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 Non-Natives Questions

Top soil dressing for bermudagrass
February 25, 2009 - Need to apply top soil dressing to bermudagrass. Can you suggest any type? This area is heavy clay soil and need to even out the lawn as well as feed the grass.
view the full question and answer

Non-native, invasive bermudagrass from Memphis TN
August 17, 2012 - I live in central Memphis and have well-drained clay soil. I have converted much of the front yard from turf grass to beds of native plants, which survive our hot humid without supplemental watering e...
view the full question and answer

Snow damage to non-native Japanese maple in Oakdale NY
December 29, 2009 - My beautiful 10 year old miniature Japanese Maple was damaged by heavy snow this year. Two of the biggest limbs cracked under the weight of the snow and are just barely hanging on. Can I repair them...
view the full question and answer

Non-native Meyer lemon not bearing fruit in Austin
September 13, 2010 - I have had a meyer lemon for 9 years and it has never produced fruit. What do I do? It has beautiful leaves and thorns but no fruit. Thank you, Mr. Smarty Plants
view the full question and answer

Identity of rubbery-looking tree with long green thorns
March 21, 2012 - I am trying to identify a tree that has a green rubbery look with long, sharp, green thorns. This tree is on my property in Conroe, TX and the soil type is Gladwater clay frequently flooded.
view the full question and answer

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