The American or common persimmon, also called simmon, possumwood, and Florida persimmon is a slow-growing, moderately sized tree native to southeastern North America.
The fruit is about 1 to 2 inches in diameter. Unripe fruit, which is high in tannins, has a bitter astringent flavor. The golden orange to burnt orange fruit are very sweet when fully ripened and the astringent taste is reduced late in the fall after a cold snap. The skin will wrinkle and the fruit will soften when the persimmon is fully ripe.
When you gently shake a persimmon tree, the ripe fruits fall to the ground. If you have to pull the fruit off the tree, it will surely pucker your mouth inside out! Ripe persimmons are delicious out of hand, and can be made into puddings and cakes.
Deer, opossum and coons love the persimmons, and at night a deer will stand and wait patiently beneath a persimmon tree with an opossum up in the tree jumping from branch to branch, shaking persimmons loose and waiting on the fruit that falls to the ground.
At the 40 Acre Woods, we have many persimmon trees. The deer, opossum and coons spread the seeds after eating the fruit.