Saturday essay: Persimmons, anyone?
Any gardener worth his mulch loves a challenge. If you see an interesting but unfamiliar plant species on a trip, you think, “Hey, I'd like to grow that!”
So, you snip a few leaves, pick a few berries or pods, then take it all home to identify it. Once you've done that, and as long as it's not an invasive species, you put your junior horticulture skills to the test.
Thus, the great persimmon experiment has begun.
Two persimmons made their way back to Western Pennsylvania from a trip last month to Southern Shores, N.C., along the Outer Banks. Not trees, mind you, but the “fruit,” which technically is a big berry.
Persimmons look like a cross between a half-grown peach and a small tomato. (The fact that the flower sepals stay with the orb when picked reinforces the tomato visual.) Cut it and the “meat” is the consistency of pudding. Taste it and it's just as sweet.
The dozen or so seeds harvested will have to be conditioned (“stratified”) over the winter — kept moist and cool in the refrigerator for three to four months — then planted in the spring.
But it will be many years before any berries are produced. And then only if it can be figured out if this persimmon is male or female and an opposite-sex mate is found for proper pollination.
Can bananas be far behind? As a matter of fact ... .
— Colin McNickle
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.