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Persimmons are native to southeastern United States including Van Buren County in southeast Iowa.  Most garden varieties are persimmon species native to Asia.  Persimmons are dioecious: trees are either male or female, so to grow successfully, producers must have at least one male tree along with female trees.  The fruit ripens in late summer into fall.  Persimmons are part of the Ebony plant family.

Selection tips

Astringent varieties, such as Fuyu's, can be eater at any stage of ripeness, although they do get sweeter as the soften.  Non-astringent varieties, like Hachiya, should first be allowed to ripen to a soft, jelly like consistency before eaten.  Handle carefully as persimmons bruise easily.

Storage tips

Allow  fruit to ripen at room temperature or store in the refrigerator for up to a month. Remove from the refrigerator a couple of days before you want to eat or cook with them.  Non-astringent persimmons can be frozen whole and stored in the freezer for up to 6 months.

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