Texas persimmon
Diospyros texana

Secondary Names:
chapote, Mexican persimmon


Leaf Type: Semi-evergreen
Texas Native:
Firewise:
persimmon_texas150.jpg
Tree Description:

A small tree to 40 feet, often low-forking or multi-trunked, with an open, oval crown. Notable for its muscular or fluted trunk and branches.

Range/Site Description:

Rocky and dry sites in Central and South Texas, west to Brewster county. Requires well drained soils and has gained favor as a landscape tree from Austin to Houston.

Leaf:

Simple, alternate, with almost no petiole, 1" to 2" long, obovate, thick and leathery, pubescent underneath; leaf edge without teeth, sometimes rolled under during droughts.

Flower:

Male and female flowers on separate trees. Male flowers inconspicuous; female flowers small, white, five-petaled, appearing in spring and attracting many insects.

Fruit:

A sweet, round fruit, 1" across and slightly depressed at the tip, black when ripe. Favored by wildlife and edible by humans.

Bark:

Smooth, gray, and tight, developing olive or light brown patches that peel away to show the lighter bark beneath.

Wood:

Wood is heavy and very dark, with pale sapwood. Uses include tools and turning blocks; the fruit has been used to make a black dye.

Similar Species:

Common persimmon (Diospyros virginiana) is a medium to large tree with dark, blocky bark and large, edible fruits in the fall. Common crapemyrtle (Lagerstroemia indica) has smooth, muscular trunks and branches with peeling bark.

Interesting Facts:

Wood is suitable for making salt shakers because it absorbs moisture.

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