Diospyros texana Ebenaceae
Texas, Mexican or Black Persimmon, Chapote
- Deciduous to semi-evergreen, large multistemmed shrub or small tree, generally to 10 ft (3 m) tall, similar width, but may reach 40 ft (12 m) tall. Bark attractive, mottled gray, smooth, peeling. Leaves alternate, simple, oblong to obovate, 2-4 cm long, about 2.5 cm wide, dark green and somewhat glossy above, paler and pubescent below, petiole short, thick and hairy. Dioecious - male and female plants. Female flowers white, inconspicuous, about 3 mm, bell-shaped, solitary or rarely in pairs, sweetly fragrant, appear in early to mid spring. Fruit to about 2.5 cm, globose, green and astringent when unripe, when ripe, black with sweet edible pulp surrounding hard seeds (3-8), eaten by many species of birds and mammals.
- Sun to light shade, best on well-drained soil. Drought resistant.
- Hardy to USDA Zone 8b It is native to portions of Texas and Mexico. In Texas it occurs in the Rio Grande Plains, Edwards Plateau, and the southeastern corner of the Trans-Pecos region. In Mexico it is found in the northern portions of Neuvo Leon, Coahuila, Tamaulipas and possibly in the extreme northeastern corner of Chihuahua.
- texana: of Texas.
- One common name, Black Persimmon, is a reference to the black ripe fruit which can stain anything they touch. A black dye created from the fruit and the wood is reportedly used for manufacturing tools and engraving.