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
Not Yet Rated

Saturday - August 17, 2013

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives, Propagation, Trees
Title: Has Texas Black Persimmon been crossed with non-native persimmons from Austin
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Hi. I just found a Texas Black Persimmon in my neighborhood. The fruit is olive green and then black, then it explodes into a black slurry of seeds and syrup. The color is so strong I find myself wondering if anyone has tried to cross it with American or Asian Persimmons to get darker fruit. None of my explorations on the Internet have told me if this has been tried (perhaps it does not work . . . . I find experiments that fail tend to be forgotten). Anyhow, I like the plant and would like to have one.

ANSWER:

We did find a  Diospyros kaki (Japanese Persimmon) that has been heavily hybrdized, but not with Diospyros texana (Texas persimmon) (also known as Black Persimmon) nor, apparently, Diospyros virginiana (Common persimmon).

From Purdue University Horticulture here is an article on Japanese Persimmon,   detailing the many cultivars that have been developed over time and many of them have been developed in North America; if any attempt has been made to cross them with Diospyros texana (Texas persimmon), as you say, it has not been publicized.

We did note from some of our research that the Black Persimmon is very slow to ripen, but turns dark overnight and then the birds get the fruit immediately. Why go to all that trouble to grow the fruit if you're not going to be able to eat it yourself?

Because the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, home of Mr. Smarty Plants, is committed to the use, propagation and protection of plants native not only to North America but to the areas in which those plants grow naturally, we would not have any information on a native/non-native hybrid in our database.

 

From the Image Gallery


Texas persimmon
Diospyros texana

Texas persimmon
Diospyros texana

Texas persimmon
Diospyros texana

Common persimmon
Diospyros virginiana

Common persimmon
Diospyros virginiana

Common persimmon
Diospyros virginiana

More Trees Questions

Manzanita Not Growing Well
July 11, 2016 - Dear Mr Smarty Plants, I have a four native Dr. Hurd manzanitas growing in my yard, which I planted three years ago. Three seem quite happy with lots of foliage. The fourth has foliage only on this ye...
view the full question and answer

Search for Silver Magnolia from Coram NY
July 11, 2012 - Hi, 20+ years ago I purchased a small tree labeled Silver Magnolia from a catalog. It was a sapling about 8 inches high when I first received it but amazing! The bloom the first year was as big as my ...
view the full question and answer

Trees resistant to Armillaria mellea, root fungus
December 16, 2008 - We had to bring down a 200 year old oak which root system was compromised by Armillaria mellea. We were told the fungus is still present in the soil & it's advisable to plant a resistant species. W...
view the full question and answer

Viability of Desert Willow in clay soil in Fredericksburg, TX
November 25, 2005 - I have recently purchased a house in a new subdivision in Fredericksburg, TX. The lot was not landscaped. I have a small lot (85 X 135), my back yard is about 50 X 85. The soil is a heavy clay. I am c...
view the full question and answer

Acorns for craft project in Santa Rosa CA
October 05, 2009 - Where can I find mature northern red oaks, northern pin oaks in Santa Rosa, CA 95404 in order to get their cute chubby acorns for a craft project I'm doing?
view the full question and answer

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