Common persimmon is a low, shrubby, deciduous tree with an irregularly spreading crown and pendulous branches. Large, oval leaves are dark green above with a lighter green underside, and usually become yellowish-green in fall. On mature trees, the bark is thick and dark-gray to almost black, and broken into scaly, rectangular blocks with orange in the valleys between the blocks. Flowers are bell-shaped and fragrant, with white fused petals and yellow recurved lobes, and are usually hidden by half-grown leaves. Trees are usually dioecious (separate male and female trees) but some trees have perfect flowers. Smaller male flowers appear in clusters of 2-3 on short stalks with visible stamens, and female flowers appear individually on very short stalks with visible pistils. Fertilized female flowers produce an edible fruit. When ripe, the orange fruit is sweet; immature green fruit contains tannin and is strongly astringent. Fruit can be produced as early as 10-15 years.
Fruit attracts a variety of wildlife including birds. Special value to honey bees.
Easy to grow. Adaptable. Slow grower. Wide range of soil tolerance, but prefers moist, sandy soils. Drought tolerant. Promptly remove root suckers unless naturalized effect is desired.
Height: 35-60 ft.
Spread: 25-35 ft.
Bloom time: May to June
Sun: full sun to part shade
Water: dry to medium
Deer may browse.
photo credit: vastateparksstaff