Ebenaceae (ebony family) Diospyros

Diospyros virginiana American persimmon

Conn. to Florida and Texas
Fall color of American persimmon in the San Francisquito Creek greenbelt. To the right is a Turkey oak. Sairus Patel, 7 Nov 2020
American persimmon leaves and checkered bark, San Francisquito Creek greenbelt. Sairus Patel, 11 Jul 2023

Its walnut-sized fruits are distinctly smaller than those of the Japanese persimmon, but this American native gave us the name persimmon, which derives from an Algonquin word. It is mainly collected from wild trees.

Four old trees, with dark, deeply ridged bark divided into square plates, grew in the greenbelt between San Francisquito Creek and Sand Hill Road, not far from Ronald McDonald House. One remains, at the southeast edge of the grand canopy of the Turkey oak north of the house (map pin). A vigorous young specimen is to the left of the front path at 611 Coronado Avenue.

Name derivation: Diospyros – from Greek Dios (Jove’s) and pyros (grain); virginiana – Virginian.

About this Entry: The main text of this entry is from the book Trees of Stanford and Environs, by Ronald Bracewell, published 2005. Coronado Ave location added, locations updated; minor edits (Aug 2023, SP).