The word “chocolate” in a fruit tree’s name is likely to catch the attention of lovers of sweets. The Chocolate Persimmon Tree is one of many types of Persimmon Trees.
Unfortunately, contrary to its name, this tree doesn’t produce actual chocolate, nor do its fruits resemble the flavors of this beloved candy. So why is it named after chocolate? Keep reading to learn about this unique fruit tree, including where it came from, ways to enjoy it, and how to grow your own at home.
Simply looking to buy a Chocolate Persimmon Tree? Check availability.
Characteristics of the Chocolate Persimmon Tree
What It Looks Like
Chocolate Persimmon trees are beautiful plants with a unique appearance. They have an upright growth pattern and a canopy that spreads into an oval or oblong shape. Their abundant leaves are a deep shade of evergreen, adding charm and character to any landscape.
The Persimmon tree’s bark is one of its hallmark qualities, and this variety is no different. Chocolate Persimmon trees have deeply furrowed black bark with a layer of green underneath.
Some trees have all female or male and female qualities, allowing them to produce fruits.
Chocolate persimmon fruits are small to medium-sized and can vary significantly in appearance. They range in shape from oval to spherical to slightly flattened and have glossy, smooth, and taut skin.
The colors of the Chocolate Persimmon can be dark orange or red, have a papery green calyx (or leafy cap), and their inner flesh is dark brown.
Chocolate Persimmon trees are naturally compact and grow about 30 feet tall when pruned regularly. If allowed to grow without pruning, it’s possible for them to grow up to 80 feet! The width of the trunk is about five feet around which makes it an easy fit in any landscape or garden.
For more information about the growing habits of persimmons, check out our post to learn all about how fast a persimmon tree grows.
Chocolate Persimmon Taste
Contrary to popular belief, Chocolate persimmons don’t taste like chocolate. While their name comes from their dark brown interior (and not because of any chocolatey flavor), this fruit is still just as delicious.
Chocolate Persimmons have a sugary taste with spice-filled undertones that some say resemble nutmeg. While they are juicy and sweet, they’re not overpowering, and these fruits are well-liked by many.
History of the Chocolate Persimmon Tree
Chocolate persimmons are part of the Asian Persimmon tree family and are native to Eastern Asia. Fun fact: persimmons are actually the national fruit of Japan!
This variety was introduced to the United States in 1870 and was first planted in California and some southern states. Over time, many immigrants from Japan began to own private family farms to grow the Chocolate Persimmon tree.
Chocolate persimmons are relatively hard to find these days as they’re mostly grown in Japan, China, Korea, and California. During their peak season, you may be able to find these fruits in commercial grocery stores, but your best bet is to check out local farm stands and markets.
Ways to Enjoy Chocolate Persimmons
The Chocolate persimmon is best enjoyed when it’s fresh and eaten straight off the tree, which allows you to enjoy its complex and sweet flavors.
The main areas you’ll want to eat of this fruit are the dark parts of the flesh. It can be cut into quarters or slices and is perfect for enjoying alone or as an addition to your favorite dish.
Try adding the fresh chocolate persimmon to fruit bowls and appetizer plates or tossing them in a salad. They even make a delicious ice cream topping!
Another way to enjoy your Chocolate persimmons is baked into cakes, pastries, tarts, and more.
This Chocolate Persimmon Cake utilizes the sweet yet spiced flavors of the fruit combined with chocolate, brown sugar, and cream cheese icing to create the perfect flavor combination that is sure to please.
Persimmon Health Benefits
Studies have shown that the persimmon’s nutritional content is linked to a variety of benefits. They’re healthy fruits that are packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
Persimmons are also low-calorie, which makes them a great addition to any diet. They have significant levels of vitamins A, C, and B, along with potassium and manganese, which helps balance and regulate many of the body’s systems.
Persimmons also are a great source of nutrients like thiamin, riboflavin, folate, magnesium, and phosphorus.
Growing Your Own
Because they’re so hard to come by in stores, growing your own Chocolate Persimmon tree at home is a great way to ensure you can get your hands on these special fruits.
For specific instructions, make sure to take a look at our post on How to Grow a Persimmon Tree. In the following sections, we’ve highlighted some important steps that’ll help you get started.
Chocolate Persimmon trees have the highest chance of success when grown in sandy loam soil. However, these trees aren’t too picky when it comes to soil and can grow in any type with good drainage.
They also perform best in slightly acidic to neutral soil. The pH of your soil should be anywhere from 6.0 to 6.5.
Chocolate Persimmon trees thrive in full sunlight, so pick a sunny spot when planning your placement. Make sure to avoid frost pockets which can cause damage your tree during unseasonable frosts.
In their first year of life, Chocolate Persimmon trees need a good amount of water. You’ll want to water light soils about twice a week and only once per week in heavier clay soils. You’ll want to water the roots deeply for about 40 minutes in both cases.
For more information on how to have the healthiest tree, check out our post on Persimmon Tree Care throughout your planting and growing process.
Where to Buy This Tree
Eager to get started on growing your own? If so, take a look at Stark Bros (one of our favorite retailers) to purchase your Chocolate Persimmon tree online so you can get your tree in time for spring planting!
Wrapping Up the Chocolate Persimmon Tree
Although Chocolate Persimmons aren’t made of chocolate, they’re still delicious. With its ornamental beauty, abundance of delicious fruit, and easy at-home growing, this tree definitely is not to be overlooked.
Visit our Persimmon Trees page for more information on all you need to know about growing and caring for different varieties of persimmons.