Characteristics of Chinese Persimmon Tree (Diospyros kaki) in the Wild

Diospyros kaki
Chinese persimmon or Japanese persimmon is the most widely cultivated tree species of the genus Diospyros. This tree is native to China and is one of the oldest cultivated plants in China for more than 2,000 years.

In some rural China, the fruit is considered to have mystical powers that can be used to treat headaches, backaches, and leg aches.

The taste of Chinese persimmon is sweet and can be eaten when it is ripe with the texture of the soft fruit flesh that is sometimes fibrous.

The Chinese persimmon tree first spread to Japan where it is very popular there. It was then introduced to California and southern Europe in the 19th century, to Brazil in the 1890s, and many cultivars have become widespread in almost all tropical and subtropical regions of the world.

In cultivated cultivars, Chinese persimmon has a high content of proanthocyanidin type tannins which make immature fruit taste very bitter. The tannin levels gradually decrease as the fruit slowly ripens.

The fruits of other Chinese persimmon cultivars cannot be eaten raw, they can only be eaten when ripe.

Diospyros kaki ‘Hachiya’ is a cultivar that grows widely in Japan. Other cultivars, such as Diospyros kaki ‘Fuyu’, do not contain tannins, and that means they can be eaten like apples. However, non-astringent varieties are considered to have less complex flavors.

Sharon Fruit is the name of a non-astringent Chinese persimmon fruit that is traded in Israel. It was named Sharon because it grows on the fertile Sharon plains. The fruit is also seedless and tastes less sweet because it contains fewer tannins.

In Spain, there are cultivars as diverse as the “Ribera del Xuquer” which comes from the Valencia region. This is called the Spanish Persimmon or Rojo Brillante.

The Chinese persimmon tree is also cultivated in Albania, especially in the Elbasan region. Since the 1930s, it has grown only in small numbers in Bulgaria, particularly in the Upper Thracian Plains and on the Bulgarian Black Sea Coast.


Characteristics of Chinese Persimmon Leaf

Diospyros kaki Leaf
Source : Ng

Chinese persimmon has leaf-shedding properties, the leaves are green, lanceolate, and stiff.


Characteristics of Chinese Persimmon Flower

Diospyros kaki Flower
Source :

Flowers or fruit will bloom from May to June. The fruit cannot ripen when most of the leaves fall from the tree, which is usually the months of October and November.


Characteristics of Chinese PersimmonFruit

Diospyros kaki Fruit
Source :

Chinese persimmon fruit is round to oval in shape and with an average weight of 500 grams. The fruit skin is smooth, shiny, and thin, yellow, orange to red.


Characteristics of Chinese Persimmon Tree

Diospyros kaki Tree
Source : Tree Library

The Chinese persimmon tree is similar in shape to an apple tree, which can reach a height of 10 meters in the wild.

Chinese persimmon is currently grown all over the world, with 90 percent coming from China, Japan, and Korea. In East Asia, the harvest time for the fruit is October and November. After harvesting, the trees will lose their leaves.

This tree is one of the most common species used in bonsai in China and Japan.

In China, this tree has been cultivated for centuries. The tree is thought to have four benefits such as:

  • Long-lived tree
  • A tree that provides shade
  • A tree that is often used as a nesting place for birds
  • Trees that are not attacked by pests

    Throughout Asia, the Chinese persimmon fruit is believed to have healing properties. It is said that it can help fight stomach ailments and diarrhea.


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