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Featured Plant Of The Month

There is always something in bloom at the Arboretum! Use our Plants Library to plan a photo shoot or to choose one of the trails to walk. Learn more about the plants at the Arboretum by visiting our Previously Featured Plants list and our Special Seasonal Featured Plants page.


Persimmon (Diospyros virginiana)

Persimmon Persimmon is a moderately sized tree growing to 60 feet in height and 2 feet in diameter. It is the most northern member of the Ebony plant family — other members of the family are tropical or subtropical. A number of Persimmon trees are found along Arboretum Drive and on the edge of the Shade Tree Collection. In September/October, these trees may be loaded with orange fruits that become deep purple as they age.


Persimmon Fruit Persimmon Fruit Fall Persimmons are dioecious — meaning that male and female flowers are usually found on separate trees. The leaves and fruits of the tree are astringent, and have been described as puckery. However, when mature, the fruits lose their astringent tannins and become sweet and delicious. They can be eaten raw or used for pies, cakes, and jellies. A variety of wildlife eats the fruits. The genus name Diospyros comes from the Greek ”food for the gods.”


Persimmon Bark Persimmon is native to the Eastern U.S. — New England to Florida, west to Texas, Iowa, and Kansas. The bark is dark brown to black and is deeply divided into small blocks. The dense wood has been used for such purposes as golf club heads and billiard cues.


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University of Tennessee - Forest Resources AgResearch and Education Center
901 South Illinois Avenue, Oak Ridge, Tennessee 37830 · Telephone: 865-483-3571 · Email: UTforest@utk.edu