Diospyros kaki is a deciduous tree that can reach heights of 20-30’ tall and can be as equal wide. Typically grown for their fruits, which are typically described as sweet- though some may find them to be tangy. In immature fruits, there is a high level of tannin, which causes immature fruits to be extremely bitter, an evolutionary feature to help fruits reach maturity.
Additionally, Diospyros kaki has a large number of ornamental features. The female flower is typically a creamy white and appears as one flower. The male flowers tend to be shades of pink and appear in clusters of three, typically. However, the main feature of these flowers is not their petals, but instead the fragrance they emit. In the fall, the eaves of Diospyros kaki turn bright orange. In the winter, after leaves drop, the plants may provide structure to the landscape.
At Bok Tower Gardens, two cultivars can be found, Diospyros kaki ‘Hachiya’ and Diospyros kaki ‘Jiro’. Both Cultivars can be found in our Kitchen Garden orchard.
Blog written by Brendan Huggins, Director of Horticulture at Bok Tower Gardens.