[NAFEX] Asian Persimmon seedlings

abb7 at Lehigh.EDU abb7 at Lehigh.EDU
Wed Oct 21 23:21:14 EDT 2009

> n a message dated 10/20/2009 8:24:36 PM Central Daylight Time,  
> bassem at gardener.com writes:
> Have anyone attempted to grow Asian Persimmon seedlings in colder  
> parts of the US? I know of one variety called "Eureka" that is a  
> seedling from an Asian persimmon grown in the US, but haven't heard  
> of many seedlings setting fruit.
>> Hello Bass,
>> About 10 years ago I collected about 250 seeds from the UC Davis  
>> Wolfskill orchard, seeds of Jiro and Saijo. I planted them here in  
>> central Indiana, old 5b. nearly all came up.  Almost every winter  
>> they froze to the ground and every spring most came back up with  
>> some mortality every year.  Maybe two years not all were frozen  
>> back. The last ones died about 3 years ago.  My experience agrees  
>> with what Drs. Payne and Reighard wrote in a paper on KSD >>that  
>> winter damage begins to accrue at 10 F.

>> Additionally my experience is serve damage at 0 degrees and -10 F  
>> is mortal.  I had hoped to find a kaki variety with good frost  
>> resistance, but >>nope!

>> Jerry

I suppose it?s naïve of me to think that, after several hundreds of  
years of domestication, I could get a hardier persimmon in my  
backyard, but I?d like to give it a shot anyway!  From what little  
info I could find, it seems that current large scale breeding efforts  
in Asia are not about cold hardiness, but about other qualities like  
astringency and ripening time, so maybe there?s something for back  
yard amateurs here.

 From a genetics/evolution standpoint, the best chance of getting a  
seedling that is hardier than the parents will come from a cross of  
parents that are as distantly related as possible.  However, without  
some DNA fingerprinting, it?s not easy to directly determine that.  We  
can make an educated guess by looking at their recent origins. Info  
from the web indicates that Jiro and Saijo are both from Japan.  There  
are some Korean varieties that have good cold hardiness as well, Tam  
Kam and Miss Kim among them.

I?d guess that two varieties which are both from Japan are more  
closely related to each other than they are to a variety from Korea or  

One snag is that most cultivars apparently do not produce male  
flowers.  Hokkaido does, and apparently Great Wall and or Hana Fuyu,  
according to Bass? results this season.  I?ve heard of a hormone  
treatment that will induce the development of female flowers on male  
D. virginiana?.is ther any such trick to get male flowers on a female  
D. kaki?


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