It's beautiful all year round — even bare of leaves, the tree has such a glorious shape.
It's also amazingly prolific and bears hundreds of gorgeous orange fruits. I love persimmons—well, I did once I learned how to eat them. These ones are the kind you need to leave to ripen until they're very soft and the skin looks transparent and ready to split— you'd think they were almost rotten, but instead, they're soft and utterly delicious. My favorite way to eat them is just to scrape the pulp out and drizzle it over vanilla ice-cream. Bliss.
Some years ago I tasted a black sapote — an almost chocolate-tasting persimmon, grown in the tropics. My friend Barbara Hannay introduced me to them some years ago, first as black sapote ice-cream — deeeelish!—and then as just the fruit, and I was hooked. I keep wondering whether I could grow one down here in our cold/temperate climate. I figure if orange persimmons can grow and fruit here, why not black ones? One can only try.