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PlantFiles: Texas Persimmon
Diospyros texana

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Family: Ebenaceae (eb-en-NAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Diospyros (dy-oh-SPY-ros) (Info)
Species: texana (tek-SAY-nuh) (Info)

12 members have or want this plant for trade.

Category:
Trees

Height:
10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m)
12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)
15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)
20-30 ft. (6-9 m)

Spacing:
12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)

Hardiness:
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun
Sun to Partial Shade

Danger:
Plant has spines or sharp edges; use extreme caution when handling

Bloom Color:
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Late Winter/Early Spring
Mid Spring
Late Spring/Early Summer

Foliage:
Deciduous

Other details:
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:
Non-patented

Propagation Methods:
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall
From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse
From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:
Allow unblemished fruit to ripen; clean and dry seeds

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There are a total of 45 photos.
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Profile:

9 positives
2 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

RatingAuthorContent
Positive Chapotero On Oct 18, 2013, Chapotero from San Antonio, TX wrote:

Since 2012 I've become enamored with this plant. One place I've eaten the fruit/collected seeds is along the steep arroyo banks in Waring, Texas. Another place is the three remaining natural areas in San Antonio's "Medical Center" north of town. I also scoop up deer droppings that are abundant with chapote, huisache and I presume agarita seeds. One particular area in the Med Ctr, chapote and agarita roots and branches are all entwined. I hope to grow two in my backyard and about 20 in pots in the coming year.

Positive saswk On Jul 30, 2013, saswk from Round Rock, TX wrote:

Today I was able to sample a ripe Texas persimmon fruit. It was smaller than a cherry tomato and the seeds left little room for some unbelievably delicious juicy pulp. I must say that it was much more pleasant than prunes. It had its own complex flavor that is hard to describe. After all I only had one small sample that I picked from a tree growing on the side of the road. I planted a small tree a couple of months ago in my yard. It was acquired from a conservation organization right here in Texas. It made two fruits but both were devoured by birds before I had a chance to see them ripe. It seems that they turn black overnight and thats when birds go after them almost immediately. I prefer to grow this tree over live oak. It has a very attractive trunk and branches when mature.

Positive bananaman87 On Jan 9, 2013, bananaman87 from Lost Creek, TX wrote:

This plant is awesome!
The bark is beautiful and smooth, and the fruit is quite delicious if you get to it before animals do.
The leaves have a nice dark green color that contrasts well with the rest of the plant.
They are a very stately, pretty undersory tree to have.
If you are going to eat the fruit, you must wait until they are soft.
They stain everything black if they fall to the ground, which almost never happens because animals love them.
It grows wild around here, and the only downside is how slow it grows.

Positive CaptPatrick On Dec 9, 2012, CaptPatrick from Llano, TX wrote:

"Danger:
Plant has spines or sharp edges; use extreme caution when handling" This statement is entirely false!

Texas Persimmon is very common to the Llano, Tx area and a good choice for local landscaping. But because of it's exceptionally slow growth pattern, transpanting a more mature plant is advisable.

The root stock is of the rizome type and usually only a few inches deep. Carefully excavate around the base of the plant to find the direction of travel. Continue excavating along the rizome in both directions and try to get an intact root the width of the exposed plant.

When transplanting, you will probably need a deep, but short, (above ground), stake to help support the plant vertically. Prune back about 30% of the foilage to help reduce the stress of transpanting. Water deeply. Continue weekly watering for the first couple of months.

After the plant has regained it's vigor, watering can be reduced to monthly or even bi-monthly.

The best time to transplant is during the winter months while the plant is semi-dormant. Other than an occassional watering, Texas Persimmon is about as maintenance free as you can get.


Positive eatmyplants On Aug 18, 2012, eatmyplants from Comanche county, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

I've never seen Texas persimmon occurring in Comanche county but its northern native range appears to be southern Brown county into Mills county and southward. The Texas Hill Country starts around Brownwood. The tree can suffer freeze damage anywhere north of Brownwood in severe winters. Texas persimmon is a good native alternative to the much overused crape myrtle but does not have the profusion of blooms that crape myrtle has and unfortunately isn't as cold hardy. But it is much more drought resistant than crape myrtle and survives months of Texas drought and heat with no ill effects, making it great for xeriscaping. Disease, drought and insects seem to have no effect on Texas persimmon. Native Americans had many uses for the tree and its fruit, which is mildly sweet but small and full of seeds.

Positive cacaiste On Mar 1, 2009, cacaiste from Nuevo Laredo
Mexico wrote:

I did not see any spines in this plant.

Neutral Kendalia On Nov 3, 2008, Kendalia from Kendalia, TX wrote:

Pretty small trees or shrubs. The bark is grey, smooth and peels off as it grows, like a crepe mrytle. Grows wild near Kendalia (north of San Antonio) in alkaline clay soil; many grow in holes in limestone, splitting the stone over time. The fruit tastes good, but is almost entirely seed, and is about 3/4 inch in diameter.

Neutral htop On Jul 17, 2005, htop from San Antonio, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

I have not grown this tree, but wanted to add its other common names: Mexican Persimmon, Black Persimmon, Chapote, Chapote Manzano, Chapote Prie; it is an endemic Texas native.

It is found naturally occurring in South and Central Texas and west to the Big Bend region. It may be a predominant invading woody species in some pastyre in Central Texas. It grows best in shallow, rocky limestone soils; but, It is adaptable to most soil types including clay. The soil must be well drained. It usually is a shrub or small tree less than 15 feet tall. However, along the upper Texas coast some specimens may reach 50 feet tall. Fine hairs are on the underside of the oval leaves which are rounded at the tips. The thin bark peels off in layers revealing mottled gray, white and pink hues.

The insignificant white, cream or grayish bell-shaped flowers have a sweet fragrance. The female plants produce 1 inch fruit that turn beautiful color shades as they ripen to black. The fruit pulp is sweet and edible; but, contains many seeds. Wildlife love the fruit. It is difficult at times to collect any ripe fruit because it has already been devoured or knocked from the tree with the fruit being smushed as it hits the ground before one can pick them. The persimmons are used in custards and pies. In Mexico, the fruits are used to make a black dye employed to stain animal hides.

The compact wood is almost black, hard and heavy. It takes a high polish and is valued because it can be used for tools, engraving blocks and art work.

Positive Super65 On Oct 10, 2004, Super65 from Belton, TX wrote:

Specimens I have examined occur on limestone hills of Central Texas near Lake Belton. Usually they are scraggly little tree less than 15 feet tall, yet they make a good selection for xeriscaping, being drought tolerant and producing a sweet purple-black fruit which is eaten by many birds and mammals, including man.
The wood is desired for craftwork, being heavy and black, sapwood yellow and taking a high polish.
Like Texas Mountain Laurel and Mexican Buckeye, Texas Persimmon appears to be able to tolerate some degree of shading from taller trees and still thrive.

Positive judastex On Jun 21, 2004, judastex from Bulverde, TX wrote:

I have started some seeds from last year and they are soooo slow to grow (but what a root)!. Even the scarified ones. Right now, some persimmon fruit have seeds to grow while most still seem too young. Soaking in water induced the tap root to emerge.

Positive sytall On Mar 8, 2004, sytall from Tennessee Colony, TX wrote:

Quite a few of them grow wild on my property the largest stand about 8 trees are on a half acre secton that is bordered on one side by a pasture, one side by a county road, one side a small wet weather creek and the fourth side by a heavy stand of oaks and hickory.
Other trees sharing the same area are, china berry, cedar and catalpa. The trees are quite tall, at least 30 feet. The only problem I have is when the ripe fruit fall it usually splatters. I find them to be excellent forage for the raccoons and possums that are frequent visitors. I enjoy the fruits myself when I find some that haven't splattered.

Regional...

This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Phoenix, Arizona
Tucson, Arizona
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Arlington, Texas
Austin, Texas (3 reports)
Belton, Texas (2 reports)
Boerne, Texas
Brownwood, Texas
Bulverde, Texas
Dripping Springs, Texas
El Paso, Texas
Hondo, Texas
Kendalia, Texas
Laredo, Texas
Leakey, Texas
Llano, Texas
Round Rock, Texas
San Antonio, Texas (6 reports)
Tennessee Colony, Texas
Waxahachie, Texas



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