Persimmons are the edible fruit of a number of species of trees in the genus Diospyros. Diospyros is in the family Ebenaceae, and certain species of Diospyros are the sources of most kinds of ebony wood, and not all species bear edible fruit. In color the ripe fruit of the cultivated strains range from light yellow-orange to dark red-orange depending on the species and variety. They similarly vary in size from 1.5 to 9 cm (0.5 to 4 in) in diameter, and in shape the varieties may be spherical, acorn-, or pumpkin-shaped.[1] The calyx generally remains attached to the fruit after harvesting, but becomes easy to remove once the fruit is ripe. The ripe fruit have a high glucose content. The protein content is low, but it has a balanced protein profile. Persimmon fruits have been put to various medicinal and chemical uses. Like the tomato, persimmons are not popularly considered to be berries, but in terms of botanical morphology the fruit is in fact a berry. The species (Diospyros kaki) is native to China. It is deciduous, with broad, stiff leaves and is known as the shizi ( in Chinese), and also as the Japanese Persimmon or kaki (?) in Japanese. It is the most widely cultivated species. Its fruits are sweet, and slightly tangy with a soft to occasionally fibrous texture. Cultivation of the fruit extended first to other parts of east Asia, and was later introduced to California and southern Europe in the 1800s, to Brazil in the 1890s,[5] and numerous cultivars have been selected. It is edible in its crisp firm state, but has its best flavor when allowed to rest and soften slightly after harvest. The Japanese cultivar 'Hachiya' is widely grown. The fruit has a high tannin content which makes the immature fruit astringent and bitter. The tannin levels are reduced as the fruit matures. Persimmons like 'Hachiya' must be completely ripened before consumption. When ripe, this fruit comprises thick pulpy jelly encased in a waxy thin skinned shell. "Sharon Fruit" (named originally after Sharon plain in Israel) is an Israeli-bred cultivar of the D. kaki fruit. The cultivar is called 'Triumph'.[6] As with all pollination-variant-astringent persimmons, the fruit are ripened off the tree by exposing them to carbon dioxide. The sharon fruit has no core, is seedless, particularly sweet, and can be eaten whole.[7] Eating the sharon fruit regularly is believed to reduce the risk of developing atherosclerosis heart attacks. The Date-plum (Diospyros lotus) is native to southwest Asia and southeast Europe. It was known to the ancient Greeks as "the fruit of the gods", or often referred to as "nature's candy" i.e. Dios pyros (lit. "the fire of Zeus"), hence the scientific name of the genus. Its English name probably derives from Persian Khormaloo literally "Date-Plum", referring to the taste of this fruit which is reminiscent of both plums and dates. This species is one candidate for the lotus mentioned in the Odyssey: it was so delicious that those who ate it forgot about returning home and wanted to stay and eat lotus with the lotus-eaters.[9] [edit]Diospyros virginiana (The American Persimmon) The American Persimmon (Diospyros virginiana) is native to the eastern United States and is higher in nutrients like vitamin C and calcium than the Japanese Persimmon.[10] Its fruit is traditionally eaten in a special steamed pudding in the Midwest and sometimes its timber is used as a substitute for ebony (e.g. in instruments).