20th Century Persimmon

Is anyone growing this variety? If so, what are your experiences. It’s supposed to be very cold hardy.

I think Scott is the only one that had a mature tree in MD. He got the 20th Century non astringent Kaki scion from Wye.


Yes, its been very cold-hardy and is a good tasting non-astringent variety. It survived at Wye on the eastern shore of Maryland for 50 or so years including a few really bad winters.

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Scott and others,

Does anyone know which is cold hardier, 20th century or Tam Kam?

I don’t think 20th century has been trialed much beyond Wye, and I don’t think there’s any information to suggest that extreme cold was responsible for any particular tree deaths at Wye, so I’m doubtful anyone could do more than speculate for you (although it would be great if I’m wrong.)

Based on my notes from things I read about Wye, I don’t think Tam Kam was especially long lived there, but lots of random things could explain that, and in any case, I think Wye is zone 7b (avg minimum temp 5-10 degrees F), at least according to the latest zone assignments, so that’s probably not the best location for primarily testing for extreme cold hardiness, if that’s what you’re really wondering about.

I also wonder how much early ripening needs to be a concern for you with a non-astringent, if you’re thinking of growing one in Massachusetts. I don’t know enough or have nearly enough experience to advise you on that question, and maybe it’s not even a question that matters.

Dave in SW Virginia – that’s more or less his name on gardenweb, but I don’t think he’s active on this forum – is in zone 6, and I know he considers Tam Kam one of the best options for his location. I think he has a 20th century in the ground, too. I think he said all the new wood on all his in-ground Asian persimmons (including Nikita’s gift, I believe) was lost with these last two hard winters.

Floyd, I lost the original article but my memory was that there were a few years where Wye got below 0F in that 50-year period. Zone numbers are only for the 10-year low. I think they were 7A on the old map.

That said, I’m not sure how much it matters between those two - there is not a huge difference and you will probably have both be OK or both not in a given winter.


Here’s a GW thread where Scott has a little more info on Wye. Scott, if you find yourself with any extra 20th Century scions I’d love to trial it here in PA; I’m trying to trial all the hardier NA types.

I think at this point, I’ll wait until Cliff England releases a very cold hardy non- astringent persimmon.

I roughly remember something like that, too. What I don’t remember, though, was any particular correlation between those coldest winters and trees dying. That’s not to say there wasn’t a correlation, but if there was I don’t think it was recorded, so as far as we’re concerned, given the information I’m aware of, it would be pure speculation to say that most of the trees that died died in or immediately after the coldest winters. I think the practical bottom line for many of us is, more or less as you said, that we won’t observe any difference, i.e. a hard winter will probably mean that we lose both or that we lose neither.

Cliff got a Non- astringent called Chinebuli from Bulgaria (the original tree was from Northern China) that taste as good as Fuyu and survived -16 F at his place last Winter without much damage at all. I ordered one tree from him. This probably the most cold hardy Non-astringent Kaki at this point in time.



A Non-astringent Kaki for zone 5 is great!

I think all I want is a non-astringent fruit that tastes exactly like a persimmon that can be eaten ripe/soft or unripe/crunchy and grow strong for zone 5A without any winter protection like apple and pear trees. I admired Tony’s and others’ efforts to go through much prep works and reap the fruit of their labor but I just can’t handle anymore garden chores than I’ve already committed!

I may give up and plant a Prok I’m still holding out hope for one, just like JamesWNY and Mamuang!



You may want to give Cliff a call. The real hardy Non-astringent Chinebuli with minimal cold damage at -16F may be your ticket without Winter protection. In Omaha, only once in 7 yrs or so that the temperature gets down to -16F, so I only have to do Winter protection on this Chinebuli Kaki every 7 yrs or so. I got me a $50 large tree coming in a few weeks. I think he had a couple of trees left on inventory that is not listed on his website. You have to call him and ask for it.



Where I am, it was down about or below -16 F for two winters in a row. Although it’s only a couple of nights each winter. The rest of the time, it’s still below zero for many days. I think prolonged freezing cold could do persimmon in, too.

I’ll let you be our trailblazer. :smile:

My impression of Cliff’s area is it is normally not so bad but there are occasional really bad spells. I doubt that z5 areas will do well with even the most hardy kakis. Of course its still worth trying! I have tried many things I was told would never work, most didn’t work but a few were real winners. My fuzzy kiwis for example, they win the best fruit for least work award.

I got Chinabel (sic - Cliff’s name for it at one point) from Cliff this spring and didn’t know anything about it so put it in a not so good spot and it didn’t make it. I did succeed on some of his other varieties that survived his worst winters.


Just like Mamuang’s comments, my area went down well below -16F and solidly stuck there for more than couple days for the past 2 winters! I think it’s the duration of the deep hard freeze that did in many trees.

I probably will have to plant a Prok after all…