Persimmon is a southeastern U.S. native tree that is easily recognized in winter by its unusual rugged, blocky bark. Female trees produce large orange-brown fleshy fruit that are edible after the first frost. Thick, dark green leaves turn a yellow fall color. Native persimmon is not readily available in nurseries, but several selected cultivars are produced for their edible fruit.
All Common Names:
- Residential and parks,
- City parkway,
- Wide median
Tree or Plant Type:
- Deciduous (seasonally loses leaves)
- North America
- Shade tree,
- Large tree (more than 40 feet),
- Medium tree (25-40 feet)
- Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily),
- Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily)
- Zone 4,
- Zone 5 (Chicago),
- Zone 6,
- Zone 7,
- Zone 8,
- Zone 9
- Moist, well-drained soil
- Dry sites,
- Occasional drought,
- Alkaline soil,
- Clay soil
- Moderately Tolerant
- May be difficult to find in nurseries,
- Messy fruit/plant parts
- Spring blossoms,
- Fall color,
- Edible fruit,
- Fragrant flowers,
- Attractive bark
Season of Interest:
- Early winter,
- Mid winter,
- Late winter,
- Late spring,
- Early summer,
- Early fall,
- Mid fall,
- Late fall
Flower Color & Fragrance:
Shape or Form:
- Game birds,
- Insect pollinators,
- Small mammals,
Form & Size
A medium to large size tree reaching 60 feet high.
Tree & Plant Care
Full sun in well drained soil. Tolerant of wide range of soil moisture and pH levels.
Tolerant of dry soil to low, swampy areas, but best in moderate to well-drained, fertile soil.
May be difficult to transplant due to a taproot.
Persimmon can sucker from the roots, increasing the maintenance of this tree.
This species has separate male and female trees; female trees produce edible fruit which can be messy
Disease, pests, and problems
No serious pests
Root suckering can be a management problem.
Disease, pest, and problem resistance
Tolerant of black walnut toxicity.
Native geographic location and habitat
Native to the southern United States up through southern Illinois.
Bark color and texture
Bark is rugged and deeply divided into small blocks.
Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture
Simple, alternate leaves with entire margins; 2 to 5 inches long.
Dark green in summer and yellow to reddish-purple in fall.
Flower arrangement, shape, and size
Male and female flowers on separate trees; both flowers small, creamy white and fragrant; urn-shaped; late spring into early summer.
Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions
Female tree produce orange berries about 1 inch in diameter; fruit are attractive but messy; edible after frost.
Cultivars and their differences
Numerous cultivars in the market sold for fruit production.