The American persimmon is found natively as far north as New York and western Connecticut, as far south as Flordia, and as far west as Okalahoma (Central Park Conservancy 2018; Tree Trail 2017). They like to grow on low wetlands but can also grow on drier lands (Central Park Conservancy 2018). Specfically, they prefer moist but well-drained soil, but they can also be found in sandy, less fertile soil as they can living in a variety of pHs (UConn 2018). They do require, however, lots of sun (UConn 2018).
Origin, history, and uses:
The American persimmon has a Japanese relative and likely came to the Americas early on in evolution or through the Bering strait. It was first described in Captain John Smith in 1609, who discovered the species in Virginia and said its fruit tasted like an apricot (Rick 2018). It was also described by early botanists, such as William Bartram, and presidents, like George Washington and Thomas Jefferson (Rick 2018).
Diospyros virginiana is used for its fruit and wood. The fruit is produces is juice and pinkish-orange and can be very sweet if eaten when overripe (Rick 2018). As such the fruit should not be picked until it is ripe, plump, and soft to the touch (Rick 2018). Growing in a wide range of forests, its wood is also appealing. Wood carvers like to use it for its decorative grain and golf club manufactures like to use it for its durability (Rick 2018).
In the Southern Hemisphere, shoots grow in september and stop growing in July; leaves grow in september and fall off in May and June; anthesis of flowers begins in October; fruits are produced from November to April; and the trunk expands from May to June (Scheepers 2010). These periods are reversed in the Northern Hemisphere.