Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!

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
2 ratings

Saturday - May 11, 2013

From: Montezuma, IN
Region: Midwest
Topic: Seeds and Seeding, Trees
Title: How do you determine male persimmon seedlings from the females?
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

I have got new persimmon seedlings about 3 inches tall this spring, and am wondering if there is any way to tell male from female at this young stage? I just don't want to plant 20 or 40 seedlings and find out later that they may be all male. Thank you sincerely for any info you may have.

ANSWER:

There are two species of Persimmons that occur in Texas; Diospyros texana (Texas persimmon), and Diospyros virginiana (Common persimmon), but only D. virginiana occurs in Indiana. It is a deciduous tree with brilliant fall foliage, and is commonly used in landscapes. As you know, the species is dioecious, meaning that pistillate flowers (female) and staminate flowers (male) are on separate plants. The problem is that you can’t tell which plant is which until flowers appear, and this can take from 5 to 8 years.  The probability of all of your seed producing male plants is pretty low, but even if they do, there is still hope. This previous answer explains some of the vagaries of persimmon reproduction that can result in fruit on male trees.

This link has lots of information about Diospyros virginiana.

 

From the Image Gallery


Texas persimmon
Diospyros texana

Texas persimmon
Diospyros texana

Common persimmon
Diospyros virginiana

Common persimmon
Diospyros virginiana

More Trees Questions

Revegetating a hillside in western Washington state
October 10, 2012 - Removing several downed trees across my dock demolished the native plants growing on the hillside and the contractor pulled out their remains. The area faces east on an open freshwater bay. Close to...
view the full question and answer

Native trees as alternatives to Japanese Red Maple
October 24, 2007 - Where can I find some Japanese Red Maples to collect seed?
view the full question and answer

Live oak roots and house foundation in Austin
March 01, 2009 - Our builder left a live oak on our lot that is 7' from our foundation. The tree is now around 18' tall with a 20" circumference. Will this tree eventually cause damage to our foundation and is th...
view the full question and answer

Pros and cons of live oak leaves left on ground in Dripping Springs TX
February 20, 2013 - What are the pros or cons of leaving live oak leaves on the ground around trees or bushes?
view the full question and answer

Possible transplant shock in Red Oak in Albany, TX
October 20, 2015 - We planted a new tree last spring which we were told was a Texas Red Oak. The soil where it was planted is hard clay. We have had a watering bag on it and have watered an average of 2x per week throug...
view the full question and answer

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