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Persimmon, Common persimmon
Diospyros virginiana

Copyright by: Jay Horn via iNaturalist

General Landscape Uses: Primarily recommended for natural landscapes and habitat restorations. Also an accent tree or shrub.

Ecological Restoration Notes: An occasional element in hammocks on the mainland.

Availability: Grown by one or two native plant nurseries in South Florida.

Description: Small to medium tree or large shrub with a broad, rounded crown from numerous spreading branches. Trunks usually tall and straight, to 18 inches in diameter, usually less in South Florida. The bark dark brown, divided into deep fissures. A temperate deciduous species, the leaves fall in the winter; leaves dark green and shining above with purplish blotches, turning reddish just before falling.

Dimensions: Typically 15-30 feet in height in South Florida; to 118 feet in Florida.

Growth Rate: Moderate.

Range: Eastern and central United States west to Texas and south to Miami-Dade and Collier counties. For a digitized image of Elbert Little's Florida range map, visit the Exploring Florida website. Little mapped plants for the lower Florida Keys and it also shows up on some early plant lists for Big Pine Key, but these reports were never sustantiated by herbarium vouchers.

Plant Map Map of select IRC data from peninsular Florida.

 Map of suggested ZIP codes from South Florida north to southern Brevard, Osceola, Polk, and Pasco counties.

 Map of ZIP codes with habitat recommendations from the Monroe County Keys north to Martin and Charlotte counties.

Habitats: Swamps and humid forests.

Soils: Moist to seasonally wet, moderately well-drained to well-drained sandy or limestone soils, with humusy top layer.

Nutritional Requirements: Moderate to high; grows best with some organic content and may languish in nutrient poor soils.

Salt Water Tolerance: Low; does not tolerate flooding by salt or brackish water.

Salt Wind Tolerance: Moderate; grows near salt water, but is protected from direct salt spray by other vegetation.

Drought Tolerance: Moderate to low; requires moist to wet soils, but tolerant of short periods of drought once established.

Light Requirements: Full sun.

Flower Color: Green.

Flower Characteristics: Inconspicuous. Dioecious, with male and female flowers on different plants.

Flowering Season: Spring.

Fruit: Yellowish-brown berry. Edible.

Wildlife and Ecology: Provides significant food and moderate amounts of cover for wildlife. Attracts bee and moth pollinators. Birds and other animals eat the fruits.

Horticultural Notes: Can be grown from seed. Germination may not occur for many months.

References: Nelson 2003, Schaefer & Tanner 1997

Copyright by: Jay Horn via iNaturalist

Copyright by: Jay Horn via iNaturalist

Copyright by: Susan Trammell

Copyright by: Susan Trammell

Copyright by: Steve Woodmansee
Polk County, FL

Copyright by: Jay Horn via iNaturalist

Copyright by: Steve Woodmansee
Polk County, FL

Other data on Diospyros virginiana available from:

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