Thursday, May 3, 2012

Fuyu Persimmon Flower

Until Autumn Belle asked me last year, I never thought to photograph the blossoms of the Japanese Fuyu Persimmon( Ebenaceae, Diospyros kaki ) tree. The flowers are inconspicuous. The time between bloom and fruit setting seem to happen in a blink of the eye. Normally, I would see the green flower buds and before I know it, watch the fruit fill out. The open bloom of the flower itself does not make an impression on me. In fact, truthfully in the early years, I believe that the persimmon blossoms were green!
Persimmon green blossom buds
The buds of the Persimmon tree are green in color. They look like a green buttercream icing formed by  a star shape icing tip. The 'swirly icing' are actually the sepal. At this stage, the buds reminds of those little biscuit we buy in bulk as little kids. A little round, flat top biscuit, top with a colorful swirly hard sugar icing. These days, I seen the biscuits being sold at pasar malam ( night markets) in Malaysia.

The buds appear in new green growth, in the axil of the leaves. Since I undertook to blog about the persimmon flower, I did a bit of investigation. I discovered while looking at all the blossoms, there were only female blossoms on my tree!! Further investigation revealed that The Fuyu Persimmon bears only functionally female flowers ( with stamens present but sterile) that without fertilization produce seedless (parthenocarpic) fruit. However the presence of other Persimmon trees increases the number, the size and the tastiness of fruits. In my case, I have two Filipino neighbors to the back of my house, Eng Chun Hokkein at that! They each have a Fuyu Persimmon tree in their yard. The other neighbor to my left, envious of all the Persimmon we were getting, two years ago planted a tree of his own. There is a lot of Persimmon Love flowing in my neighborhood :) Hence, I get a bountiful crop of large Persimmons each year.

The sepals open out to reveal the closed yellow petal bud of the flower. 

Partially open blossom

The bud opens to reveal the stamens. Your can see the un-open bud in the background.

A fully opened Persimmon blossom. The four petal flower is light yellow in color.

The yellow petals of the flower dries up. The four sepal gives an impression of a green flower.

The dried brown blossom naturally falling off. The young Persimmon fruit in gently protected by the sepals, which will `open' out, as the fruit gets bigger.

Young Persimmon fruit, nestled the center of the sepals. From afar, one would think that this is the Persimmon flower!

The Promise of Good Eats!


  1. Thank you very much for showing the persimmon flower. Wow! Such a tiny little flower can produce such a sweet tasty fruit. Persimmon is expensive here. I love persimmon.

    I know the biscuit you mentioned here. We call it the navel biscuit. We used to eat it as kids but nowadays, it is not so popular. It is sold in prayer shops because people buy it as offerings to wandering spirits.

  2. I was just thinking that too! When I compare the little young persimmon which I can hold between my fingers and the big ripe persimmon fruit that more than fills my whole palm with fingers stretched out! That's the delicious beauty of nature.