Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: American Persimmon, Common Persimmon, Eastern Persimmon, Date Plum
Diospyros virginiana

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Family: Ebenaceae (eb-en-NAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Diospyros (dy-oh-SPY-ros) (Info)
Species: virginiana (vir-jin-ee-AN-uh) (Info)

8 vendors have this plant for sale.

48 members have or want this plant for trade.

Category:
Trees

Height:
30-40 ft. (9-12 m)
over 40 ft. (12 m)

Spacing:
30-40 ft. (9-12 m)

Hardiness:
USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
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)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun

Danger:
N/A

Bloom Color:
Red-Orange
Gold (Yellow-Orange)
Bright Yellow

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer

Foliage:
Deciduous

Other details:
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Soil pH requirements:
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:
Non-patented

Propagation Methods:
From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse
From seed; stratify if sowing indoors

Seed Collecting:
Unblemished fruit must be significantly overripe before harvesting seed; clean and dry seeds

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There are a total of 34 photos.
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Profile:

8 positives
6 neutrals
1 negative

Gardeners' Notes:

RatingAuthorContent
Positive Rickwebb On Dec 12, 2013, Rickwebb from Downingtown, PA wrote:

There is a small wild grove of American Persimmon near a clean downhill run of water on an elementary school's grounds in Downingtown, PA. In October I pass by and pick up fallen fruit from the ground, mostly lawn, take them home and eat them, they are so good. I love its bold outline and heavy dark scaly bark in winter.

Neutral Creatrixsblood On Dec 4, 2013, Creatrixsblood from Emerson, IA wrote:

These grow wild in the pasture at my parent's house. They produce new saplings prolifically. They seem to enjoy being mowed. Where there used to be a small cluster of trees, there is now a rather sizable grove of small trees.

The cheerful white flowers smell wonderful, but don't make good cut flowers. I loved to play in the tiny groves they made as a child, and would often gather petals and throw them above my head and dance.

My mother enjoyed the fruits, but many of them did not produce any.


Positive eatmyplants On Aug 5, 2012, eatmyplants from Comanche county, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

This tree can be seen in my area in small groves but is not really widespread. Since I figured out what it was a few years ago, I've never seen it bloom or make any fruit. Right now, the younger trees are very distressed from the extreme heat and lack of rainfall but they seem to always pull through.

Positive mississippitrees On Dec 29, 2009, mississippitrees from Perkinston, MS wrote:

D. Virginiana or American Persimmon is great tree to have around. It's fruit can be eaten though it does contain more seeds than fruit pulp. Most American Persimmon trees don't produce fruit until the age of 7-10 years, I've seen trees produce earlier and some not at all. This tree can be used as rootstock (understock) to graft other types of Asian Persimmons to. Look at my plant profile to see photos of this tree. If you have any questions or need seeds from this tree please feel free to contact me at
mississippitrees@gmail.com
No commercial or sales contact please.

Neutral beaglenana On Apr 17, 2009, beaglenana from Los Alamos, NM wrote:

I have questions that I hope someone can answer for me about the American persimmon. I live in Northern New Mexico at an elevation of 7250 ft. I have lived in my house for 25 years and there has always been a bush underneath my bathroom window that had white flowers in the spring, but that's all. This spring after the snow was gone, but before the plant leafed out or bloomed I noticed fruit on the plant - old dried fruit from last year apparently. A LOT of fruit. In 25 years this plant has never had fruit before. I was astonished. Apparently I did not notice said fruit amongst the leaves last spring or summer. None of the neighbors knew what it was and so I took some of it to our county extension agent and he said he believed it to be persimmon. Well I pooh poohed that becuase the web says persimmons grow on trees. This plant has never gotten more than knee high. It spreads out, but does not grow up and is definitely not a tree. The agent said to bring him a cutting when it came out this spring. Well I just noticed after a spate of warm weather yesterday that the plant now has leaves and blooms so I cut some and took up to the county extension agent again. He was not in, but left me a phone message this morning that we was over 99% sure it was American persimmon. Back to the web I went. This site(Dave's Garden) says 30-40 ft trees with red-orange, gold or bright yellow blooms. My BUSH (NOT tree!) has white blooms that are very very similar to apple blossoms. We again have over 5 inches of snow on the ground today or I would upload a picture. Can anyone tell me if the American persimmon could actually grow on a low bush that has white blooms or should I tell our county extension agent he is insane? Thank you for any information.

Positive mamooth On Jan 7, 2009, mamooth from Indianapolis, IN (Zone 5b) wrote:

The persimmon psyllid (a tiny bug) attacks this tree, causing new leaves to be crinkly and stunted. It's really only a problem for seedlings, which have a bigger percentage of new leaves, so seedlings can benefit from regular spraying. Spray before you see damage, because after you see the damage, it's too late. The bugs are in their little crinkly hideouts, and the spray won't touch them.

One of my 4 persimmon trees has a chlorosis problem, though it stays green if I feed it extra iron. I'm not sure why it has a problem, as the sources all say these trees do well in alkaline soil. My other 3 trees don't have the problem.

Positive creekwalker On Dec 7, 2007, creekwalker from Benton County, MO (Zone 5a) wrote:

I love Persimmons! I have 3 in my yard and I collect the fruit to use in baking. It is a little work getting the pulp from the seeds, but worth it to me.

Positive BSTGS3 On Apr 15, 2007, BSTGS3 from Magnolia, TX wrote:

I live in southeast Texas where the Common Persimmon is native. I try my best to only use native plants and trees on my property for a number of reasons. The persimmon fruit is eaten by a number of bird and mammal species. Also, I consider the attraction of webworms as a positive attribute since many more bird species such as warblers, vireos, cuckoos and many others use these as a food source as well. Futhermore, to the best of my knowledge, all bird species feed insects to their young of which webworms play a major role. Since the worms seem to do no permanent damage to the tree I find this a very acceptable symbiotic relationship. The benefits to wildlife far outweigh any negatives with the Common Persimmon.

Negative gooley On Apr 28, 2006, gooley from Hawthorne, FL (Zone 8b) wrote:

Okay, why do I give D. virginiana a negative vote? I live in north Florida on 36 acres of former farmland, and a good patch of it is covered with persimmon suckers, with scattered trees elsewhere.. There are a few ragged-looking trees over twenty feet tall that might be parents to the suckers; only an isolated one well away from those bears fruit so far as I've seen, so maybe all the others are males: the tree is dioecious. The suckers return with a vengeance when mown down, and the bulk of the roots underneath them seems to be so great that spraying Roundup on every visible persimmon leaf in an area is far from a sure kill. (2,4-D is said to be effective too, and if it's cheaper I'll certainly give it a try as well.) In the spring the glossy leaves are attractive, but within weeks every leaf is spotty -- some sort of disease? If so, it's far from fatal, but it's unsightly and can cause early leaf fall, leaving both the biggish trees and the suckers looking ragged. Perhaps it has something to do with the trees being in full sun.

Some people here love the ripe fruit. I haven't tried it: it's better after a frost, they say, but at least needs to be soft or it will be astringent. If more of my trees bore any fruit at all, and if they didn't sucker so aggressively, I might be a big fan of this tree. I have worked the wood and it's wonderful, being essentially a temperate zone ebony, though almost all of the wood is pale sapwood: it takes a very big tree to yield any of the black heartwood at all, and I suspect that no tree on my land will ever be big enough. In fact, I have seen foot-wide boards with tantalizing jet-black bits around the knots but mundane looking sapwood elsewhere. Very hard, heavy, strong wood that takes a good finish, mind.

Positive Breezymeadow On May 1, 2005, Breezymeadow from Culpeper, VA (Zone 7a) wrote:

This tree is native to Virginia as well & is a lovely - if large - addition to a home orchard or native planting. Wildlife - especially Red & Grey Fox around here - absolutely love the fruit, & we know it's starting to ripen when we find fox scat chockful of the large brown pits.

The small fruits are delicious eaten right off the tree, or in baked dishes, but as others have stated, they must be completely ripe. Here that doesn't usually occur until after frost. The puckering astringent taste of the unripe fruit is an experience not soon forgotten.

My only complaint about this tree is that it plays host to large infestations of Fall Webworm, which, while not harmful to the tree's health, are rather unsightly.

Neutral john_mueller On Apr 30, 2005, john_mueller from Eugene, OR wrote:

I HAVE A FEMALE TREE GROWN FROM SEED IN EUGENE, OREGON..I'M LOOKING FOR MALE CUTTING OR POLLEN...LAST YEAR IT HAD IMMATURE FRUIT.

Positive TREEHUGR On Dec 26, 2004, TREEHUGR from Now in Orlando, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

Native to virtually the entire state of Florida and is a Florida fall/winter color tree. Interesting bark has a block pattern.

Neutral melody On Apr 15, 2004, melody from Benton, KY (Zone 7a) wrote:

A great tree for shade in the summer. The fruits get messy in the Fall, so it is not suitable for planting in heavy traffic areas. Grows wild in West KY.

Neutral smiln32 On Aug 31, 2001, smiln32 from Oklahoma City, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

Persimmon is a deciduous, Missouri native tree with a rounded, oval crown growing 35-60' tall and typically occurring in rocky or dry open woods, limestone glades, prairies, thickets, abandoned fields, and along roadsides. Ovate to elliptic leaves (2-6" long) are glossy dark green above, and turn yellowish green (infrequently reddish purple) in autumn. Species is usually dioecious (separate male and female trees), but some trees have perfect flowers. White to greenish yellow flowers appear in late spring, with the male flowers appearing in clusters and the female flowers appearing solitary. Edible persimmon fruits (1-2" in diameter) mature in fall to an orange to reddish purple color, and may persist on the tree into winter. One of the easiest deciduous trees to recognize in winter because of the distinctive, thick, dark gray bark which is broken into rectangular blocks. Persimmon fruit is quite astringent when green, but upon ripening becomes sweet and may be eaten off the tree.

Neutral midwestsnowbird On Aug 13, 2001, midwestsnowbird wrote:

This is a native American tree. It has lustrous green leaves, attractive rough brown bark, and beautiful yellow to orange golf-ball size fruit that remains on the trees after the leaves fall. The drooping branches give this tree a graceful appearance. Trees grow 30-45 feet tall.

Pick fruit while firm, yet fully colored, allow to finnish ripening indoors. Enjoy the smooth-textured, sweet fruit (after it's fully ripened) in persimmon pudding!

Plant bare-root in the spring, in full sun. (It is difficult to transplant because of tap-root.) Space 15-20 foot apart. Tolerant of moderate to well drained soils.

Its cousin, the Japanese Persimmon is hardy in USDA zones 7-10 and doesn't grow quiet as tall.

Regional...

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

,
Atmore, Alabama
Gaylesville, Alabama
Jones, Alabama
Morrilton, Arkansas
Oak View, California
Thousand Oaks, California
Bartow, Florida
Bradley, Florida
Hampton, Florida
Hawthorne, Florida
Keystone Heights, Florida
Lecanto, Florida
Monticello, Florida
Port Saint Lucie, Florida
Barnesville, Georgia
Brunswick, Georgia
Winterville, Georgia
Indianapolis, Indiana
Macy, Indiana
Valparaiso, Indiana
Olathe, Kansas
Shawnee Mission, Kansas (2 reports)
Benton, Kentucky
Greenwell Springs, Louisiana
New Orleans, Louisiana
Linthicum Heights, Maryland
Millersville, Maryland
Valley Lee, Maryland
Florence, Mississippi
Perkinston, Mississippi
Saucier, Mississippi
Cole Camp, Missouri
Piedmont, Missouri
Rolla, Missouri
Springfield, Missouri
Lincoln, Nebraska
Frenchtown, New Jersey
Cary, North Carolina
Clayton, North Carolina
Elizabeth City, North Carolina
Smithfield, North Carolina
Star, North Carolina
Wilsons Mills, North Carolina
Hulbert, Oklahoma
Jay, Oklahoma
Pocola, Oklahoma
Downingtown, Pennsylvania
Waynesboro, Pennsylvania
Florence, South Carolina
Summerville, South Carolina
Sumter, South Carolina
Mc Minnville, Tennessee
Morrison, Tennessee
Viola, Tennessee
Arlington, Texas
Brownwood, Texas
De Leon, Texas
Hutchins, Texas
Magnolia, Texas
San Antonio, Texas
Blacksburg, Virginia
Fort Valley, Virginia
Roanoke, Virginia
Shacklefords, Virginia
South Boston, Virginia
Rosedale, West Virginia
Cambridge, Wisconsin
Kenosha, Wisconsin



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