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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.

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

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Tuesday - November 15, 2011

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

QUESTION:

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.

ANSWER:

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.


 

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Texas persimmon
Diospyros texana

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