American persimmon varieties and pollination with males, 90 or 60 chromosome

I recently have starting planning what varieties of persimmon to grow in my new yard. I’d definitely like to grow an American persimmon as opposed to an Asian variety, and most likely a 60 chromosome variety since I’m in the south, but since they are dioecious I understand I need both male and female plants.

Obviously the female is the named variety, but when I’m purchasing (or looking for a wild plant for a cutting to root) a persimmon, how can I get a male persimmon? And beyond that, if I’m growing 60 chromosome and I want to grow some that will not have large seeds, how can I get some 90 chromosome male plants to pollinate the 60 chromosome female plants?

In regards to the female plants, I understand there are plenty of threads where people discuss varieties, but it’s hard to search all the messages and find recommended NON-astringent varieties that are also the species I’m hoping to grow (again, 60 chromosome I think is what tends to be native to my area).

I found a handful of female persimmon trees with ripe fruit in my area, but I’m having trouble finding any nearby male plants that pollinated them.

Can anyone either give suggestions for varieties and how to find appropriate male plants? Alternatively, if you could direct me to resources that would help it would also be great!

1 Like

Unless you want seeds, you don’t need a male pollinator. Most of the named, improved varieties set fruit without a pollinator, and are 90 chromosome. FWIW, there’s no guarantee that the wild trees in your area are 60 chromosome. The geographic lines separating the two ploidy levels are quite blurry.

As far as astringency, there are no American or hybrid persimmons that are considered non-astringent. All/most of the named varieties have little to no astringency when fully softened, but truly non-astringent fruits are edible when still crunchy. There are currently only Asian varieties that have that trait.

That’s great to know! I won’t worry about the chromosome thing then and I’ll just but some scions of some highly rated named varieties. I collected a handful of seeds from the wild ones I found and I’ll try to grow those for fun and/or grafting down the road.

I wont worry about the astringency then, I’ll just make sure to only eat the very soft ones. Thank you so much!

1 Like

Happy to help! Just for fun, here’s the only listing I’ve seen of varieties that were tested as to their ploidy. It’s by no means an exhaustive list, but note how few tetraploid varieties there are.
from: Ploidy Level in American Persimmon (Diospyros virginiana) Cultivars in: HortScience Volume 55 Issue 1 (2020)


Hi Jay,
Here my question re pollination: I have a Chocolate that I have top worked most scaffolds with these varieties:
Prok: 1 ea
100-46: 2 ea
Zima khurma: 2 ea 2021 grafts
DC. Dar Sofiyivky (Gift of Sofiivka): 1 ea, 2022 graft
Hachiya: 2 ea 2021 grafts
Kasandra: 1 ea 2021 grafts
Unknown Kaki (Jiro?): 8 ea ok 2021 grafts.
IKKJ: 2 ea 2022 grafts.
I have been removing all Chocolate male flowers each year to allow the grafts to grow better. This year the only fruit is 2 on Kasandra.
My question is: If I allow the Chocolate male flowers to produce pollen, which of these varieties would potentially be pollinated?

1 Like

That one’s above my pay grade! My best guess is that only the Asians and maybe the hybrids would produce seeds, but I have no clue whether the Americans would experience any pollination-related effects on fruit set, flavor, etc.

1 Like

It’s definitely going to be tough deciding what to get. There seem to be a lot of options but I’m having trouble finding many descriptions of the quality of each option. Thankfully I think I have a few years before I really need to worry about that. I’ll focus on my apples and pawpaws for now.

When the time comes for the persimmons though, I’ll have to figure out if the rootstocks I have are compatible or not. I’m hoping I get at least SOME of these seeds to germinate and grow, and I hope that the scions I get are compatible.

1 Like

Just a couple of quick corrections for that table… ‘Brace #1’ is/was a selection from Don Compton of Marengo IN… the material tested may have come from me, or someone I shared scionwood with at some time after Don shared it with me.
‘Keener’ has often been alleged to be a D.v.XD.k. hybrid, bred by Luther Burbank, but Jerry Lehman went over Burbank’s notes with a fine-toothed comb, and found no indication that he was ever able to successfully hybridize the two species. There is really nothing about ‘Keener’ that makes me think that it is anything other than a decent D.virginiana, and I’ve never seen conclusive evidence that it even originated with Burbank.