Persimmon, Diospyros virginiana
Ebenaceae or Ebony Family


Small tree, to 30 to 50 feet tall. Dark, thick bark distinctively broken into small squares. Leaves egg-shaped, without teeth, alternating on the branch. Male and female flowers on different trees. Male flowers small, off-white, urn-shaped, resembling blueberry flowers but with 4 lobes at the openings, growing directly from leafy branches in small one-sided clusters. Female flowers are of similar shape, but larger, sometimes tinged green or red, and with prominent green sepals. Fruits are plum-sized orange to red fruits, horribly astringent until very very ripe, and then delicious.

An uncommon native tree. Very rare in Wildwood. Several trees on the eastern bluffs overlooking the Main Street entrance may be clones from the same rootstock. All of them, unfortunately are males.


 In flower, unmistakeable, otherwise not very notieceable, but the alligator bark is distinctive, and the untoothed leaves help in identification. The Wildwood specimens were initially misidentified as sourwood, which has similar bark and leaves, and flowers similar to male persimmon flowers. Sourwood flowers, however, are borne in dense clusters on long leafless branches, and have 5 lobes at the opening. Sourwood leaves also have very tiny teeth.