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Home > Resources > North Carolina Trees > Common Persimmon

Common Persimmon

(Diospyros virginiana L)


Persimmon, 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.

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