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2009 was the year I explored local grower inventories for exceptional, unique, and edible plants. At Edible Landscaping in Afton, Virginia, I selected an Ichi Ke Jiro, or dwarf persimmon. This is a Korean plant grafted onto native stock for hardiness, yet yields desirable fruit. Edible in the early fall, one fruit fills my hand, unlike native persimmons, yet Ichis may be eaten when hard, like an apple. Not only are they beautiful, they are tasty and worthy of a still life painting.

Life here in zone 6/Central Virginia/USA makes plant selection challenging at best. We often have drought, and always endure hot, humid summers where fungus and mildew thrive. Any addition to my garden must stand the rigors of this environment. Therefore, I returned to the nursery in the fall of that year to see for myself what the fruit looked and tasted like. Awesome on both counts. The plant requires little care, and sports beautiful, shiny, leathery leaves.

For the past three seasons I nurtured this specimen and am rewarded this year by the spectacular buds, flowers, and tiny fruit. This plant never missed a beat. I so look forward to harvesting my first crop, and introducing these jewels at market. I am confident there will be many folks scratching their heads and puckering their lips.

In the meantime, I must share the fantastic shapes dazzling my daily garden visits.

See if you agree…and remember to glide your mouse over the images for further description.

I will do a follow up blog in the fall so stay tuned!

Contact this vendor at www.ediblelandscaping.com if you want to try this in your garden.

Copyright © 2012 by Diane LaSauce All Rights Reserved