Gardening where the sidewalk ends

Double take December 23, 2008

Filed under: edibles,trees — greenwalks @ 9:42 pm
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Are you ever just driving or walking along when you see something so surprising it stops you in your tracks and you practically get whiplash from turning to look at it? That happened to me the other day.

Snow had fallen on the ground, not a lot, not nearly as much as would eventually arrive, but a bit. I was heading back from the school run (they started two hours late, due to icy roads) when I had to stop the car, roll down the window despite the freezing temp, and take a pic.

Seattle persimmons in winter

What the heck are those orange things up in the tree? I thought persimmons didn’t grow in Seattle?!?! Well, I didn’t know palm trees did either, but I was wrong there too.

If you’re like me, you may find persimmons puzzling. Which one gets soft and can be used for baking (or frozen and turned into delicious “sorbet”, as I heard recently), and which is the one that stays firm and can be sliced and eaten raw? I don’t think I’ll ever get them straight, but for the record, Fuyus are the flat-bottomed ones that kind of look like round tomatoes – when slightly soft, peel, slice, and add them to salads. Hachiyas are the oblong ones, and they are super bitter unless completely, mushily ripe.

My horticulture book says Hachiya persimmon trees can survive zones 7-10, but this looks like it might be a Fuyu and I can’t find the zone info on that – I just hope it makes it through our tough week-long spate of freezing temps and mucho snow. I certainly enjoyed stopping to admire its odd look, with those blazing Mars-like orbs marooned high atop the naked branches of the venerable tree.

December persimmons