BEAU­TI­FUL TREE, DELICIOUS FRUIT

Life & Style Weekend - - GARDEN - IN MY GAR­DEN WORDS: ANGIE THOMAS Angie Thomas is a hor­ti­cul­tur­ist at Yates.

If you’ve seen fruit la­belled as fuyu in your lo­cal fruit shop and won­dered what it was, it’s a type of non-as­trin­gent per­sim­mon. Per­sim­mons are de­cid­u­ous fruit trees with strik­ing au­tumn fo­liage colours and delicious and dec­o­ra­tive or­ange-red fruit har­vested dur­ing au­tumn. The colour­ful fruit of­ten hang on the tree well af­ter the leaves have fallen. Per­sim­mons fall into two groups – as­trin­gent and non-as­trin­gent. Non-as­trin­gent per­sim­mons such as fuyu, ichikik­i­jiro and izu can be eaten while they’re still crisp and firm. Heart-shaped as­trin­gent per­sim­mons, such as nightin­gale and hachiya, need to be fully ripened and very soft and jelly like be­fore be­ing eaten. Fuyu are hardy self-pol­li­nat­ing per­sim­mons that reach about 4m tall and will grow well in cool, temperate and sub-tropical cli­mates. Choose a spot shel­tered from strong winds be­cause the fruit-laden branches can break eas­ily. It will take at least three years for per­sim­mon trees to bear fruit. Per­sim­mons can also be grown in medium to large pots.

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