seeds of Diospyros lotus, date-plum
Diospyros lotus Samen
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Diospyros lotus, also called Dactylus trapezuntinus Forssk or Diospyros calycina Dippel is a widely cultivated date-plum species. Indigenous to Southeast Europe and Southwest Asia, Diospyros lotus is commonly known as Caucasian persimmon or Date-plum. The distribution of Diospyros lotus extends from Spain up to the Mediterranean and all the way to East Asia. The plant can grow to a height of between 15 and 30 metres. Leaves are glossy, oval-shaped, and hairy and are pointed at the apex. The dimensions of the leaves range between 3 to 6 cm in width and 5 to 15 cm in length. Green small flowers yield yellow fruit once pollination takes place. The fruit produced are essentially berries and have a diameter of 1 to 2 cm. The fruit is edible and popular too due to their juicy sweetness. The fruit is called Date-plums because their flavour is reminiscent of both dates and plums. The best time to eat the fruit is when it reaches the peak of maturity given the sweetness will be at its peak. Those who choose to eat them before they should be prepared for the caustic taste that accompanies the sweetness. The fruit loses all the tartness once they are dried. It is at this point that they begin to taste like dates. The tree can also be used to provide timber for both construction and general carpentry. The plant has both male and female plants that sprout male and female flowers respectively. One should, therefore, be prepared to plant trees of different sexes if pollination is to be successful. Diospyros lotus thrives in loamy soils and under some slight shade. The soils should ideally be well drained and have low acidity. The plant can be difficult to transplant given its taproot grows deep into the soil. Thus, the transplanting should be done as early as possible.
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