Scientific NameDiospyros virginiana
Other Common Names:
Synonyms (former Scientific Names):
Diospyros virginiana var. virginiana
Diospyros virginiana var. pubescens
Diospyros virginiana var. mosieri
Diospyros virginiana var. platycarpa
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.
Ebony family (Ebenaceae). Native trees growing 5-12 (-21) meters tall; mature bark dark-gray, thick and blocky.
Flower Seed Head
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.
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.
woody bush or tree
Thorns or Spines
Approximate Flower Diameter
Dominant Flower Color
shorter than leaf
Stem Cross Section
round or oval