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Sugar Plum American Persimmon Diospyros Virginiana Seeds
Packet of 6+ freshly harvested seeds!
Originally from America, and closely related to the Asian Kaki or Persimmon, this fella is well worth having in the collection.
I’ve planted heaps myself but this is the first time growing it so I can’t can’t offer advice based on experience.
I can tell you what I am doing, and the reason why I am doing it is based on a heap of a lot of reading and talking to others though, and I reckon what I am doing should give a decent chance of success.
I took half the seeds and planted them straight away in a sandy soil mix.
As they are super fresh I should have a decent germination rate though it could take anywhere from a couple months up to 2years.
Not a drama, I’m a patient sort of dude and you never know it could be much quicker too.
The other half I left in the plastic bag.
I removed the paper label, then filled the plastic bag with sand, added a couple drips of water.
I then put it in the fridge(Not freezer, do not freeze!).
I will then leave then there for ~3months to simulate the cold Winter season.
After that I will remove them carefully and plant as per normal in a well draining sandy soil mix.
As the plant thinks Winter has past and Spring has sprung in theory they should all germinate rapidly.
Studies I’ve read say 60-90% is normal using this method.
So yeah, I have planted half and cold stratified the other half, and I have firmly crossed my fingers.
I suggest you do the same or similar understanding that these super fresh rarely available seeds are a gamble.
You may have awesome success, 100% germination.
You may also fail and not even get one to pop.
Why would you want to grow it?
It tastes great and looks cool and they produce massive crops.
Unlike other persimmons, they do NOT need “bletting”, or a hard frost to force the fruit to ripen.
Even when picked hard and orange but underripe, they ripen up nicely on the bench in just a couple days.
You can easily tell they are fully ripe as they change from orange to opaque almost glassy red and are very very soft to the touch.
This softness is the reason you never see them in the local supermarket as they are not at all suitable for shipping.
The difference in colour is visibly dramatic, taste wise too.
Underripe is delicious for 1, maybe 2 seconds, but unfortunately that sweet crisp tropical fruity taste is followed by an overwhelming furry green banana taste that completely ruins any possible enjoyment…
Allowed to fully ripen they are delicious though, juicy and sweet, way better than any supermarket stonefruit, apple or pear.
Some say dates, which I guess is close, but with an apricot, rockmelon, maybe a hint of mangosteen as well and a firm yet gelatinous texture?
It’s really hard to explain but unique and delicious is probably the best way to describe the flavour.
They are a really interesting species too and the thought is that they were once food for the Megafauna that died out ~10,000 years ago.
A study done in 2015 suggests that elephants would be a more effective disperser of seeds than any other currently living North American mammal.
You can make a decent tea from the leaves , the very high Vitamin C fruit can be dried, cooked into pies and preserved, or boiled into molasses.
Because of the high sugar content it is also used to make liquers, brandy or beer.
They are known by heaps of different names, American kaki, American persimmon, American date plum, possum wood, possum apples, Virginian date plum, simmon, common persimmon, eastern persimmon, winter plum, Jove’s fruit, and by the synonyms Diospyros mosieri, Diospyros virginiana var. mosieri, Diospyros virginiana var. platycarpa, Diospyros virginiana var. pubescens, and Diospyros virginiana var. virginiana.
Another cool thing about them is that where other persimmon species will drop most of their unfertilized fruit, this fella will let them hang.
That means if you put a paper bag on the flowers before they open and don’t allow pollination from wind or insects, the resulting fruit will be totally seedless!
This unusual phenomenon has created a high value niche market is some parts of the USA.
Pretty cool hey!
Anyway, enough rambling, it’s a great plant, it’s very rarely available, and in my humble opinion it is well worth a gamble.
If you don’t want to gamble please leave these guys for someone else to buy as I only have a couple packs.