and squishy, Pudding or jello-like interior fruit, when at its ripest and sweetest
  • TASTE: Sweet, juicy, delicious, (juicier when ripest. Taste resembles a cross between pawpaw or mango, plum and nectarine
  • HARVEST: in fall, September-November
  • FRUIT USES:
    • Fresh, like an apple or nectarine
    • Jams, jellies, preserves, custards, ice cream, cakes, pies, cookies
    • Frozen
      • Chopped and frozen like peaches
      • Whole, then defrost and spoon out fruit to eat or use in baking
FALL FRUITS - FUYU PERSIMMONS grow in zones 7-10 and ripen in Autumn, September-November, and the leaves turn lovely fall colors of red and orange. #FallFruits #FuyuPersimmons #OrnamentalFruitTrees #SweetPersimmons #GardensAll #FuyuPersimmonFruit #AutumnFruits
Fuyu Persimmon in fall color and ready to harvest. Image via Home Depot

Where to Buy Fuyu Persimmon Trees and Fruit

We got our fuyu persimmon trees from EdibleLandscaping.com along with a number of fruit and nut trees and vines, such as che fruit and passionfruit. However, there are a number of sellers now. Just be sure to check buyer reviews and also verify that it’s a grafted fruit versus grown from seed. If you’re making a local trek to a nursery or home store, call ahead to be sure they have it in stock.

Fuyu Persimmon Tree Sellers Online

Fuyu Persimmon Fruit Sellers

Some places to check for fuyu persimmon fruit in fall:

  • Farmers’ Markets
  • Local growers
  • Local grocers
  • Wholefoods
  • Amazon – sometimes available on Amazon

Persimmon Health Benefits

Fuyu persimmons pack a sweet punch when it comes to all the health benefits this little fruit contains. Persimmons have a multitude of beneficial properties that assist in keeping the body healthy besides being tasty.

Fuyu Persimmons, delicious, nutritious and hardy!  #FuyuPersimmons #AnticancerFoods #FuyuPersimmonHealthBenefits #AntiagingFoods #Antioxidants #Immunity #FoodsHighinVitaminC #GardensAll
Fuyu Persimmons, a delicious, nutritious and hardy fall fruit. Image by GardensAll.com

Preventing Cancer and Tumors

Persimmons contain anti-cancer antioxidants that help the body fight free-radicals, which cause the mutation in healthy cells that can turn them into cancerous ones. Besides high levels of vitamins C and A, persimmons also contain phenolic compounds like catechins and gallocatechin. These compounds have a direct correlation in the prevention of various forms of cancers. Adding a persimmon to your diet can help in the protection and risk reduction from these cancers.

Adding a persimmon regularly to your diet can help in reducing the possibility of forming tumors, and can reduce the size of already formed tumors and keep them from metastasizing. The fruit contains the anti-tumor compound betulinic acid, which induces apoptosis, also called programmed cell death.

Persimmons contain anti-cancerous and anti-tumor compounds.

Immune System and Digestive Health

High in Vitamin C

Persimmons contain one of the highest levels of vitamin C of any fruit. Eating one persimmon daily gives your body 20% of the required daily intake (RDI) of this valuable nutrient. Vitamin C strengthens the body’s immune system by upping the production of white blood cells, which help the body defend against toxins, bacterial, viral and fungal infections.

High Fiber

One persimmon contains 20% of the body’s daily requirement of fiber, which helps in aiding the body process food in an efficient manner. Studies show that a diet high in fiber decreases gastrointestinal problems such as constipation and colon cancer and may even help in losing weight.

Anti-Aging & Eye Health

If you are worried about all the telltale signs of aging or would like to take a sip from the Fountain of Youth, adding persimmons to your diet can help alleviate some of those unwanted symptoms. The fruit is not only packed with vitamin A, but also contains beta-carotene, lutein, lycopene, and cryptoxanthin. All of these function as antioxidants. These antioxidants reduce oxidative stress, which assists in the reduction of the signs of premature aging such as age spots and wrinkles. These antioxidants also help in preventing conditions like muscle weakness, fatigue, vision loss and Alzheimer’s disease.

Persimmons also contain the antioxidant Zeaxanthin, which studies show improve the overall health of eyes. The antioxidant can reduce the effects of cataracts, night blindness, and macular degeneration.

Blood & Circulatory System

Potassium

Persimmons contain 8% of the daily recommended intake of potassium, which lowers blood pressure by acting like a vasodilator. When blood pressure is lowered, blood flows more freely throughout the body and reduces stress on the heart, which can help prevent heart disease.

CAUTION: If you have low blood pressure consult with your physician before consuming as persimmons can lower blood pressure. [3]https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/fruit/persimmons.html

Copper

Copper is another important element contained in persimmons at 9% RDI. Copper assists in the creation of new red blood cells, which increases circulation and assists in wound healing, muscle tone and development, increased energy levels and metabolism.

Persimmons are high in vitamin A (55%), vitamin C (21%), and also manganese (30%) RDI.

Persimmon Nutrition

Serving size – 1 small fuyu persimmon at 5.9 ounces / 168 grams

  • Calories: 118
  • Carbs: 31 grams
  • Protein: 1 gram
  • Total fat: 0 grams
  • Saturated fat: 0 grams
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 0.1 grams
  • Monounsaturated fat: 0.1 grams
  • Cholesterol: 0
  • Sodium: 2 milligrams
  • Carbohydrates/Sugar: 31 grams
  • Dietary fiber: 4 grams
  • Sugar: 15.8 grams
  • Vitamin A – 2,733 IU – 55% RDI
  • Vitamin C – 12.6 mg – 21% RDI
  • Vitamin E – 6% RDI
  • Vitamin K – 5% RDI
  • Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) – 8% RDI
  • Potassium: 270 milligrams – 8% RDI
  • Copper: .2 mg at 9% RDI
  • Manganese: .6 mg at 30% RDI
  • Omega 3 Fatty Acids 6.7 mg
  • Omega 6 Fatty Acids 65.5 mg
Persimmons have a multitude of beneficial properties that assist in keeping the body healthy besides being tasty. #FuyuPersimmons #AnticancerFoods #FuyuPersimmonNutrition #AntiagingFoods #AntioxidantsFoods #Immunity #FoodsHighinVitaminC

Where to Buy Fuyu Persimmon Trees

Chances are, you can find Fuyu persimmon trees at local nurseries within its growing range of USDA zones 6 through 10. It is a popular persimmon variety due to its hardy growth and resistance to pests and diseases. Even black-thumb gardeners will have success growing a Fuyu persimmon.

Fuyu trees start producing fruit at around 3 years old. One fully mature fruiting fuyu persimmon tree can produce up to 300-500 pounds of fruit yearly. The reddish-orange fruits are about the size of a baseball, and resemble a medium squat tomato and generally ripen throughout fall. You only need one tree for the production of fruit and it will give you enough persimmons to share with all your friends and family.

If you can’t locate the tree locally, many online plant nurseries sell Fuyu and other persimmons.

Persimmon Varieties

If you’re interested in the native American persimmon, check out this article for growing and harvesting information and recipes.

Non-Astringent Persimmons

  • Fuyu
  • Hachiya (some consider Hachiya astringent, but only if not allowed to ripen fully).
  • Gosho
  • Izu
  • Jiro
  • Suruga
  • Chocolate
  • Maru
  • Hyakume
  • Gailey

Astringent Persimmon Varieties

  • American
  • Saijo
  • Tamopan
  • Tanenashi
  • Tsuru
  • Fuji
  • Hira Tanenashi

Storing Persimmons

Refrigeration

Fuyu persimmons can last for weeks and up to a month before needing to be eaten, especially if stored in a cool, room temperature location. If storing in the refrigerator, make sure not to place them with other fruits such as apples. Storing by other fruit-types hastens the ripening process.

When storing persimmons, always cut the stem as close to the fruit as possible. Even though Fuyu persimmons are naturally hard when ripe, handle the fruit with care because it easily bruises.

Freezing Persimmons

You can even freeze Fuyu persimmons and they make a tasty treat once defrosted. Simply slice off the top, wrap the entire fruit tightly in freezer paper and pop into the freezer. It freezes well for up to three months. When you want to eat the persimmon, simply remove it from the freezer and let it defrost in the refrigerator for several hours and then scoop out the center and enjoy![4]https://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/fruit-month-persimmons#1

Drying Persimmons

In Asia, persimmons are dried and eaten as a snack known as Hoshigaki.[5]https://treespiritwisdom.com/tree-spirit-wisdom/persimmon-tree-symbolism/ 

HOW TO DRY PERSIMMONS

Persimmons are also great as a dried fruit and — as with other dried fruits — can last for up to a year stored in an airtight container at cool temps of around 60℉.[6]https://nchfp.uga.edu/how/dry/pack_store.html

  1. WASH the persimmons and slice horizontally in 1/4- to 1/8-inch slices.
  2. PLACE the slices in a single layer on a dehydrator rack or oven.
  3. DRYING PERSIMMONS:
    • OVEN METHOD: turn oven on its lowest temperature and bake the persimmon slices for two to three hours until completely dry.
    • DEHYDRATOR METHOD: turn to fruit setting or approximately
  4. REMOVE dried slices from oven or dehydrator. You can replace with fresh slices if you still have more to dry.
  5. COOL the dried fruit to room temperature before storing.[7]https://paladinipotpie.com/2011/11/19/dried-fuyu-persimmons/

FRUIT DRYING TIP: A slice is dry and ready for removal when it becomes crisp.

But if you have a big crop of persimmons and want to whip up some persimmon treats, you may enjoy these recipes.

How to Plant Fuyu Persimmon Trees

Part 1 – Fuyu Persimmons – Planting

Part 2 – Fuyu Persimmons – Staking

How to Eat Fuyu Persimmons

Our favorite way to enjoy Fuyu persimmons is quartered and raw like an apple, with the thick stem cored out of it. You can cut them when bright orange and still firm all the way to squishy, where the skin takes on a slightly translucent quality. It’s as if the skin is a container of jello, yet you can still cut and quarter the pieces, or… you can spoon out the delectable honey-flavor infused fruit.

How to Eat Firm Fuyu Persimmons

CUTTING AND QUARTERING

  • Lay stem end down on cutting board
  • Cut into quarters
    • Cut out the thick stem section from each quarter wedge
  • Or, slice horizontally, like tomato slices,
    • coring out the stem section from the top piece
  • Enjoy!

How to Eat Soft Fuyu Persimmons

CHOP OR SCOOP, (Skin Optional)

  • Quartered like the firm ones and eaten as wedges.
  • Halved and scooped out, leaving the skin behind, removing or leaving the stem piece as a holder
  • Scoop clean with spoon like you would scooping out an avocado
  • Scooped into a bowl for use in a recipe

Often, the soft Fuyus can be quartered like the firm ones and then eaten, skin and all. However, when the fruit has matured to softness the smooth skin is a little tougher, but only slightly so. We eat it anyway, chewing it well, but some people prefer not to. If that’s you, then you can cut the persimmon in half vertically, and scoop it out with a spoon, leaving the skin behind.

Astringent varieties of persimmons, such as wild persimmons, require the fruit to soften to squishy before it reaches its peak flavor without the astringency. However, Fuyu persimmons are non-astringent types and sweet and delicious even when firm and crisp. [8]https://www.crfg.org/pubs/ff/persimmon.html

Ways to Enjoy Fuyu Persimmons

  • Fresh, raw
  • Fruit salad – adds a crisp texture and bright
  • Sliced as a topper to:
    • cold or hot cereals
    • pancakes and waffles
    • yogurt
  • Baking
  • Jams, jellies, preserves and custards
  • Salsa – you enjoy peach, pineapple or mango salsa, then you’d also enjoy a Fuyu persimmon salsa

You won’t be at a loss of all the ways you can eat Fuyu persimmons. Fuyus can be prepared in any of the ways you would enjoy peaches, nectarines, mangoes or pawpaws.

Add them to a fruit salad to add a crisp taste and pump up the color, or add slices as a topper to cold or hot cereals, add chopped pieces onto your pancakes and waffles and to yogurt. If you enjoy peach, pineapple or mango salsa, then you’d also enjoy a Fuyu persimmon salsa with cilantro, onion, serrano or jalapeno peppers and tomatillos.

We love fresh Fuyus, most of all. But if your harvest comes in faster than you can eat them fresh, you can do anything with fuyu persimmons that you might do with a apples or peaches. Oh, and there’s Fuyu persimmon ice cream!

We have an older version of this Cuisinart ice cream maker.

Fuyu persimmons are non-astringent types and sweet and delicious even when firm and crisp.

Persimmon Recipes

Fuyu Persimmon Fruit Salsa Recipe

Chop roughly or diced, according to your preference. Adjust quantities to taste.

  • 4 medium Fuyu persimmons,
  • 1 small Onion, sweet yellow or Vidalia
  • 1 Serrano pepper (or 2 tsp.); (Sub. with jalapeno)
  • Tomatillos, or chopped green tomatoes, and/or red or yellow cherry tomatoes, (or both for additional color)
  • Cilantro, chopped fine
    • Fresh mint or lemon balm, chopped fine, (or sub cilantro for mint)
  • 1 tsp. Garlic or garlic chives, chopped fine
  • 1 tsp. Ginger, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. Basil, finely chopped or minced
  • 1 Tbsp. Lime juice
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste

Serve with chips, pita, fish, meats, or like you would chutney as a sweet, sour, hot condiment.

Apple Persimmon Crumble Pie from BakingTheGoods.com

For more persimmon recipes… anything from persimmon bread, cheesecake, cookies and even persimmon pomegranate salad, you’ll hit the jackpot on AllRecipes.com

For a good visual demonstration, you may enjoy this very helpful 3:30 minute video by Margaret Badore on two types of persimmons. Margaret shows the hachiya and fuyu persimmons, how to tell if they’re ready, and how to cut and consume them.

Persimmon Symbology – the Sweetness of Wisdom

Greek Meaning of Persimmon’s Latin Name

The genus name Diospyros has been construed to mean “divine fruit/grain” due to the “dio” part of the word, however, the more likely reason is that dio- is attached to plant names to imply the fruit of a plant or a plant with fruit.

Family: Ebenaceae, or ebony.

INTERPOLATION: Persimmon (Diospyros is connected to divination.[9]https://treespiritwisdom.com/tree-spirit-wisdom/persimmon-tree-symbolism/

Buddhism and Persimmons

For a bit of cultural trivia, some Buddhists celebrate the persimmon as a symbol of transformation, and six persimmons together signify enlightenment. The belief is that the sharp and bitter taste of the unripe persimmon represents ignorance, whereas the mature fruit symbolizes the sweetness of wisdom transformed through maturing.

Chinese and Persimmons

Persimmons are considered as symbols of good fortune in career and business success, and convey the wish for kindness and longevity. Persimmon trees are often gifted as plants or art that includes a persimmon tree, to impart this good fortune to the recipient.

Dreams – Persimmons Meaning in Dream

Persimmon in dreams are an important reminder to be conscious of the choices we make in our lives.

  • Persimmons symbolize choice
  • Be wary of seeking immediate gratification
  • Patience and effort for dreams and visions to come to fruition
  • The need to make necessary — and often hard — choices to achieve your goals
  • Patience is rewarded with sweetness.

RESOURCE: TreeSpiritWisdom.com

Contributions from the Community

And… from the GardensAll community: Kris Gasteiger says

We have a grove of Diospyros virginiana, American Persimmon. We harvest the fruit every year and run it through our Victorio food strainer using a modified grape spiral, to eject the seeds. The pulp is delicious in breads, ice cream, cake, pancakes, as a meat glaze on pork or possum… I find the non astringent Asian varieties rather bland and tasteless compared to the astringent ones.

We call it a grove. It’s at least a stand. We love the fruit, and the things we can make with it. I’ve been mowing around a copse of persimmon in our pasture in hopes of having more, in the future. We’ve also planted some selected Persimmons. The Meader strain. 

Oh, and the kissed by frost thing isn’t true. We’ve had them ripe in August, and not ripe in November. It depends on the degree days for ripening. Regardless, they’re delicious when they are ripe.

RESOURCES
Napa Master Gardeners Column
California Rare Fruit Growers

One of the more popular persimmons are Fuyu Persimmons. With a unique, like no-other kind of taste the closest correlation we've come up with for texture and taste is a cross between a mango and a pear. These are sweet and mellow even when firm, and ready when they're bright orange. #Fuyu #Persimmons #FuyuPersimmons #FuyuPersimmonTree #PersimmonHealthBenefits  #Gardening #HealthiestFruits #FruitsHighInVitaminC
Image Top: Fuyu Persimmons; Bottom – Wild American Persimmons. Image by GardensAll.com

Wishing you great gardens and happy harvests!

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