Anybody growing Taishu in the U.S.?

Taishu is a Japanese PCNA persimmon, released from the Japanese breeding program in 1995. It has the following interesting characteristics:

  1. It is derived from Fuyu and Jiro, with enough Hanagosho and Okugosho that it reliably produces male flowers.

  2. It evidently tastes so good that has been sold in Japan, individually wrapped, for almost $30 apiece.

Combined, #1 & #2 suggest that Taishu should supplant various male-flowering Gosho varieties as the male side of breeding experiments with PCNAs.

  1. Correspondingly, Taishu has evidently become a preferred pollen donor for breeders in both Japan and Korea. It was the male side of two PVA (PVNA x PCNA) varieties released by Japan in 2007-09. As far as I can tell, it was the male side of all 5 PCNA varieties released by Korea in 2010-20. And of course, it was the Asian male side of the esteemed Asian/American hybrid JT-02 / Mikkusu. Reportedly Cliff England had planned to use it in his own hybridization work.

Given all this, I’m surprised that Taishu has not created more buzz both among growers and sellers. Of course, I could be out of the relevant loop.

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Would that then make your asian persimmons have seeds? We have JT-02 to plant out in the orchard this year, looking forward to tasting it!

I think so. It would depend on how readily Taishu would pollinate (a) other PCNAs, such as me IKKJs; (b) hybrids, such as my JT-02 and Kassandra; and © Asian PCAs, which I intend to plant or graft just to see what happens. I’m talking open pollination with no special intervention by humans.

I haven’t seen anything explicitly addressing this issue in the scientific literature, but my impression is that Taishu would readily pollinate another PCNA; would probably also readily pollinate an Asian-American hybrid with PCNA (especially Taishu) ancestry, such as JT-02; but would have some difficulty pollinating either a PCA Asian or an Asian-American hybrid with PCA (e.g., Great Wall) ancestry, such as Kassandra.

I’m going to participate a little on this subject…
Obviously few people have Taishu!

I just looked a little because it was just proposed to me. The person send me at the same time the official Japanese data sheet of this variety, which I translated.
It turns out that Taishu is a very good variety capable of producing large fruits, which can be eaten while still green, and which produce fruits without seeds…
The female flowers are described, but there are no comments on the male flowers.

From my old readings, I remember that Taishu has the ability to change gender and under extreme stress. This means for me that Taishu, even if it can produce male flowers, only does so exceptionally.

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Thanks for sharing your findings @Arhus76. It’s good to know that Taishu may not reliably produce male flowers under “normal” circumstances even if one could track it down to grow it. What kind of stressor would you expect to produce male flowers? I have seen photos of persimmon orchards (likely in Japan) where it looks like the trees have been girdled a foot or two from the base of the trunk. Would partially cutting to the cambium on certain branches in a similar manner produce a similar effect?

It could indeed be a solution. I remember when the tree feels it may die. I tend to find intelligence in this tree.
It could be extreme cold as well. But it seems very risky to me if you care about your tree…
On the other hand, in the list that this person gave me there is another more resentful PCNA which produces male flowers and it is well mentioned. I also exclude an interesting cultivar, which has the particularity of having compatibility problems with diospyros kaki. To avoid the problem, grafting should be done on Taishu or Fuyu.
Don’t ask for names, I don’t have them in mind. The person told me to have Kinokawa and finally he didn’t, I kind of gave up. But I will have to study his proposal better.

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<< The person send me at the same time the official Japanese data sheet of this variety, which I translated. It turns out that Taishu is a very good variety capable of producing large fruits, which can be eaten while still green, and which produce fruits without seeds… The female flowers are described, but there are no comments on the male flowers.

From my old readings, I remember that Taishu has the ability to change gender and under extreme stress. This means for me that Taishu, even if it can produce male flowers, only does so exceptionally. >>

Yes, as documented above, Taishu seems to be a very tasty PCNA. I posted a review (above) of a fruit acquired from a Japanese seller, treating the fruit as a gourmet item – offered at a high price in an individually wrapped box!

Here’s more. It’s obvious that the Japanese are proud of the product:

Taishu also has ancestry (various Goshos) that should give the capacity for male flowers. And in fact, Taishu is used as a pollen contributor. It is the male parent of both the hybrid JT-02 and various new cultivars released by the breeding program in Japan and Korea. See for example:

I don’t know what the Japanese or Koreans did to produce male flowers, but they describe the trees as “vigorous and productive.”

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This review of persimmon research in Japan has pictures of female, male, and hermaphroditic flowers in Taishu (see Fig 2).

There’s also discussion of chemical sprays to manipulate the proportion of flowers by sex.

JJPS_1242-62.pdf (2.8 MB)

I’d like to know more about what the published research says about flowers in Taishu. @Arhus76 – Can you substantiate your recollection that Taishu produces male or monoecious flowers reluctantly? Thanks.

p.s. Edit: Taishu is described here as monoecious.

It’s not that I don’t want to say more. But the study was based solely on the possibility of certain varieties of persimmons to change sex. The conclusion was that Taishu had this ability for the purpose of survival of the species. That’s all.
David Laverne who worked on it is probably the only person who could have answered these questions.
Photo of Taishu still green with sugar level.
I always thought Taishu was available in the US…I’m starting to think not.


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I don’t get your use of the term “change sex.” Asian persimmons produce three types of flowers – female, male, and hermaphroditic. Critically, a variety does not usually produce all three types. Many varieties produce mainly female flowers. Some produce female flowers but also produce male flowers exceptionally, e.g. temporarily on a bud sport. Some produce both female and male regularly (monoecious). Some produce female, male, and also hermaphroditic flowers.

Taishu is described as monoecious but seems to be in this latter category – all of the above. So for Taishu, sex is not either / or, all or none. It’s both / and. It appears to produce all three types of flower. Hormones appear to drive the proportion of female vs male vs hermaphroditic flowers.

Yes, David Laverne might have shed some light on these questions. But Japanese and Korean breeders have been using Taishu as a pollen source for decades. I’m aware of 2 Japanese releases (see above) and 5 Korean releases with Taishu as the male parent. I believe that Cliff England has done the same.

I remain skeptical of your “recollection” that Taishu produces male flowers “exceptionally.” I’d like better proof. I’m perseverating here because your comments above can discourage efforts here to find and grow Taishu and to use it as a pollen source. That could be a mistake.

To clarify the sex point, the article cited above states:

<< The flowers of Japanese persimmon are polygamo-dioecious with three types of sex expression: pistillate only, monoecious (both pistillate and staminate flowers), and polygamo-monoecious (hermaphroditic, pistillate, and staminate flowers) (Fig. 2). No cultivars bearing only staminate flowers have been reported. Flowers are borne laterally on current-season shoots. Some PCNA cultivars produce monoecious flowers, including ‘Hanagosho’, ‘Hazegosho’, and ‘Okugosho’, making them favorable for cross-breeding (Yamada 1993). However, superior cultivars do not always bear staminate flowers. Although the type of sex expression is genetically determined, bud-sports producing staminate flowers on pistillate cultivars are found on rare occasions (Yakushiji et al. 1995). After such shoots of ‘Fuyu’ and ‘Jiro’ were top-grafted onto rootstocks, the plants bore sta- minate flowers bearing viable pollen for several years. Since there were no differences in leaf isozymes and mor- phology, the shoots with staminate flowers are enzymatically and morphologically identical to ‘Fuyu’ and ‘Jiro’ except for the staminate flowers (Yakushiji et al. 1995). >>

I’ll emphasize: << No cultivars bearing only staminate flowers have been reported. >>. In other words, there is no such thing as a purely male Asian persimmon.

So I don’t get the concern that Taishu rarely changes sex. NO Asian persimmon variety ever changes sex. At most, there may be a change in the proportion of female, male, and hermaphroditic flowers.

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And another thing . . . .

I can’t access this article, but the abstract seems to say that Taishu produces lots of male flowers, so many that some growers are reluctant to plant it due to reduced fruit loads. So for better or worse, that’s the opposite of producing male flowers reluctantly.

Edit: Thanks to Richard, we have the paper. Here’s the relevant excerpt:

<< Most commercial D. kaki cultivars, such as ‘Fuyu’, ‘Jiro’, and ‘Hiratanenashi’ bear only female flowers, while some cultivars such as ‘Taishu’ and ‘Hanagosho’ bear male flowers as well. Commercial orchards are inter-planted with pollinizer trees with male flowers to ensure good fruit production. In monoecious cultivars, the ratio of male-to-female flowers in a tree varies not only with the genotype or cultivar, but also with the environmental conditions and tree age (Hume, 1913; Kajiura and Blumenfeld, 1989). For example, old or weakened trees of ‘Taishu’ produce excessive male flowers, leading to an insufficient crop load. Thus, some growers are reluctant to plant ‘Taishu’, even though this cultivar produces excellent fruit. The fact that only limited numbers of cultivars bear male flowers limits crossing combinations in breeding programs. >>

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Tao and Agaki 2019 - Sex  determination in Diospyros.pdf (518.6 KB)

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@Richard – Thanks!!

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one of the cultivars offered to me is Tïga or Taiya and depending on the translation…
Particularity: 10 days earlier PCNA compared to Matsumoto wase fuyu. Average weight 324 grams. Which is big. And presence of rare male flowers.

Here’s a link I found with some of the information you gave on this particular cultivar.

Taishu Document Diospyros kaki Male and Female Flowers.pdf (1.1 MB)

(left bottom = female flower) (right bottom = male flower)
The article indicates nothing about stress brought on to produce male flowers so it’s safe to assume ‘Taishu’ has male flowers in addition to female.
image

Translation:

Home / Industry-academia collaboration, varieties and patents / Varieties / Search for varieties / Fruit trees / Diospyros L. / Taishu

Taishu
The persimmon cultivar Taishu'' is a sweet oyster cultivar with extra-large fruits, which was bred by crossing Fuyu’’ with ``IIiG-16’'. Approximately 320g of fruit
It is expected to spread widely in sweet oyster production areas because it is large and the flesh is soft and juicy and has a high taste.
Main characteristics

  1. The size of the fruit is about 320g, and the fruit shape is tall and flattened, with no grooves.
    is.
  2. There are few brown spots on the flesh, and the flesh is slightly dense and soft. The fruit juice is remarkably large, the sugar content is about 17%, and the taste is good.
    vinegar.
  3. The ripening period is early November, which is the same time as “Matsumoto Wase Fuyu” and can be harvested 1-2 weeks earlier than “Fuyu”.
  4. The vigor and size of the tree are medium, and the shape of the tree is between open and upright. Moderate disease and insect resistance, particularly problematic pests
    is not allowed. The number of female flowers is less than that of Matsumoto Wase Fuyu'' and Fuyu’', but the physiological fruit drop is less,
    A yield equivalent to “Matsumoto Wasefuyu” can be obtained.

Suitable land for cultivation
It is expected to spread widely in sweet oyster production areas. Can be cultivated west of Chiba Prefecture on the Pacific Ocean side and west of Niigata Prefecture on the Sea of ​​Japan side
Although it is good, it may have astringent taste in cold highlands where the summer temperature does not rise sufficiently.
Agriculture and forestry certified variety (former name registered variety)
Registration number: Oyster Norin No. 7
Registration date: August 11, 1994
Person in charge of training
Hiroyasu Yamane, Masahiko Yamada, Akio Kurihara, Katsuichi Yoshinaga, Kenji Nagata, Nobuyuki Hirakawa, Akihiko Sato, Ryoji Matsumoto, Toshiaki Sumi, Toshiro Hirabayashi, Elementary School
Toshiharu Sawa, Manami Kadoya, Hiroshi Iwanami
Published paper
Fruit Tree Experiment Station Report No. 35, p.57-73 (2001-03)

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This is exactly what is seen in the PNW with many PCNA cultivars in years of insufficient heat units (like the present year 2022). Sweetness is unaffected. But the fruits have to be allowed to go soft to lose astringency. But then they only get to about brix 20-22. Quite good but not spectacular. A typical astringent variety has much higher brix.

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Makes sense. It’s so similar w/ nut crops too. The East Coast makes Shellbark or Shagbark nuts like 1/3 smaller than those grown here in N. IL or south to the Gulf States. All across the mid-West the heat units are good for growing nursery stock and for crops such as persimmon. Well, I thought I’d bring up the nut aspect of heat units, once-again. There’s so much collaboration to find the best cultivar(s) for areas. I’m glad ‘Jiro’ has it for you, @ramv

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Exactly.

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