Persimmon Facts

Persimmon Facts
Persimmon is deciduous tree that belongs to the ebony family. It originates from China, where 2.000 varieties of persimmon has been created so far. Persimmon was initially introduced to Korea, Japan, India and Pakistan and later, during the 19th century to Europe, USA and the rest of the world. It grows in areas that have mild climate both during the winter and summer. People cultivate persimmon as a source of food and in ornamental purposes. China is the greatest producer of persimmons in the world.
Interesting Persimmon Facts:
Persimmon is deciduous tree that can develop one or several trunks. It can reach 25 to 66 feet in height.
Persimmon produces lanceolate, glossy leaves that are dark green colored.
Persimmon blooms during the spring. Some persimmons produce individual male and female flowers on the same tree (monoecious) while other cultivars produce male and female flowers on separate trees (dioecious). Female flowers are creamy, and male flowers pink-colored. Flowers attract insects, but they can be also pollinated by wind.
Botanically speaking, fruit of persimmon belongs to the group of berries. It can be oval, roundish, pumpkin- or heart-shaped, golden-yellow or orange-red colored. All parts of the fruit, except seed, are edible.
Shape and size of the fruit depends on the cultivar. Persimmon can weigh only couple of ounces or nearly a pound.
Some types of persimmon are seedless. Flowers of these varieties (also known as parthenocarpic) produce fruit without pollination.
There are two major groups of persimmon trees: cultivars that produce astringent fruit and cultivars that produce non-astringent fruit. Astringent fruit can be consumed only when it is fully ripe and soft (when content of bitter compounds, called tannins, drop to a minimum). Fruit of non-astringent type of persimmon can be consumed unripe, while it is still crispy.
Persimmon is rich source of dietary fibers, vitamins A, C and vitamins of the B group and minerals such as potassium, manganese, copper and phosphorus.
Persimmon can be consumed fresh, dried or as an ingredient of breakfast cereals, muffins, pies, breads, cakes, salads and puddings. Fermented persimmon is used for the manufacture of persimmon vinegar, better known as "gamsikcho".
Leaves of persimmon can be used for the preparation of tea, while roasted, ground seed can be used as a substitute for coffee.
Tannins extracted from the unripe persimmon are used for brewing of sake in Japan.
Solution made of crushed wild persimmons and water is used as natural, homemade insect repellent.
Dark brown or black heartwood of persimmon is used in the industry of panels, furniture, musical instruments and heads of the golf clubs.
Compounds isolated from persimmon have anti-inflammatory (prevent inflammation), and anti-infective (prevent infections) properties.
Persimmon can survive up to 75 years in the wild.

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