Persimmon, lotus
Flora Fauna Farm

Persimmon, lotus

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Diospyros lotus, AKA Date Plum. Its English name derives from the small fruit, which have a taste reminiscent of both plums and dates. It is among the oldest plants in cultivation.  This species is one candidate for the "lotus tree" mentioned in The Odyssey: it was so delicious that those who ate it forgot about returning home and wanted to stay and eat lotus with the lotus-eaters.

A fantastic species that is unjustly rare in gardens but certainly prime for both ornamental and edible appreciation. The strong growing trees have a dense, formal framework when young but will become more open with age. Stems support high gloss, deep green leaves that have remained fresh and colorful in our experience. A bountiful harvest of bright orange, 1/2" fruit grace plants in late summer and autumn. 

These are unsexed, male or female plants, that can also be used for grafting larger-fruited persimmon varieties onto. They will probably reach a height of 30-40' or so in managed landscapes in our region, although 100' trees have been recorded. Males would make an excellent shade tree, females for fruit. USDA zone 6.