(Perceptions Change Slowly)
Fuyu (Jiro) Persimmon (#1 seller)
There has been confusion on persimmons. Our United States American persimmon was not very edible so the market production of fruit was slow and the public showed no interest to sample.
Japan and China grew the persimmon and the Japanese sold them in Europe. By the time these arrived in California, the names were mixed and new crosses and rootstock confusion.
Orange County Nursery became the major persimmon grower for the United States nurseries. The L. E. Cooke bought from Orange County into the 1970’s, as did most all others. The Orange County owners made trips to Japan to bring back new selections.
California through UC Davis and the Persimmon Association brought in Kay Ryugo for most of a year to study all the California persimmons. The persimmon we were and still sell for Fuyu (Jiro) Persimmon is what he called a “California Fuyu”. No need to change because all farmers know it as Fuyu (Jiro).
Unfortunately the early market persimmons were the American or Hachiya which need to be eaten fully ripe or it was very astringent. Even still today, many people are hesitant to eat a persimmon. Persimmons are now well accepted in California, but most of the rest of the country only knows or heard about the American or Hachiya. I am amazed at the nursery people who will not sell a persimmon because of the “bitter” fruit. If you visit the L. E. Cooke Co in the fall, I attempt to have a visitor sample a Fuyu Persimmon. What a surprise when they want to take a box of fruit home.
We brought seven varieties from Japan to avoid some of the confusion and uncertainty of names in California sources. Several were lost in travel and quarantine. All were here previously so we did not “introduce” any except for FUYU (IMOTO) PERSIMMON. The facts are basically the same as Fuyu (Jiro) except a little larger and about 7-10 days earlier. The Imoto selection came from the late Mr. Mike Imoto in Lindsay. We grew it for him and he allowed the company to add it to our catalog. I assume Imoto is a California Fuyu sport.
The Fuyu (Imoto) Persimmon advantage is slightly larger and earlier fruiting.
The L. E. Cooke Co introduced Fuyu (Imoto) in 1985.