Persimmon - Texas

Scientific Name(s): Diospyros texana
Abundance: plentiful
What: fruit
How: raw, jams, jelly, candied, tarts
Where: fields, sunny edges of woods, arid areas
When: late summer, fall
Nutritional Value: fiber, Vit C, B, minerals, anti-oxidants, flavonoids.

Leaf Arrangement: Simple, alternate leaves along the stems.

Leaf Shape: Ovate to elliptical leaves, typically 1 inch in length with rounded tip.

Leaf Color: Dark green foliage, sometimes with a glossy appearance.

Leaf Margin: Entire leaf margins without serrations.

Vein Patterns: Pinnate venation pattern on each leaf.

Flower Structure: Inconspicuous, small flowers, often greenish-white in color.

Flower Size: Individual flowers are typically less than 0.5 inches.

Fruit: Small, blackish-purple fruit resembling berries, around 1 inch in diameter. Somewhat tough skin with a juicy, dark interior. The flesh produces a dark juice which is very staining. The fruit have a 5-pointed "crown" on their top with a stem rising up from the center to attach to the tree.

Seed: Seeds within the fruit are small, typically less than 0.5 inches shaped something like a large watermelon seed.. 1-3 seeds may be present.

Bark: Smooth light and dark gray, with some strips of bark peeling away from the trunk.

Hairs: Underside of leaves may have fine hairs.

Texas persimmon fruit, both ripe (black) and unripe (green).

Close-ups of Texas persimmon fruit.


Texas persimmon seeds.

Texas persimmon seeds in animal scats (probably raccoon).

Persimmon Texas

Texas persimmon shrub/tree.

Close-up of Texas persimmon leaves.

Texas persimmon trunk, next to an oak tree which shades it.

Texas distribution, attributed to U. S. Department of Agriculture. The marked counties are guidelines only. Plants may appear in other counties, especially if used in landscaping.

North American distribution, attributed to U. S. Department of Agriculture.

The Texas Persimmon tree is mainly found in Central and Southern Texas. Once can not walk far in the Texas Hill Country without coming across the gnarled, grey shrub with grey, peeling bark. I personally love the looks of the Texas persimmon. It is generally very short, rarely over eight feet tall. They prefer to grow in partially shaded areas, such as under an oak. Most herbivore and omnivore wild animals love the ripe persimmons and I often am alerted to the trees' presence in a near area by first seeing pig scat loaded with persimmon seeds.

Persimmons aren't sweet enough to eat until they are very dark purple-black in color and already falling off the tree. The seeds are very easy to sprout, resulting in numerous persimmon trees in the same area. Like the Virginian persimmon, Texas persimmons are not self-fertile and require both male and female trees to be present for the female tree to produce fruit.

Virginian Persimmons have both male and female trees and both need to be present for fruit. Only the females produce fruit but male trees must be present to fertilize her flowers.

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