Diospyros virginiana Commom Persimmon
Seeds and Potted Plants
(dy-oh-SPY-ros or dy-oh-SPEE-ros vir-jin-ee-AN-uh)
Diospyros translates to - fruit of the gods
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|Persimmon photo by cj||Habitat||Bloom Period||Color||Height||Moisture||Plant Spacing||Lifespan|
|Summer||Yellow||25 to 50 feet||average to moist||5 to 15 feet||small tree|
|Persimmon leaf with tree||Persimmon leaf and small tree|
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Commom Persimmon seed
1 packet -
1 ounce - $8.00
1 pound - $60.00
Diospyros virginiana has several common names including Eastern persimmon, possumwood, American ebony, white ebony, bara-bara, boa-wood, and butterwood. The meaning of the name Diospyros is fruit of the gods. Our native Persimmon is a hardy tree adaptability to a wide range of soils and climates. Moist, well-drained soils provide best conditions but the plant will tolerate hot, dry, poor soils, including various city conditions. Flowers are on shoots of the current year after leafing and are either male (staminate) or female (pistillate) on separate trees (the species dioecious). The leaves of Diospyros virginiana Persimmon are glossy and leathery and may be yellow or reddish-purple in the fall. Common persimmon sends down a deep taproot, which makes it a good species for erosion control but makes it difficult to transplant. The wood of common persimmon is hard, smooth, and even textured. Diospyros virginiana Commom Persimmon hardness and shock resistance make it ideal for textile shuttles and heads for driver golf clubs. Unripe fruit and inner bark have been used in the treatment of fever, diarrhea, and hemorrhage. The fruits of persimmon trees are used in puddings, cookies, cakes, custard, and sherbet; the dried, roasted, ground seeds have been used as a substitute for coffee. Persimmon tree flowers produce nectar significant for bees in honey production. Leaves and twigs of common persimmon are eaten in fall and winter by white-tailed deer. The fruit is eaten by squirrel, fox, skunk, deer, bear, coyote, raccoon, opossum, and various birds, including quail, wild turkey, cedar waxwing, and catbird. Ebony family (Ebenaceae).
The map below shows areas where native persimmon trees (Diospyros virginiana) grow wild but they can be planted and will grow over a wider area than shown. USDA plant hardiness zones 4 to 9.
The map below shows areas where native Persimmon trees should grow if planted.
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Diospyros virginiana Common Persimmon potted plants
Persimmon seeds will become available in October/November
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PO Box 522
Willow Springs, MO. 65793
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virginiana seed Commom Persimmon Plant distribution map
complements of USDA, NRCS. 2001. The PLANTS Database, Version 3.1
(http://plants.usda.gov). National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA.
Alternate common names
persimmon, possumwood, American ebony, white ebony, bara-bara, boa-wood,
- Common persimmon is sometimes used
as an ornamental for its hardiness, adaptability to a wide range of soils and
climates, and immunity from disease and insects. Moist, well-drained soils provide best conditions but the
plant will tolerate hot, dry, poor soils, including various city conditions.
The species is rarely sold commercially, however.
The leaves are glossy and leathery and may be yellow or reddish-purple in
the fall. Several cultivars have
been selected primarily for fruit color, taste, size, and early maturation;
several are seedless. Budded or
grafted trees are a sure way of getting a desired type.
Common persimmon sends down a deep taproot, which makes it a good species
for erosion control but makes it difficult to transplant.
The wood of common persimmon is hard, smooth, and even textured. The hardness and shock resistance make it ideal for textile shuttles and heads for driver golf clubs. The heartwood is used for veneer and specialty items, but most of commercially used persimmon is reported to consist of sapwood.
Unripe fruit and inner bark have been used in the treatment of fever, diarrhea, and hemorrhage. The fruits are used in puddings, cookies, cakes, custard, and sherbet; the dried, roasted, ground seeds have been used as a substitute for coffee. Flowers produce nectar significant for bees in honey production. Leaves and twigs of common persimmon are eaten in fall and winter by white-tailed deer. The fruit is eaten by squirrel, fox, skunk, deer, bear, coyote, raccoon, opossum, and various birds, including quail, wild turkey, cedar waxwing, and catbird.
Ebony family (Ebenaceae). Native trees
growing 5-12 (-21) meters tall; mature bark dark-gray, thick and blocky.
Leaves are deciduous, simple, alternate, ovate to elliptic or oblong with
smooth edges, 3.5-8 cm long, with an acuminate apex and rounded base, the lower
surface usually lighter-colored, especially on young leaves. Flowers are either male (staminate) or female (pistillate),
borne on separate trees (the species dioecious) on shoots of the current year
after leafing; pistillate flowers solitary, sessile or short-stalked,
bell-shaped, ca. 2 cm long, the corolla creamy to greenish-yellow, fragrant,
usually with 4 thick, recurved lobes; staminate flowers in 2-3-flowered
clusters, tubular, 8-13 mm long, greenish-yellow.
Fruit is a berry 2-5 cm wide, greenish to yellowish with highly
astringent pulp before ripening, turning yellowish-orange to reddish-orange and
sweet in the fall, each fruit with 1-8 flat seeds.
The common name, persimmon, is the American Indian word for the fruit.
within the species: variants have been
described but are not generally formally recognized.
Var. pubescens (Pursh) Dipp. - Fuzzy persimmon
Var. platycarpa Sarg. - Oklahoma persimmon
Var. mosieri (Small) Sarg. - Florida persimmon
Primarily a species of the
east-central and southeastern U.S., with the southeast corner of its range in
Texas, reaching northeast to New York and southern Connecticut, westward through
southern Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois to Missouri and southeastern Kansas.
It does not grow in the main range of the Appalachian Mountains nor in
much of the oak-hickory forest of the Allegheny Plateau.
For current distribution, please consult the Plant Profile page for this
species on the PLANTS Web site.
persimmon grows over a wide range of conditions from dry, sterile, sandy
woodlands to river bottoms to rocky hillsides.
Growth is best on terraces of large streams and river bottoms with clays
and heavy loams; usual sites in the Mississippi Delta are wet flats, shallow
sloughs, and swamp margins. It
thrives in full sun but also is shade-tolerant and can persist in the understory.
It is an early pioneer on abandoned and denuded cropland and is common on
roadsides and fencerows. Common
persimmon often is seen as thickets (derived from root suckers) in open fields
and pastures. This species flowers
in March-June and fruits in September-November.
Fruit may be produced by 10-year-old
trees but optimum fruit-bearing age is 25-50 years.
Good fruit crops are borne every 2 years.
Seeds are dispersed by birds and animals and by overflow water in
bottomlands. Persimmon is slow
growing and usually does not make a large tree, although it may reach 21-24
meters tall on optimal sites. Trees
have been reported to reach 150 years of age.
- Common persimmon usually is
considered undesirable by growers of closely managed timber stands.
It has been controlled by prescribed burns but is also known to decrease
with fire exclusion. Roots and rootstocks are killed by severe fires that char the
soil; less severe fires top-kill the plant.
Vigorous sprouts are produced from the root collar following top-kill by
fire or after cutting. Deer
occasionally browse the sprouts but cattle usually avoid them. Thickets from root suckers and collar sprouts in pastures may
be problematic. Various herbicides
are used to kill the plants.
The principal natural defoliators of common persimmon are the webworm (Seiarctica echo) and the hickory horned devil (Citheronia regalis). Small branches severed by a twig girdler (Oncideres