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Persimmon Diospyros olive
The Japanese persimmon (Diospyros kaki, Thunb., 1780) is a tree of the Ebenaceae family, genus Diospyros, native to China, mainly cultivated for its fruit, persimmon. It is sometimes called fig tree and rarely persimmon persimmon.
The term khaki was borrowed from Japanese, kanji pronounced persimmon, and from the tree, from the expression kaki no ki, litt. khaki tree.
Plaquemine comes from the Algonquin piakimina3 (1682, M. de La Salle's Lect.) Denoting the common persimmon (Diospyros virginiana) in North America.
Diospyros comes from the ancient Greek Διος πυρος (Dioscorides 3, 141), dios "god", "Zeus", and pyros, "wheat," or "wheat of Zeus"
In Chinese, the tree is said to be 柿子 树 shizishu and the fruit 柿子 shizi.
The Japanese persimmon has been domesticated in southern China, there are traces of fruit grown in Neolithic 5. It is mentioned there 2500 years 6. Two centers of domestication separated were highlighted by the genetics: China and Japan 8, secondary center, where it would have arrived in the 8th century5. The biodiversity of the cultivars is impressive (more than 1,000 cultivars named in Japan, of which the National Fruit Germplasm Repository for Persimmon includes 560 cultivars). Both centers have astringent (PCA) and non-astringent (PCNA) varieties.
Jesuit Father Matteo Ricci during his stay in China evokes him for the first time in the West:
"There is also another species, which the Portuguese call" Chinese fig ", which is a very tasty fruit with a good appearance. The Portuguese call it "fig" only because it can be eaten dry, because otherwise it has nothing similar and rather approaches by its shape of a big peach which would be of red color and would have neither duvet neither core. "
The fruit can weigh more than 500 grams. It is an orange color, with a translucent skin when ripe. It can hold up to eight seeds and remains attached to the tree after the leaves fall. It contains various pigments, carotenes, lycopenes and xanthines in abundance, and it is one of the richest fruits in provitamin A.
The persimmon is a climacteric fruit whose ripening can be controlled after picking, but it is best to pick at full maturity, almost blot. The persimmon, left in the ambient air, will continue ripening naturally. It can be put in a paper bag to accelerate its maturation, or put in the company of apples in a non-perforated plastic case covered with paper. Once ripe, it is possible to put it in the refrigerator where it will keep a few days. It supports freezing well.
When ripe, they are very fragile fruits that rot easily and are difficult to transport. It is therefore necessary to carefully choose this fruit on display. Nevertheless, half of the Japanese production is made from astringent cultivars.
The tree is 5 to 10 meters high. Its leaves are simple, broad, oval and alternate, blushing green in autumn. Its flowers, white, yellowish or greenish, are in a bouquet for males and solitary for females.