The most widely cultivated species is Diospyros kaki or Japanese persimmon and cultivars are sold in supermarkets as Sharon fruit. These are sweet, slightly tart fruits with a soft to occasionally fibrous texture. Native to China, it is deciduous, with broad, stiff leaves. Cultivation of the fruit extended first to other parts of east Asia, and was later introduced to southern Europe in the 1800s, and numerous cultivars like 'Hachiya' have been selected. Seed grown plants produce both male and female trees.
Diospyros kaki prefer a good deep loamy soil in sun or light shade disliking very acid or wet and poorly drained conditions. Dormant plants of Diospyros kaki are quite hardy in Britain, tolerating temperatures down to about -14°C but they require warmer summers than are normally experienced in Britain in order to ripen their fruit and wood. The young growth in spring, even on mature plants, is frost-tender and so it is best to grow the plants in a position sheltered from the early morning sun. A warm sunny wall improves the chance of producing ripe fruit and trees fruit freely when grown under glass. Fruits are frequently produced outdoors at Kew but not ripe until November or into December.