The American Persimmon Tree Is Blooming

>> Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The American persimmon tree is native to the Eastern United States.  The persimmon (the word persimmon comes from the Algonquian words for dried fruit—putchamin, pasimianan, or pessamin) was introduced to the early settlers in Jamestown.   Captain John Smith wrote about this unusual orange fruit,  “If it be not ripe it will drawe a mans mouth awrie with much torment; but when it is ripe, it is as delicious as an Apricock.”  Persimmons are known for their astringency, the dry, puckering mouthfeel caused by tannins found in the fruit.  Jokingly persimmons are said to be a cure for baldness—they don’t grow hair but they cause the sideburns to pucker up onto the top on ones head.

We have a persimmon tree along our driveway which has never borne any persimmons since we have been here.  As I was walking under it today I hear it buzzing.  There were numerous busy bees working the fragrant, pale yellow, four-parted, bellshaped flowers.  I discovered that these native persimmon trees are either male or female and are not self-pollinating.  Apparently, since both sexes bloom, our tree must be a male.

May    27th 002 The blooms are quite small, approximately only three-eighths of an inch long.  As one article stated, “the persimmon tree is great for bees and therefore for honey production.”  And, thanks to those busy bees I discovered our persimmon tree in bloom.


Anna May 27, 2009 at 8:01 PM  

So, no persimmons. Honey, maybe?

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