Diospyros virginiana (American Persimmon) [8 Seeds]


Germination Information: These seeds will ship in a bit of moist paper towel so they do not dry out during shipping. Plant them right away.

I recommend these only for gardeners who have experience with seeds that need a chilling period to germinate. Sow the large, brown seeds about 1/2 inch deep in pots outdoors or in a nursery bed in fall to early winter. I have also had good luck getting them started by mixing them with a handful or two of moist vermiculite in a plastic bag, storing it in a refrigerator for about 3 months, and then setting it in a room-temperature spot out of direct sun. Check the bag every week or so, picking out individual seeds as they show signs of sprouting and planting them in deep pots. They quickly develop a taproot, though, so try not to keep them in the pots for more than a few weeks, if possible. Or, you could try planting the sprouted seeds directly in prepared spots where you want the trees to grow. They will need careful attention, though, and protection from animals.

Note that this information will not be on the seed packet you receive.

Please read the description as well before ordering.

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The colorful and tasty fruits of American persimmon (Diospyros virginiana) are definitely one of the highlights of the fall season. This deciduous tree generally reaches 30 to 60 feet tall and can spread by creeping roots to form wide patches if you don’t mow around it. Male and female flowers are borne on separate plants; you usually need one of each to get fruit. The small, cream-colored female flowers appear in summer. I have about a half-dozen trees here: two I bought from a local native-plant sale many years ago and the rest from seeds I started from a roadside tree growing about a half-mile away. These seeds came from the first tree here to produce fruit. Interestingly, most of the fruits were seedless, but some did contain anywhere from one to three seeds.

Common advice says that persimmons need to go through a frost to be edible, but I have not found that to be true, at least with my tree. Starting in mid-September, a few fruits drop every day, and nearly all of those are at perfect ripeness for eating. I have learned not to be tempted to pick directly from the tree, or to shake it to encourage fruits to drop: those fruits have the legendary persimmon astringency—bleh!

Besides providing food for wildlife, this tree is a host plant for luna moths and a couple other showy moths. American persimmon is native to central and eastern North America. Full sun to light shade; average to moist soil. Zones 5 to 9.

2022-collected seeds are sold out. I hope to collect again in fall 2023. At least 8 seeds. These seeds have been cleaned and immediately stored in moist paper towel at room temperature.

Please read the germination information as well before ordering.

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