Diospyros virginiana
American persimmon

Ebenaceae (ebony family)
Conn. to Florida and Texas

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, grow in the greenbelt between San Francisquito Creek and Sand Hill Road, not far from Ronald McDonald House. Two of these are opposite where London Plane Way intersects the greenbelt bike path, one 12 yards in from the path and the other 20 yards beyond. A third tree is 40 yards toward El Camino from London Plane Way; the fourth is closer to Ronald McDonald House.

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.