This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V20", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
The illustration and description of the Japan Persimmon, in your March number, reminds me that efforts to obtain satisfactory information from several sources as to the fertility of the plants offered for sale, have failed. If the Japan Persimmon be a true Diospyros, it is dioecious - bearing pistillate and staminate flowers on separate trees - hence single specimens may not produce fruit, though I grant that does not always follow, for I remember a pistillate tree of the Maclura which bore fruit abundantly, a staminate tree not being within many miles. The fruit, though apparently perfect, was, however, on examination without seed. If, then, such be the capacity of nature in the Osage Orange, it may be repeated in the Japan Persimmon, though it is not, I think, the case in our native sort. I have a Virginia Persimmon tree of some age which has never borne fruit, and efforts at engrafting it have failed. It is said, I believe, that the Kaki may be readily engrafted on our native stock.
Please, Mr. Editor, as I start the. ball, give it a push onward. Information may gather as it rolls.
[If these Japan varieties are to be reproduced by seed, and not by grafting, our correspondent's warning is timely, for, as he says, the flowers are irregular in their sexual character. Many are male plants, having no power to develop anything but stamens. We suppose there are some with imperfect stamens, and which have yet the power of developing imperfectly, without pollen; at least that is our guess at the origin of the seedless fruited kinds; but there are some which are truly hermaphrodite, and individual trees of these will bear fruit anywhere. - Ed].