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Common Persimmon (Diospyros virginiana) - Cold Hardy to Zone 6 ~! Fruit - raw, cooked or dried and used in breads, cakes, pies, puddings etc. About the size of a plum, the fruit has an exquisitely rich flavour when it is fully ripe (and almost at the point of going bad) but it is very harsh and astringent before then. The fruit can also be harvested in the autumn, preferably after a frost, and bletted. (This is a process where the fruit is kept in a cool place and only eaten when it is very soft and almost at the point of going rotten). Much of the fruit on trees in a relatively sunny position at Kew after a relatively warm summer in 1996 was still not fully ripe, though it was very nearly so and ripened well off the tree. The fruit can also be dried and used in bread, cakes etc. The fruit is up to 4.5cm in diameter. Molasses can be made from the fruit pulp. An oil obtained from the seeds is said to taste like peanut oil. A tea is made from the dried leaves. It is high in vitamin C and has a pleasant flavour somewhat like sassafras. The roasted seed is used as a coffee substitute. The fruit is high in vitamin C. The unripe fruit is extremely astringent. The ripe fruit may be eaten raw, cooked or dried. Molasses can be made from the fruit pulp. A tea can be made from the leaves and the roasted seed is used as a coffee substitute. Other popular uses include desserts such as persimmon pie, persimmon pudding, or persimmon candy. The fruit is also fermented with hops, cornmeal or wheat bran into a sort of beer or made into brandy. The wood is heavy, strong and very close-grained and used in woodturning. Growing Info: Scarification: Soak in water, let stand in water for 24 hours Stratification: cold stratify for 90 days Germination: sow seed 3/4" deep, tamp the soil, mulch the seed bed
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