Scientific Name: Diospyros virginiana

Common Name: common persimmon

Other Common Names: persimmon

Synonyms: Diospyros mosieri, Diospyros virginiana var. mosieri, Diospyros virginiana var. platycarpa, Diospyros virginiana var. pubescens, Diospyros virginiana var. virginiana

Leaves: 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.

Identifying Characteristics: 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.

Seed Fruit: 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.

Where Found: 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.

  • Life cycle: perennial

  • Milky sap: Not Present

  • Plant type: Tree

  • Thorns: Not Present

  • Plant family: Ebanaceae

  • Leaf arrangement: alternate

  • Ochrea: Not Present

  • Leaf margin: entire

  • Stem hairs: no hairs

  • Flower color: yellow; white

  • Growth habit: woody bush or tree

  • Stem: round or oval

  • Leaf structure: simple

  • Leaf hairs: no hairs

  • Flower symmetry: bilateral symmetry

  • Flower diameter: larger

  • Leaf stalk: shorter than leaf