People are sometimes perplexed when they see the small tree in the lawn to the right as they enter our property. Last year a lady asked me if I had a pumpkin tree! Here it is:The photo on the top left was taken less than two weeks ago. Can you find the fruit amidst the colored leaves? I took the photo on the top right just this morning. All the autumn leaves have been carried away by the wind, and now you can see the fruit. I counted, and there are 13 of them.
This is a Tamopan persimmon tree, a type of Asian persimmon planted three years ago, quite by mistake. I bought the tree thinking it was the non astringent Fuyu persimmon, which can be eaten while still crisp, like an apple. When its first fruit appeared, and I saw the peculiar shape, I knew this was no Fuyu! Research revealed that I had an astringent Tamopan, which can only be eaten once it is softened, because it has serious pucker-power otherwise. I had fallen in love with the mellow taste of the Fuyu, and that is what I wanted. But I had to admit the Tamopan had character! The fruit looks like it is wearing a cap!
The fruit ripens after the leaves have fallen. I can imagine what an amazing sight my "pumpkin" tree will be after it matures. When the first harvest ripened, I discovered that the insides of the Tamopan could be scooped right out of the tough skin, which serves as an excellent bowl. The gelatinous, sweet interior has hints of cantalope. It is different from the Fuyu, but good in its own way.
Yet I had not forgotten my first love, and last year I planted a small Fuyu persimmon tree in a pot near our kitchen. It needs to be planted in the ground, but I haven't yet found the perfect place. (My friend Tamopan occupies the perfect place!) Right now it sits in what I call my herb bed, and I am beginning to think it may stay where it is. I like the look of it in the pot, so maybe I will buy an enormous pot and let it continue to grow that way. The decision has not been made.
I am pleased with the little tree. Though its trunk is so spindly it can not hold itself up without stakes on each side, it produced a harvest this year: eight delicious Fuyus! Below are photos of the fruit. I love its beautiful interior.Lou and I have gobbled seven of them, and the last one sits in the refrigerator, becoming chilled and ready for prime tasting. After that last one is gone, it won't be long before the Tamopans are ripe. I think I have the best of all the persimmon world!