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Diospyros virginiana 'Meader'

Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
dee-oh-SPR-os vir-jin-ee-AY-uh
Description

As with its parent plant, the 'Meader' cultivar of the common persimmon is beautiful, delicious, and easy to grow, and offers year-round interest in the landscape.  The common persimmon is in the Ebenaceae family native to the central and eastern United States and can reach 30 to 80 feet high and 20 to 35 feet wide depending on the cultivar.  'Meader' was bred by the late Elwin Meader of the University of New Hampshire to be self-pollinating. If the flowers are not pollinated, it will produce seedless fruit. If they are pollinated, the fruit will contain seeds. 

'Meader' is a cold-hardy tree easily grown in full sun to part shade with a pH of 6.0 to 6.5, 'Meader' typically grows to 30’ tall and prefers moist, sandy soils but is tolerant of a variety of soils.  It is drought tolerant once established. 

It has superior ornamental qualities. Dark green foliage is attractive throughout the growing season before turning excellent shades of red and yellow in fall. The fruits, which begin to ripen in the fall, are apricot-sized to 2" in diameter and deep orange when ripe with a sweet flavor.  

It can be grown as an ornamental or fruit tree in the home landscape, or in naturalized areas for wildlife. Thus, it can be placed in many types of gardens: a butterfly, children's, native, nighttime, pollinator, or rain garden.  With spectacular autumn foliage and fruit that extends the harvest late into the fall, they are an excellent addition to an edible landscape.  Fruit can stay on the tree after the leaves have fallen unaffected by freezing temperatures, giving an attractive addition to a winter garden.  They do produce root suckers.  Remove promptly unless a naturalized effect is wanted.

Insects, Diseases, or Other Plant Problems: Leaf spot may occur.  Fruit drop can be messy.

VIDEO Created by Elisabeth Meyer for "Edibles, Bulbs, and Houseplants" a plant identification course offered in partnership with Longwood Gardens.   

More information on Diospyros virginiana.

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Tags:
#deciduous#full sun tolerant#drought tolerant#interesting bark#fall interest#food source wildlife#messy#cpp#wind tolerant#fire low flammability#deer browsing plant#deer resistant#edible fruits#edible garden#edible leaves#edible tree#orange fruits#poor soils tolerant#messy fruits#food source fall#partial shade tolerant#bee friendly
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#deciduous#full sun tolerant#drought tolerant#interesting bark#fall interest#food source wildlife#messy#cpp#wind tolerant#fire low flammability#deer browsing plant#deer resistant#edible fruits#edible garden#edible leaves#edible tree#orange fruits#poor soils tolerant#messy fruits#food source fall#partial shade tolerant#bee friendly
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Diospyros
    Species:
    virginiana
    Family:
    Ebenaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    The wood is extremely hard and has been used to make golf club heads, billiard cues and shoelaces.
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Woody
    Distribution:
    Central and Eastern US
    Fire Risk Rating:
    low flammability
    Wildlife Value:
    The fruit of the persimmon is a food source for birds, small mammals, white-tailed deer, foxes, raccoons, and black bears. Deer browse the leaves and twigs.
    Play Value:
    Edible fruit
    Fragrance
    Wildlife Food Source
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    Resistant to fire in landscape. This tree is drought tolerant, tolerates occasionally dry soil and air polution. Wind resistant.
    Edibility:
    Persimmon leaves can be used to make teas. Fruits can be dried, eaten off the tree and used to make jelly, jam, pie and ice cream. The fruit is astringent when non-ripe.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 25 ft. 0 in. - 30 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 15 ft. 0 in. - 20 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Edible
    Tree
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
    Oval
    Rounded
    Growth Rate:
    Slow
    Maintenance:
    Medium
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Shallow Rocky
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Dry
    Available Space To Plant:
    12-24 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    4a, 4b, 5b, 5a, 6b, 6a, 7b, 7a, 8a, 8b, 9b, 9a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Orange
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Edible
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Winter
    Fruit Type:
    Berry
    Fruit Length:
    1-3 inches
    Fruit Width:
    1-3 inches
    Fruit Description:
    Medium to large-sized, showy deep orange fruit in the fall, usually will hang on the tree through into winter. Early ripening. Astringent unless overripe.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Cyme
    Insignificant
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Bell
    Tubular
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    fused petals
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    The tree is dioecious which male and female flower blooms on different trees from May to June. Fragrant, small, white to greenish-yellow flowers bloom in late spring, with the tubular male flowers appearing in 2 to 3 flower clusters and the female flower appearing solitary and bell or urn-shaped with 4 recurved petals. Blooms from May to June.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Deciduous Leaf Fall Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Orange
    Red/Burgundy
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Elliptical
    Oblong
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Leaves are broadly oblong and pointed with smooth edges or some serration. They are 2 to 6 inches long and 2 to 3 inches wide with an acuminate apex and rounded base. The lower surface is usually lighter-colored and may have hairs, especially on young leaves. The fall color is yellow to reddish-purple. Leaves have a broad mid-rib with dark veins on the underside.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Black
    Dark Gray
    Surface/Attachment:
    Furrowed
    Bark Plate Shape:
    Square
    Bark Description:
    It is one of the easiest trees to identify in winter because of its distinctive thick, dark grey bark that is divided by furrows into square blocks resembling a checkerboard, sometimes referred to as "alligator bark."
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Gray/Silver
    Red/Burgundy
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Bud Scales:
    Enclosed in 2 scales
    Stem Form:
    Zig Zags
    Stem Surface:
    Hairy (pubescent)
    Stem Description:
    Stems are pubescent. Buds are single, sessile, 2 overlapping scales, 1/4" long, dark reddish - almost black, no terminal bud. Branchlets slender, zigzag, at first light reddish-brown and pubescent. They vary in color from light brown to ashy gray.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Lawn
    Meadow
    Naturalized Area
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Children's Garden
    Edible Garden
    Nighttime Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Rain Garden
    Winter Garden
    Design Feature:
    Flowering Tree
    Specimen
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Problems:
    Messy