Japanese Persimmon
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Japanese Persimmon
D Native Photo: Nidhan Singh
Common name: Japanese Persimmon • Hindi: हल्वा तेन्दु Halwa-tendu • Khasi: Dieng-iong • Nepali: हलुवाबेद Haluwabed
Botanical name: Diospyros kaki    Family: Ebenaceae (Ebony family)
Synonyms: Diospyros amara, Diospyros kaempferi, Diospyros sinensis

Japanese Persimmon is a tree that reaches a size of up to 10 m. Leaves are alternate, ovate to obovate, up to 17.5 cm long. The trees typically do not bear until they are 3 to 6 years old. The 2-2.5 cm wide flowers appear in the spring. Female flowers have a creamy yellow color and tend to grow singly, while male flowers have a pink tint and tend to appear in threes. The flowers have four crown-shaped sepals and four petals. Occasionally bisexual flowers occur. The spherical to oval fruit, bearing the indented stem and four sepals, can weigh up to 500 grams. The smooth, shiny, thin shell ranges in shade from yellow to red-orange. The slightly lighter fleshed fruits can contain up to eight seeds and may have an astringent taste. With increasing maturity, the fruit softens, similar to a kiwifruit. The tree is native to Japan, China, Burma and the Himalayas and Khasi Hills of northern India.

Identification credit: Nidhan Singh Photographed in Pelling, Sikkim.

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