The American persimmon tree (known as Diospyros virginiana) is native to eastern United States and not only decorates the landscape beautifully, but also produces tasty, rich, healthy fruit. Native Americans used the fruit for making cakes, puddings, and for other winter food sources. Moreover, they used the wood for crafting since it is very strong and resistant. If you would like to see how we have told the story of American history through the American Persimmon tree’s history, see this video.
The fruits will ripen in the late fall and the fruit can stay on the tree until winter. In fact, the American Persimmon trees produce fruit 2 inches in diameter which is smaller than the Asian persimmons. These light yellow-orange to dark red-orange fruit will decorate your landscape with their joyful colors.
When the fruit do ripen, they produce amazingly rich, deep, sweet, complex persimmon with hints of caramel, tangerine, and heavy cream. Its texture is like that of a rich custard. However when the fruit is not ripe, it can have a very bitter and astringent taste. There are many things you can do with the persimmon fruit, including eating fresh, baking, making pudding, and drying. Fore more ideas, read more here.
In order for the persimmon tree to fruit, plant several seedlings near one another. Persimmon trees don’t bear both male and female flowers on the same tree which is why they need another variety in order to cross pollinate. In fact, when a tree produces male and female flowers on separate trees, it is known as dioecious. However some trees, like the mulberry tree, can be both monoecious, which means they bear both male and female flowers on the same tree, and dioecious. While other trees are just monoecious. In order to identify the male and female flowers, check how the flowers are clustered; male flowers come in small clusters and the female flowers are solitary.
Although the American Persimmon tree can tolerate poor soil with a range of pH, it does best with well-drained loamy soil with a pH range of 6.5 to 7.5. Additionally, it grows best when you plant it in full sun. If you would like more information on how to grow trees, see the articles in our guide.
- Uses: eating fresh, baking, drying, pudding
- Taste: rich, deep, sweet, complex, with hints of caramel and tangerine
- Size: 2 inches in diameter
- Color: light yellow-orange to dark red-orange
- Height and width: 20-25ft wide and 50ft tall
- Hardiness Zones: 5-9 (although some say hardy to zone 4)
- Harvest period: late in the fall season, although fruit can stay on the tree until winter
- Flowering Group: Best when planted with other seedlings near by in order for them to cross-pollinate
- Cultivation: Although these trees are slow-growing, they adapt well to poor soil conditions. It grows best though with well-drained loamy soil with a pH range of 6.5 to 7.5. Additionally, the American persimmon tree grows best when you plant it in full sun.
- Difficulty of planting/care: Easy