En Español

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?


Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Tuesday - November 15, 2011

From: austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Propagation, Trees
Title: Germinating Mexican Persimmon seeds in Austin, TX.
Answered by: Jimmy Mills


I'm planning to germinate Mexican Persimmon seeds, and plant them this spring. I want a female for fruit. Is there any way to encourage a plant to be female, and if not, is there any way you can identify a female plant? I don't believe so, but I'll ask anyway.


Mexican Persimmon Diospyros texana (Texas persimmon) can be a shrub or small tree with very hard wood. In addition to its fruit, it is valued for its striking trunk and branches, which are a smooth, pale greyish white or whitish grey, peeling off to reveal subtle greys, whites, and pinks beneath.

This persimmon is dioecious; ie. the pistillate flowers (female) and the staminate flowers (male) are borne on separate plants, so you will need to have both kinds of plants if you are going to produce fruit. The most practical way of distinguishing between the two plants is to see them in flower. The gender of the plant is genetically determined, and you as the seed planter have no control over it.


From the Image Gallery

Texas persimmon
Diospyros texana

More Propagation Questions

Growing Green milkweed vine from seed
July 29, 2015 - I was given some seed for the pearl milkweed vine which I intend to plant, but I can find no information on whether to stratify or scarify them or just plant them. I know some milkweeds require strati...
view the full question and answer

Can trees survive if trunks are buried under 3-5 ft of soil?
January 27, 2012 - We have two cedar elms and a mesquite that I protected from backfill as our Texas Hill Country lot was leveled in preparation for building a house. The bulkheads are now holding back 3' to 5' of ma...
view the full question and answer

Growing non-native lettuce under artificial light from Washington NY
April 15, 2012 - Which artificial light( UV LIGHT, FLUORESCENT LIGHT AND INCANDESCENT LIGHT) makes a lettuce plant grow the fastest over a time period of 3 weeks and what would be your variables( independent, dependen...
view the full question and answer

Source for Texas Olive Tree from Tucson AZ
August 10, 2013 - Can one start a Texas Olive Tree from the olives it produces? How can you start one. I am having difficulty finding a nursery, but do see the trees around.
view the full question and answer

Propagating redbud (Cercis canadensis) seeds
October 24, 2007 - Our Red Bud tree is full of bean shaped seed pods. Can those be planted and if so how? I enjoy puttering in the yard.
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center