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Common Persimmon (Diospyros virginiana)

This plant is native to the southeastern part of the United States including the unglaciated areas in the state of Ohio. This plant is the most northerly of the plants in the ebony family. The fruit of the common persimmon is edible although very astringent if not ripe. Plants are male, female and bisexual. Individual plants remain consistent in sexual orientation so that you can select for male plants if no fruit is desired. This plant has a more upright habit than most trees and that might allow the persimmon to be used in somewhat restricted spaces.

In nature, these plants are pioneer invader species and will endure high light and dry soils. Persimmon will tolerant poor soils although growth is restricted. This plant can also bear some flooding to show its adaptability. Urban situations and construction activity can be endured. The ability to suffer through many urban stresses is a major reason to incorporate this plant even though its tolerance of alkaline soils is not known. The tree has a course root system and establishes a tap root that should enhance the persimmon's ability to withstand winds. There is some debate concerning whether taprooted trees may be less damaging to sidewalks.

(If you have a photo of this plant in an urban environment that you would like to donate for use on this site, please contact the webmaster.

Shade Tree Home Page
T. Davis Sydnor, Ph. D. and Nick E. D'Amato
Urban Forestry Department
School of Natural Resources
The Ohio State University
2021 Coffey Road,
Columbus OH 43210
(614) 292-3865