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‘Tis the season… for Persimmons!

I love Hachiya persimmons' shape and color. The beautiful orange orbs are my favorite “ornaments” hanging on the trees in Santa Cruz in late fall.

Whatever your feelings about this fruit, I hope you enjoy my artwork! All these are available in my Shop-- some are even on sale!

Did you know that there’s lots of persimmon folklore? In Korea, they are said to protect you from tigers! It’s been claimed that you can forecast winter weather by looking at the seeds of American persimmons. (Hachiyas don’t have seeds). Fork shape seeds = winter will be mild; Spoon shape = there will be a lot of snow; Knife shape = winter will be bitingly cold that “cuts like a knife.”

As well as being the national fruit of Japan, persimmons are also a symbol of autumn in much the same way pumpkins are in the United States. Haikus are dedicated to persimmons: "I bite into a persimmon and a bell resounds" – Horyuji. Persimmons are native to China, and spread to Korea and Japan more than 1,000 years ago.

Wood from persimmon trees is very beautiful and dense. It belongs to the same genus as ebony. In the past, Persimmon wood was used to make golf clubs known as “woods” as well as billiard cues, drumsticks and longbows.

The taxonomic tree name: “Diospyros virginiana” is a Greek for “fruit of the gods.” Its common name, “persimmon” is a derivative of a Native American word that sounded something like “putchimon” or “pushemin” meaning “choke fruit.”

Persimmons are abundant here, and tree owners often “gift” them to everyone they see. Hachiya persimmons are larger, pointed at the bottom, and thicker-skinned, eaten only when completely soft. Fuyu can be eaten like apples.

“There are few things more unpleasant than an unripe Hachiya. Its astringency will immediately make your tongue feel like it’s covered in a hideous orange shag carpet.” — Maya Okada Erickson, The Fruit of Japanese Fairytales


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