often called "simmon," is found throughout the state, except
in the higher mountains.
The broadly oblong, pointed leaves are 4 to 6 inches long and
2 to inches wide. The leaf has a smooth margin and a broad,
flat midrib, with small, conspicuous dark veins on the underside.
Male and female flowers grow on separate trees. Male flowers
grow in two- to three-flowered clusters, while the female flower
is solitary. The fruit, edible when ripe, is a berry 1 to 2
inches in diameter. It is a rich reddish-purple and contains
several flattened oblong seeds about 1/2 inch long. The fruit
is eaten by humans as well as by opossums, raccoons, deer, fox,
hogs and many birds.
The characteristic bark pattern of persimmon is easily recognized,
, being dark colored and deeply divided into thick, small, square
plates. Persimmon heartwood is dark brown to black. The sapwood
is cream colored to light brown or gray. Persimmonwood is very
hard and shock-resistant. It is used for spindles, shuttles,
golf club heads and some furniture.