Garden Moments: Edible and Beautiful North American Native Persimmon Tree

Melinda's Garden Moment

Nationally recognized gardening expert Melinda Myers helps everyday gardeners find success and ease in the garden through her Melinda’s Garden Moment television segments. Melinda shares tips that hold the key to gardening success, learned through her more than 30 years of horticulture experience.  New Melinda’s Garden Moment web tips will be added throughout the growing season, so be sure to check back for timely, seasonal tips to help you be successful in your gardens!

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Edible and Beautiful North American Native Persimmon Tree

Plant a North American persimmon for a bit of shade and fruit you and the birds will enjoy.

The American persimmon (Diospyros virginiana) is native to eastern United States but adaptable to climates across North America. New hardy varieties have been introduced by Canada.

The botanical name means Divine Fruit or Food. And once you taste a ripe persimmon you just might agree.

Persimmons grow 35 to 50 feet tall. Most native persimmons are dioecious, meaning each tree only produces male or female flowers. So, you may need two trees to produce fruit high in vitamin A and containing more vitamin C than citrus.

The bark on mature trees is attractive and its glossy dark green leaves turn a beautiful yellow-green, yellow or reddish purple in fall.

Don’t rush the harvest or you’ll experience the astringent flavor of unripe persimmons. Once touched by frost, the small fruit develop a sweet nutty flavor.

A bit more information: Gardeners interested in learning more about growing native fruit should check out North American Fruit Explorers (www.nafex.org). This group connects home gardeners, orchardists, researchers and others to useful fruit-related information. The Northern Nut Growers Association (www.northernnutgrowers.org) members include amateurs and professionals interested in growing nut trees.

Visit www.melindamyers.com for more gardening tips, videos and more.

About Melinda Myers
Gardening expert, TV/radio host, author & columnist Melinda Myers has more than 30 years of horticulture experience and is a columnist and contributing editor for Birds & Blooms magazine. She has written over 20 gardening books, including Can’t Miss Small Space Gardening and the Midwest Gardener’s Handbook. She hosts the nationally syndicated Melinda’s Garden Moment segments which air on over 135 TV and radio stations throughout the U.S.  Myers is also the host of the recently released The Great Courses “How to Grow Anything” DVD series.  Melinda writes a regular column for Wisconsin Gardening and Chicagoland Gardening magazines. She also writes the twice monthly Gardeners’ Questions” newspaper column. Melinda hosted “The Plant Doctor” radio program for over 20 years as well as seven seasons of Great Lakes Gardener on PBS. Melinda has a master’s degree in horticulture, is a certified arborist and was a horticulture instructor with tenure. She’s the recipient of the American Horticultural Society’s B.Y. Morrison Communication Award and was inducted into the Hall of Fame of GWA: The Association for Garden Communicators. Myers’ website, www.MelindaMyers.com, features gardening videos, podcasts, monthly gardening checklists and more.

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