Submitted to: American Society of Horticulture Science Meeting
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: December 15, 2010
Publication Date: December 12, 2011
Citation: Marshall, D.A., Edwards Jr, N.C., Spiers, J., Stringer, S.J. 2011. Performance of persimmon (Diospyros kaki) cultivars in southern Mississippi. American Society of Horticulture Science Meeting. 11:4, 386-392.
The oriental persimmon (Diospyros kaki) is native to China, where it has been cultivated for centuries. In its native China more than two thousand different persimmon cultivars exist. Persimmons are best suited in areas of moderate winters and relatively mild summers (USDA Hardiness Zones 7 to 10). It can tolerate temperatures of 0° F when fully dormant. However, because of its low chilling requirement (less than 100 hours), persimmons will break dormancy during early warm spells only to be damaged by spring frosts later. Both astringent and non-astringent Persimmon cultivars were planted in 2006 at the USDA Thad Cochran Southern Horticultural Laboratory test plots in Stone County, MS. Plants were established in a randomized complete block design with 5 replications. In 2007, tree height, and a count of fruit produced were taken September 25, 2007. Ten fruit from each tree were collected in September and measured for height, width, weight, volume, soluble solids (ss), pH, and texture. Texture measurements were preformed on a QTS25 texture analyzer. Fruit were measured for hardness, cohesiveness, chewiness, gumminess and modulus. In 2008, a spring freeze occurred March 29 after several days of warm weather giving an opportunity to assess freeze tolerance. Several cultivars had broken dormancy and began budding. The low temperature in the field reached 27.3 F. Then 3 weeks later (April 15, 2007) another less severe freeze reached 31.3 F. Freeze damage ratings (1 none or minimal damage – 5 badly damage) and percent leaf coverage estimates were recorded.