PERSIMMON (from the Virginia Indian name), or DATE Pfxrxt. A tree and its fruit, including several species growing wild and culti vated to some extent. The Japanese persimmon or kaki (Diospyroskoki) is the principal native fruit of Japan. It is found also in Korea, Eastern and Southern China, and parts of the East In dies. It is grown to a limited extent in Southern Europe, and was introduced into the United States about 1875. It finds a congenial climate in California and the Southern States as far north as Virginia. The cultivated trees grow 8 to 12 feet high, and bear a very attractive yellow. thin-skinned globose fruit often attaining the size of a medium orange. When ripe, the fruits con tain a soft sweetish pulp. A number of varieties are in cultivation, and these vary much in size. color. the number of seeds they contain, period of ripening, ete. The American persimmon (Dioa pyros l'irginiono) is native from Pennsylvania and Indiana south to the Gulf. Wild trees times reach a height of sixty feet in the forest, and are valuable as cabinet woods. In the open the trees seldom exceed 20 to 30 feet in height. Another Anieriean species. Diospyros Terano, is grown in Texas. The fruits of the American per simmon are much smaller than those of the Jap anesle varieties, are very soft when ripe, and on this account are seldom marketed.
Persimmons are propagated from seed. Va rieties seldom reproduce themselves. and so bud ding and grafting are resorted to. Seed sown in the 011 is allowed to goiw the following season.
The second spring the seedlings are either budded or crown-grafted. Grafting gives the better re sults. Native trees may be successfully top grafted with improved varieties. In transplant ing to the orchard trees one to two years from the graft are preferred. Persimmons thrive on near ly' all soils. Like other orchard fruits, they re spond generously to cultivation. Trees come into bearing within four years after setting in the orchard. Top-worked trees produce fruit within three years from the graft. Jap anese varieties are inclined to overbear, and should therefore be thinned. The green fruit of all varieties of persimmons is extremely astrin gent, and maintains this condition until fully ripe. The ripening period of the different varie ties varies from August until December. The Japanese sorts should be gathered before frost and stored in a cool, well-ventilated, moist room until fully ripe. Some native persimmons ripen before frost, which greatly improves others. The fruit. is usually consumed! fresh as a dessert or out of hand. Some varieties may be dried or pre served. Consult: Hadley and Troop, The Ameri can Persimmon "Indiana Agricultural Experi mental Station Bulletin 60; Watts, PerSi »1011.3 Tennessee Agricultural Experimental Station Bulletin XL, No. 1. In the latter bulletin both native and Japanese persimmons are considered. See Plate of PAPAW AND PERSIMMON.