En EspaŅol

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
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
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 Non-Natives Questions

Leaf loss on non-native Elaeocarpus decipiens
July 01, 2008 - Hello, I had my landscaper plant Japanese Blueberry bushes over the winter along my fence to act as a privacy screen. Their long, narrow and full evergreen characteristics are ideal for creating priv...
view the full question and answer

removing paper mulberry shoots from lawn
August 09, 2011 - Dear Mr./Ms. Smartypants, I recently moved into an Austin home with the backyard taken over by paper mulberries. There were originally 2-3 large bush/trees, but now that I've removed them I realiz...
view the full question and answer

Camellia seeds
September 21, 2008 - Hi Mr. Smarty Plants; I have a Camellia plant that has bulbs that look like they could be fruit. And when this bulb opened, four or five little nuts came out. Are they fruit or nuts and can they be e...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants on Walter Ernest Jones
February 24, 2005 - My parents are both huge gardening fans and for a mothers day present I would like to find a plant for her garden that has a connection with "walter ernest jones". Any part of this name would be gr...
view the full question and answer

Leaf color in non-native sago palms
January 24, 2009 - I have two sego palms planted in my front yard. Lots of sun. The fronds have turned a lime green color instead of the dark green color. Please help...(alkaline soil)
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center