Persimmon

(Diospyros virginiana) Deciduous tree. This is a member of the ebony family, and is a medium sized tree with leaves 4"-6 " long, smooth on both sides, except in spring when the undersides are downy. Leaves turn yellow, orange or red with black spots in autumn. The male and female flowers grow on separate trees. Both are bell shaped and greenish yellow. The female flowers are larger and more open, and produce the fruits. The fruits are large orange berries which resemble tiny tomatoes. They are edible in late fall and turn purplish after frost. The fruits or persimmons are astringent until after frost, and then they become quite sweet and tasty. The wood has limited use in the making of golf clubs and billiard cues. The bark is dark and bumpy with deep cracks that have an orange cast. It has been called alligator bark. 50 feet max.

Slave history/living history/historic tours: near Colonial Williamsburg is Sherwood Forest Plantation, home of the 10th U.S. President, John Tyler.