If you’ve seen fruit labelled as ‘Fuyu’ in your local fruit shop and wondered what it was, it’s a type of non-astringent persimmon.
Persimmons (Diospyrus kaki, which loosely translates to ‘Fruit of the Gods’) are deciduous fruit trees which have striking autumn foliage colours and delicious and very decorative orange red fruit which are harvested during autumn. The colourful fruit often hang on the tree well after the leaves have fallen, prolonging the colourful display.
Persimmons fall into two groups – astringent and non- astringent. Non-astringent persimmons such as Fuyu, Ichikikijiro and Izu can be eaten while they’re still crisp and firm. Heart-shaped astringent persimmons, such as Nightingale and Hachiya, need to be fully ripened and very soft and jelly like before being eaten. This helps to reduce the tannin levels in the fruit (which creates the bitter taste).
Sweet, honey-flavoured persimmons are rich in vitamins A, B and C, as well as manganese and potassium. They’re also high in fibre, low in calories and contain beneficial antioxidants. In addition to being enjoyed fresh, persimmons can be dried, added to salads and also used in desserts. chutneys and muffins.
‘Fuyu’ are hardy self-pollinating persimmons that reach around 4 m tall and will grow well in cool, temperate and sub- tropical climates. Choose a spot that is sheltered from strong winds, as the fruit laden branches can break easily.
Persimmons can also be grown in medium to large pots.
Persimmons are most commonly planted during winter as bare rooted trees however can also be available as potted trees which are great for planting during autumn.
When planting a new persimmon tree, either potted or bare rooted, mix some Yates Dynamic Lifter Soil Improver & Plant Fertiliser into the planting hole and keep the soil moist while the tree establishes. Feed persimmons from spring to autumn with Yates Thrive Natural Citrus & Fruit, which promotes healthy leaf growth and lots of heavenly tasting fruit.
Harvesting tip: it will take at least 3 years for persimmon trees to bear fruit. To avoid damaging the fruit, it’s best to use secateurs to harvest persimmons, leaving a small section of stem.