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Byline: JANICE SHUMAKE
Persimmons are perfectly designed for the fall landscape, whether or not you choose to eat them.
Shiny globes of brilliant orange fruit on a leafless tree stand out against a slate gray sky but are just as gorgeous backed by a brilliant blue hue of a sunny fall day. Plant a persimmon as a specimen tree to stand out in the landscape or site the small tree in front of a group of evergreens for another fall view.
According to Clemson Extension Service, the idea that the fruit must have natural chill to ripen is just a myth.
"It is a misconception that frost is required before persimmons are edible. In fact, frost will ruin immature fruit on the tree," reports Clemson Extension Service.
Another myth - the fruit has to be really soft before it is ready to eat - depends on which type of persimmon you have.
There are native American (Diospyros virginiana) and Oriental (D. kaki) persimmons, and most people who want to eat them get the Oriental.
There are two types of fruit - nonastringent and astringent, the latter needing to be very soft to eat. Nonastringents don't have to be soft. Natives produce much smaller fruit, and most need to be fully ripe before they lose enough of that lip-puckering astringency to be edible, according to Clemson Extension Service.
D. virginiana also is called possumwood, while the …