Persimmon-American (Diospyros virginiana)
- (Diospyros virginiana) These are one of the most ornamental of fruit trees. A tropical look with their dark green glossy leaves and interesting bark. Graceful and attractive they are related to ebony with a very hard and dense wood. Luckily no real pruning is required! In their native range they they spread from east coast to Kansas and from Ohio south to the Gulf. Unique in that there is a northern (90 chromosomes) and southern variety (60 chromosomes) which when crossed develop seedless fruit. Also the trees usually have either male or female flowers and mostly, but not always, one of each is required to set fruit. Sometimes both sexes of flowers may be found on the same tree and rarely bisexual flowers may be found. Since sex is unknown until maturity, our recommendation is to plant three or more seedlings to ensure you get both sexes From Lee Reich “Eating a thoroughly ripened persimmon is as pleasurable a gustatory experience as eating an unripe one is horrible”. Unripened they are astringent but left on the tree after frost they can be the last fruit of the season picked. When ripe they have a soft, smooth, jelly-like texture that tastes like a dried apricot, drizzled with honey and a dash of spice. No wonder the genus name, Diospyros, translates roughly into “food of the gods”. Once you have had one you will always want more.