I have read that all Native American persimmons require pollination to produce fruit. I am also aware that some Asian varieties become less palatable when pollinated. So I am in the process of researching which Asian varieties would potentially conflict with my current Asian varieties and Hybrids.
When I googled the topic I found only one seemingly authoritative answer as given below, but that was 9 years ago. Since then, there have been a lot of cross hybrids created, so I am also interested to know if hybrid Asian XAmerican persimmons could possibly pollinate a pure Asian variety?
It would be nice to have a definitive answer to these two questions before I continue to add both Native American and hybrids to my collection.
Please advise if you have information or experience that answers these questions!
Posted 9 years ago:
Homeowner: “I planted one Japanese Persimmon, Diospyros kaki, Fuyu cultivar. I intentionally planted only one because I read that if it is by itself, it will produce seedless. We have many American persimmons (Diospyros virginiana) on and around our property. So here’s my question - can the American persimmon cross pollinate Japanese persimmon? If so, I’ll have seeds anyway in which case I’ll go ahead and plant a few more Japanese persimmons. But if not, I’ll stick with one tree and have seedless fruit. Anybody know?”
Answer by Tyler Ludens pollinator:
“The breeders who made the AmericanXAsian crosses went to great lengths to get that to work. I can’t remember which one was the pollen source, but let’s just say it was American. They took some Asian pollen and made it inviable, either by heat treatment or irradiation. They mixed this with American pollen, and applied it to the stigma of an Asian persimmon flower. The idea is that the inviable pollen was recognized by the stigma, which then became receptive, allowing the living American pollen to send its pollen tube in to fertilize the ovule.
I don’t think there’s any realistic chance that your Asian persimmon will be pollinized by your American persimmon.”
Hi Dennis. I´m not the expert, but I have not heard of any of the Kaki x virginiana hybrids that are generally available for purchase that bear male flowers.
My understanding is that hybrid males do pollinate both the kaki and the native persimmon, but you would really have to make an effort to locate a male hybrid – such as from a specialist who is breeding. You need not worry that you might inadvertently pick up such a tree from a commercial nursery and introduce it into your orchard.
Thanks for your perspective. As I researched a hybrid (Nakitas Gift) one I recently grafted to my tree, I noticed this description by a commercial provider, Prides Corner:
“Nikita’s Gift Persimmon is easy to grow and typically starts producing fruit in 2 to 3 years after planting. Naturally compact it is the perfect addition to the collectors garden or the novice orchardist as it is rarly bothered by pests and diseases. It is a high producer (over 50 lbs) of sweet, flavorful, reddish-orange fruit in the fall. Plus the green foliage turns a beautiful rainbow or orange to yellow shades in the fall. Persimmons are widely planted across Asia because of they are delicious and easy to grow. Nikita’s Gift is a cross between an Asian and an American persimmon. Although it is self-fruitful, a larger harvest is seen when planted near a male persimmon.“
What do you think is meant about the last sentence?
I have sent them an email to inquire what type of male they are referring to, but no response yet.
As your first post says, it is exceptionally difficult to pollinate Kaki and American persimmons. Luther Burbank reportedly tried and failed. Eventually Michurin from the then USSR succeeded
So getting this to accidentally happen is like winning a lottery without buying a ticket.
Also many American persimmons will produce fine fruit without pollination. All named varieties such as ones from Claypool, Lehman and others need no pollination.
As far as I know, no named hybrids produce male flowers. So nothing to worry about there.This is exactly what Gene is saying above albeit more precisely.
This is so often written about various self-fruitful cultivars, not just about kaki and persimmon trres. It´s also a question that has been discussed on this forum regarding NG several times, or whether pollination helps NG avoid early fruit drop. I had a NG when I lived in Washington DC and had no other kaki or persimmons nearby. It seemed to do fine its first season of bearing – but I moved soon afterwards.
I can´t grow kaki in my climate, so I stick to native persimmons only. Seeds don´t bother me. You¨ll just have to decide which is most important – seedless fruit or insuring fruit set with a kaki or persimmon that has male flowers, like Chocolate (kaki) or Szukis (virginiana)
Thanks for your feedback, maybe I should focus more on which ones will most likely ripen in my maritime climate here, both you and Ramv have given me a lot to think over!