Contact Us Host an Event 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
9 ratings

Monday - October 23, 2006

From: Lafayette, LA
Region: Southeast
Topic: Propagation
Title: Identifying gender of persimmon trees
Answered by: Damon Waitt

QUESTION:

How can you tell the difference between a male persimmon tree and a female persimmon tree? Also do you need both to bear the fruit? I live in Louisiana and never heard of this before. Thanks.

ANSWER:

Persimmon trees are either male or female and only the females bear fruit. You can tell male trees from female trees because male flowers are smaller and appear in small clusters, while the larger female flower appears alone.

Inside the female flower you will find the pistil but also sterile stamens, noticeably smaller than stamens in the male flower. The stamens in a persimmon's female flowers are usually sterile but rarely produce pollen. So rarely a tree with female flowers can produce fruit without another tree with male flowers being around. To complicate matters further, a tree's sexual expression can vary from one year to the other and many cultivars of persimmon are parthenocarpic (setting seedless fruit without pollination).
 

More Propagation Questions

Seeds from opuntia
May 11, 2009 - How do I get seeds from opuntias?
view the full question and answer

Looking for seeds of Collinsia verna (Mary Blue eyes)
March 27, 2009 - Dear Friends, I am desperately trying to locate (for purchase) seeds for the wildflower "Mary Blue Eyes" or "Spring blue-eyed Mary" (botanical name Collinsia Verna.) Internet searches for see...
view the full question and answer

Propagation and transplanting of Vernonia lindheimeri
April 10, 2007 - I have located a wooly ironweed plant and have taken some seeds to start. This is the only ironweed I have seen. Any suggestions on how to start the seed? Also, if development of the property appea...
view the full question and answer

Removal of leaves before transplanting
April 05, 2008 - Before transplanting a plant, is it a good idea to remove leaves?
view the full question and answer

Propagation of Mountain Laurel by seed
March 28, 2007 - I harvested the seed or nut from our Mountain Laurel this spring and I would like to propagate them in containers for at least a year and then transfer them to the ground. I live in Hays County, TX in...
view the full question and answer

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