Plant DetailShow Menu

Diospyros virginiana is often confused with:
Oxydendrum arboreum Oxydendrum arboreum leaves in the fall in Moore County
Plants that fill a similar niche:
Quercus phellos Quercus phellos
Ilex verticillata ilex verticillata fruit and leaves
Magnolia virginiana Magnolia virginiana

Diospyros virginiana

Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
dy-OS-py-ros ver-jin-ee-AY-nah
Description

Persimmon is a deciduous tree that may grow 30 to 80 feet tall. The leaves are alternate with a smooth margin. The bark is thick, hard, and divided by furrows into square blocks (cobbled). Small, urn-shaped, white flowers mature in late spring and early summer. The tree produces a dull orange or yellow fleshy fruit which matures in the fall on female trees.

The tree procudes fruit on female trees, the female tree needing a male pollinator in order to set fruit.  These edible fruits (1 to 2" in diameter) mature in the fall to an orange to reddish-purple color, and may persist on the tree into winter.  The fruit is quite astringent when green, but when ripe becomes sweet and my be eaten off the tree.  The fruit are used in syrups, jellies, ice cream and pies.  

The Persimmon is a member of the ebony family.  The wood is extremely hard and is used to make golf club heads, billiard cues and shoe lasts.

A deep tap root makes large plants difficult to transplant.

Fire Risk: This plant has a low flammability rating.

Seasons of Interest: 

     Leaves:  Fall      Bloom:  Spring     Fruit/Seed/Nut:  Fall

Insects, Diseases, or Other Plant Problems:  Leaf spot may occur on the Persimmon.

Quick ID Hints:

  • end of branch - twig extends after last leaf
  • leaves-alternate, simple, elliptical, dark green
  • bark is checkerboard

Deciduous tree, up to 90' (usually not over 60') tall and 20-35' wide. 

Prefers moist, well-drained sandy soil, ok in dry soil. Difficult to transplant. Slow-moderate growth rate. 

Reseeds readily via animals. Can develop black spot or webworm but mostly pest and disease free.

Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#fragrant#butterflies#fruit#deciduous#birds#rain garden#wildlife plant#native tree#medicinal#berries#playground#food source#highly beneficial coastal plants#cpp#low flammability#NC native#foxes#black bears#deer resistant#children's garden#fire resistant#edible fruits#Braham Arboretum#fantz#food source fall
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#fragrant#butterflies#fruit#deciduous#birds#rain garden#wildlife plant#native tree#medicinal#berries#playground#food source#highly beneficial coastal plants#cpp#low flammability#NC native#foxes#black bears#deer resistant#children's garden#fire resistant#edible fruits#Braham Arboretum#fantz#food source fall
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Diospyros
    Species:
    virginiana
    Family:
    Ebenaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    Inner bark and unripe fruit has been used in treatment of fevers, diarrhea, and hemorrhage, indelible ink made from fruit, flowers used for honey. The fruit was used for food and medicinal purposes by Native Americans.
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Central and eastern U.S.A., NC
    Distribution:
    From Pennsylvania west to Nebraska south to Texas east Florida Utah and California
    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.
    Play Value:
    Edible fruit
    Fragrance
    Wildlife Food Source
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    Resistant to fire in landscape. This tree is moderately deer resistant.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 30 ft. 0 in. - 80 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 20 ft. 0 in. - 35 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Native Plant
    Tree
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Oval
    Pyramidal
    Rounded
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Low
    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:
    Sand
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Dry
    Available Space To Plant:
    24-60 feet
    more than 60 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    Usda Plant Hardiness Zone:
    4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Orange
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Edible
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Fruit Type:
    Berry
    Fruit Length:
    1-3 inches
    Fruit Width:
    1-3 inches
    Fruit Description:
    Yellowish to orange fruit on female trees in fall. Globular berry, 1 - 1 ½” long, yellowish/peach/pale orange, edible.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    Orange
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Insignificant
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Bell
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    The Persimmon plants are usually dioecious (separate male and female trees) but some trees have perfect flowers. Fragrant, small, urn-shaped white to greenish-yellow flowers bloom in late spring, with the male flowers appearing in clusters and the female flower appearing solitary.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    Deciduous Leaf Fall Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Purple/Lavender
    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 Description:
    The Persimmon has ovate to elliptic alternate leaves (2-6" long, 3/4 - 2" wide) that have a smooth margin. They are a glossy dark green above and turn a yellowish-green in autumn. They may sometimes turn a reddish purple in the fall. The leaf is sometimes used in making teas. Simple, elliptical, can be entire or serrate. Dark green with lighter underside. Petiole is pubescent.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Dark Gray
    Surface/Attachment:
    Fissured
    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 (cobbled).
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Description:
    Single, sessile, 2 overlapping scales, 1/4" long, dark reddish - almost black, no terminal bud.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Recreational Play Area
    Landscape Theme:
    Children's Garden
    Edible Garden
    Native Garden
    Rain Garden
    Design Feature:
    Flowering Tree
    Attracts:
    Butterflies
    Small Mammals
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Fire