Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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?

Share

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
2 ratings

Saturday - May 11, 2013

From: Montezuma, IN
Region: Midwest
Topic: Seeds and Seeding, Trees
Title: How do you determine male persimmon seedlings from the females?
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

I have got new persimmon seedlings about 3 inches tall this spring, and am wondering if there is any way to tell male from female at this young stage? I just don't want to plant 20 or 40 seedlings and find out later that they may be all male. Thank you sincerely for any info you may have.

ANSWER:

There are two species of Persimmons that occur in Texas; Diospyros texana (Texas persimmon), and Diospyros virginiana (Common persimmon), but only D. virginiana occurs in Indiana. It is a deciduous tree with brilliant fall foliage, and is commonly used in landscapes. As you know, the species is dioecious, meaning that pistillate flowers (female) and staminate flowers (male) are on separate plants. The problem is that you can’t tell which plant is which until flowers appear, and this can take from 5 to 8 years.  The probability of all of your seed producing male plants is pretty low, but even if they do, there is still hope. This previous answer explains some of the vagaries of persimmon reproduction that can result in fruit on male trees.

This link has lots of information about Diospyros virginiana.

 

From the Image Gallery


Texas persimmon
Diospyros texana

Texas persimmon
Diospyros texana

Common persimmon
Diospyros virginiana

Common persimmon
Diospyros virginiana

More Seeds and Seeding Questions

Plant ID from Brick, New Jersey
September 07, 2013 - I live in Brick, New Jersey. I planted some wildflower seed from an assorted packet. There is a very tall, thick center stem with orange flowers. I'd like to send photo but don't know how.
view the full question and answer

Screen of Thuja Occidentalis on fire-damaged property in Bastrop TX
May 04, 2013 - I want to plant a screen of Thuja Occidentalis on the east side of our driveway. It is in the burn area of Bastrop, TX. None of our trees survived. Will Thuja Occidentalis grow here? I saw some specim...
view the full question and answer

Erosion control in Santaquin UT
August 11, 2009 - I have a hill in my backyard; it is about 40 ft tall and about 80 ft wide. It is probably a 1.5 to 1 slope ratio. I am going to be landscaping my back yard and have top soil put on the hill as well. S...
view the full question and answer

Danger of seeds being damaged in cold stratifying
February 27, 2007 - I started cold stratifying some wildflower seeds with some damp cloths in a refrigerator to plant them in the spring. When I was finished preparing the seeds the refrigerator door was somehow left ope...
view the full question and answer

When to Collect Rudbeckia triloba Seed?
September 13, 2014 - How soon after flowering may I cut Rudbeckia triloba flower heads to save seeds? Do cones need to be attached to the plant in or out of the ground to continue to mature?
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.