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Marcus, Joseph A.
Diospyros texana Scheele
Texas persimmon, Mexican persimmon, Black persimmon, Chapote, Chapote prieto
USDA Symbol: dite3
USDA Native Status: L48 (N)
Shrub or small tree with very hard wood, usually multi-trunked. Normally 10-15 ft tall but can reach 35 ft in the southern parts of its range. Common in brushy areas on level uplands, stony hillsides, and lower slopes from Houston and Bryan, Texas, in the east, west to Big Bend in west Texas and south to Nuevo Leon in northeastern Mexico. Very common in central and south Texas. Bark light gray to white, smooth, thin, on some trunks peeling in rectangular flakes and exposing a pinkish layer beneath. Leaves up to 2 inches long, but most about half this length, firm textured, rounded or slightly notched at the tip and tapering to the base; margins smooth, rolled down. Flowers urn shaped, whitish, about 3/8 inch wide, arranged singly or in small clusters among the new leaves; male and female on separate plants, appearing in March and April. Fruit fleshy, round, up to 1 inch in diameter, black and sweet when ripe, ripening from late July into September.
This well-shaped, small tree is valued primarily 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. The fruits, borne on female trees, are edible once soft, with a flavor some liken to prunes, and are favorites of many birds and mammals. It is extremely drought-tolerant and disease-resistant and is ideal for small spaces in full sun. The heartwood, found only in very large trunks, is black, like that of the related ebony (Diospyros ebenum), while the sapwood is clear yellow.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White , Green
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr
Bloom Notes: fragrant
DistributionUSA: TX Native Distribution:
S.e., c. & w. TX,
s. to n.e. Mex. Native Habitat:
Rocky, open woodlands, slopes & arroyos
Growing ConditionsWater Use: Low
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry
Soil pH: Alkaline (pH>7.2)
Drought Tolerance: High
Heat Tolerant: yes
Soil Description: Well-drained, limestone loams, clays, and caliche.
Conditions Comments: North of the Rio Grande Valley where winters are cold, will usually be deciduous. From the Rio Grande Valley southward, will be semi-deciduous-to-evergreen, losing its leaves all at once in early spring like live oaks, with no period of bareness.
A well-shaped, small tree
valued chiefly for its striking trunk and branches. Use Wildlife:
Fruits attract birds and mammals, especially deer and peccary. This is prized food for peccary. Flowers attract butterflies. Use Food: Fruit
edible when ripened to softness. Use Other: Fruit
juice used as a dye. Wood used in woodworking. Fragrant Flowers:
Birds , Butterflies Larval Host:
Gray hairstreak, Henrys Elfin butterfly Nectar Source:
Germinates readliy from fresh seed. Cold-moist storage will induce dormancy and delay germination. Sensitive to damping-off and root rot. Seed Collection: Fruit
ripens from August to October and turns purple-black when mature. Clean fruit
immediately to prevent mold and fermentation. Air-dry seeds and store in sealed, refrigerated containers. Commercially Avail:
Often pruned rather high to show off the attractive trunk and branches.
Butterflies and Moths of North America (BAMONA)
is a larval host and/or nectar source for:
Mr. Smarty Plants says
Edible plants native to Austin, TX
August 05, 2009
I am a chef from Buenos Aires Argentina visiting Austin, Texas and would like to learn about native, edible plants in the region.
Please let me know if there are any native, edible plants...
view the full question and answer
From the National Organizations Directory
According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is either on display or available from the following:
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
- Austin, TXTexas Discovery Gardens
- Dallas, TXTohono Chul Park, Inc.
- Tucson, AZBrackenridge Field Laboratory
- Austin, TXPatsy Glenn Refuge
- Wimberley, TXNative Plant Society of Texas
- Fredericksburg, TXNueces River Authority
- Uvalde, TXTexas Parks and Wildlife Department
- Austin, TXNPSOT - Fredericksburg Chapter
- Fredericksburg, TXTexas Master Naturalists - Lost Pines Chapter
- Bastrop, TXNPSOT - Austin Chapter
- Austin, TXNational Butterfly Center
- Mission, TXJacob's Well Natural Area
- Wimberley, TXNPSOT - Williamson County Chapter
- Georgetown, TX, TX
Herbarium Specimen(s)NPSOT 0841
Collected Mar 27, 1994 in Bexar County by Harry CliffeNPSOT 0866
Collected May 4, 1994 in Bexar County by Harry CliffeNPSOT 0720
Collected Mar 27,1994 in Comal County by Mary Beth WhiteNPSOT 0703
Collected Mar 30, 1994 in Bexar County by Mike Fox
Wildflower Center Seed BankLBJWC-55
Collected 2006-08-17 in Travis County by Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
Record Last Modified: 2010-02-07
Research By: TMH, GDG