Hybrid Persimmons Future Look Great

Hello all,

Pretty soon northerners can grow some of these cold hardy Hybrids beside Rossyanka and Nikita’s Gift. Hopefully, Cliff at England Orchard will market them soon.

  1. JT-02 cold hardy to -16F without any damage. Fuyu shape fruit. Astringent.

  2. Kasandra cold hardy to -16F without any damage. Release for sale. Astringent.

NB-21 : Sestronka. Astringent.

Saijo X F2 Rossyanka male. Astringent.

Keener X F2 Rossyanka male. Astringent.

Honan Red X F2 Rossyanka male. Astringent.

Nikita’s Gift- release for sale. Astringent.


Color on the Sestronka is very pretty.

But I need a cold hardy Fuyu. Haven’t been very attracted to the gooey types for years, although I would certainly grow one.

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Wow, lots of new varieties! Are these all bred by David Lavergne?

I was recently given a seedling that another fruit fanatic made by crossing a hybrid with a male kaki, hopefully it’s female. If it’s male maybe I’ll try crossing with Tam Kam to get a non-astringent hybrid…in 5-8 years!



Yes, The breeder is David LaVergne from Louisiana and grown out by Cliff England at England Orchard in KY. Looking good for Z5 folks.



Good news, Tony. I love kaki persimmons, although I have never grown any myself.
By the way Sestronka means “little sister” in Russian.


I planted wild rootstock a year ago in hopes these type of varieties might become available. Looks like persimmons have a bright future in Kansas.

So, what are the promising features of most hybrids? My understanding is that they’re basically hardier astringent kakis.

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Most of Astringent kakis barely survived Zone 6A without Winter protection. If one can grow the hybrids with the same taste and size of astringent Kakis in zone 5A without any Winter protection is a big leap forward. Astringent taste a lot sweeter than Non-astringent.



Those are big! I would guess the astringent varieties have an especially short shelf life. what do you do with the fruit?


Not to my palate. A good Fuyu is pure sugar. The difference is astringent varieties need to be almost slime to eliminate astringency and be fit for eating while non astringent ones can be eaten while quite firm, a texture I prefer.

More hardy non-astringents may be less sweet, I have no idea . I was introduced to persimmons when I lived in southern CA. I’ve not grown any non-astringent varieties in the northeast, although England thought he had a hardy one that turned out to be astringent as grown here.



Once the astringent turn light orange, the fruits can be harvest and sit on a counter for 3 weeks or more. When the fruits turn soft ripe and they are ready to be consume fresh or make into persimmon pudding, cookies or leather. One can also freeze the whole persimmon for later use or dry them in a dehydrator for long term snack during Winter months. They are also very good source of fiber and health benefits.
"Persimmon fruit is moderately high in calories (provides 70 calories/100 g) but very low in fats. Its smooth textured flesh is a very good source of dietary fiber. 100 g of fresh fruit holds 3.6 g or 9.5% of recommended daily intake of soluble and insoluble fiber.

Persimmons contain health benefiting flavonoid poly-phenolic anti-oxidants such as catechins and gallocatechins in addition to having an important anti-tumor compound, betulinic acid. Catechins found to have anti-infective, anti-inflammatory and anti-hemorrhagic (prevents bleeding from small blood vessels) properties.

Some of other anti-oxidant compounds found abundantly in this fruit are vitamin-A, beta-carotene, lycopene, lutein, zea-xanthin and cryptoxanthin. Together, these compounds work as protective scavengers against oxygen-derived free radicals and reactive oxygen species (ROS) that play a role in aging and various disease processes.

Zea-xanthin, an important dietary carotenoid, is selectively absorbed into the retinal macula lutea in the eyes where it thought to provide antioxidant and protective light-filtering functions. It, thus, helps prevent "Age-related macular related macular disease"(ARMD) in the elderly.

Persimmons are also a very good source of vitamin-C, another powerful antioxidant (especially native Chinese and American persimmons; provide 80% of DRI). Regular consumption of foods rich in vitamin C helps the body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful, pro-inflammatory free radicals.

It is good in many valuable B-complex vitamins such as folic acid, pyridoxine (vitamin B-6), thiamin...etc. These vitamins act as co-factors for numerous metabolic enzymatic functions in the body.

Fresh and dry Persimmon fruits also contain healthy amounts of minerals like potassium, manganese (15% of DRI), copper (12% of DRI), and phosphorus. Manganese is a co-factor for the enzyme, superoxide dismutase, which is a very powerful free radical scavenger. Copper is a co-factor for many vital enzymes, including cytochrome c-oxidase and superoxide dismutase (other minerals function as cofactors for this enzyme are manganese, and zinc). Copper is also required for the production of red blood cells."



Non-astringent persimmons like Fuyu, Ichi, Tam Kam, 20th Century, Izu, Jiro, Gosho/Giant Fuyu/O’Gosho, Imoto, Maekawajiro, Okugosho, Suruga, and Gwang Yang are easy to eat firm ripe without the pucker/ bitter taste but they are not as cold hardy and super sweet like the astringent type. If you can get a hold of a soft ripe very large and super sweet Hachiya and it is notch sweeter than a good Fuyu. David La Verne tried to cross a non-astringent to F2 Rossyanka male and he came up with a JT-02 astringent hybrids. So, it may takes a while and hundred of new crosses to be able to come up with a real cold hardy non-astringent but he is working on it.



Tony, I started eating astringent types as a boy and was a young man by the time I sampled my first Fuyu (probably over 40 years ago). I like them both, and there is even a new astringent variety that gets imported here from Spain that is really special.

I don’t think a piece of fruit benefits from more sugar than what is found in a good Fuyu, but this is highly subjective. To me, the truly significant difference is in texture when fruit is palatable.

At the Asian market where I find Fuyus available at a reasonable price it is obvious that many of the regular customers prefer non-astringent persimmons. I see them loading up Fuyus in their carts by the case. These are people with Asian physical features that presumably know enough not to try to eat an astringent variety before its time.

You at least have to admit that the astringents are less useful as a fruit to throw in a child’s lunch box.

I realize that the cold hardy ones are all astringent- that is the point of my wishing for a break-through.


I had a non- astringent persimmon for the first time this year (from a home grower). I think it was a Jiro. And I have to say, I much preferred them over the astringent ones. It might be because I don’t really like the super super sweetness of the astringents (asian and native) and prefer the crunch and texture of the non-astringents. I also love that you can eat them at various stages and various sweetness.So here’s hoping there’s some non-astringent cold hardy ones in the future…

But very exciting that Cliff has come up with these crosses and will be releasing them. I know he’s been working on them for a long time. I remember visiting him and trying some a awhile ago.
It sounds like the “astringent” gene in persimmons is dominant over the non astringent. So more crosses and more time… we will get one someday!



Yes, I would love to have a very cold hardy non-astringent too so I don’t have to do Winter protection on my Ichi Ki Kei Jiro every late November. I have spoken with Cliff a couple of days ago. David L. gave him over 500 hundred of hybrid seeds and he planted them in his seven acres part of the farm in the last 2 to 4 years and they are start to produce soon. I am hoping that Cliff get a break and come up with one good non-astringent out of the 500+ hybrids.


Here is a photo of hardier Astringent that Cliff offers this year:

Steiermark Astringent Kaki in the cold region of Austria.

Another Astringent from China called Shanxi

Here is a special very cold hardy non-astringent from far northern China called Chinebuli. Hopefully David L. will use the one as a flagship to cross for a real cold hardy non-astringent Kaki.

Here is another cold hardy Astringent called Korean Kaki.

here is a photo of Ichon Kaki hybrid? and Prok American Persimmon.

I grafted six Tam Kam this Spring and doing some trial in Zone 5.



I just ate my 1st Nikita’s Gift of this year, It has quite a lot of fruit this year last year had few. It was awesome and this year it has seeds as Nikita’s Gift is a hybrid these seeds by default have to be and they look viable. Some of my Kaki been having 2 or 3 seeds so I know one of my Kaki putting out at least a few male blooms. I have Native Virginiana around so I assume either could be a pollinator. I am going to have to look for scion of Kasandra and some of these others to try. I think I will grow out these Seed and some Kaki


Does anyone and any information on whether any of the hybrids fall from the tree when ripe? I’ve heard conflicting reports on Nikita’s Gift some folks say it falls for them and others say it doesn’t. I haven’t heard about other hybrids drop verses retention. I’m presuming most don’t drop like Kaki verses dropping like American.


Last year my NG had some seeds in the fruits and I asked Jerry Lehman about the seeds and he stated that the American persimmon gene is responsible for the seeds. If you grow them out then you will get some sort of hybrids.

Strudeldog, if you want to help Jack F&F out by leaving a few NG fruits on the tree as long as you can and record the time frame when the fruits drop.


Me too! That sounds very promising!

Thank you for all the pics. I’m very excited now. Cliff is offering Chinebuli?? That sounds great! Will it be cold hardy enough for you in zone 5? (I am thinking that you are going to trial it and find out!).
And also, “The Fourth International Symposium on Persimmons”… I want to go! Haha.

I need to go look at Cliff’s website, sounds like he has some really good stuff.

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