Persimmons, a favorite of our mockingbirds, here in Cordova, TN. Persimmons are highly prized by mockingbirds, wild turkeys, blue jays, robins, gray catbirds, pileated woodpeckers, eastern bluebirds, cedar waxwings, raccoons, opossums, deer, and bears. If you want to sample an American Persimmon, make sure it is fully ripe, or it will be bitter.
A persimmon is the edible fruit of a number of species of trees of the genus Diospyros in the ebony wood family (Ebenaceae). The word Diospyros means “the fruit of the gods”1 in ancient Greek. The word persimmon is derived from putchamin, pasiminan, or pessamin, from Powhatan, an Algonquian language (related to Blackfoot, Cree and Mohican) of the eastern United States, meaning “a dry fruit”.2 Persimmons are generally light yellow-orange to dark red-orange in color, and depending on the species, vary in size from 1.5 to 9 cm (0.5 to 4 in) diameter, and may be spherical, acorn-, or pumpkin-shaped.3 The calyx often remains attached to the fruit after harvesting, but becomes easier to remove as it ripens. They are high in glucose, with a balanced protein profile, and possess various medicinal and chemical uses. While the persimmon fruit is not considered a “common berry” it is in fact a “true berry” by definition.