The native persimmons are starting to ripen. I was too late for this berry. Some bird got there first. I was hoping to gather enough to make some jelly. Or some ink for my husband’s fountain pen mania. Better luck next time! I did eat a couple that were ripe: they were pleasantly sweet but super sticky.
Persimmon seeds can be used to predict winter weather. If you open a seed you will find the shape of a knife, a spoon or a fork inside. This lore must not be entirely local:
a spoon brings mounds of snow (?)
a fork means fickle weather (cold one day, mild the next)
a knife means cutting winds
I don’t know if it was too early to consult the magic eight ball fruit but all the seeds I opened (haha 3) revealed a knife shape. Bad news. I will definitely check again later to see if the tree changes its mind/forecast.
As an Ornamental
Texas persimmon is probably the ideal ornamental native tree/shrub for Austin. It only grows to about 10 feet tall, prefers well drained & poor soils and is extremely drought tolerant. The white bark is pretty and will sometimes peel off to expose pink or grey patches. Diospyros texana has sweetly scented flowers that bloom in March or April. Only the female trees bear fruit. Weird fact: persimmon is related to the ebony tree of Africa and in very old specimens the heartwood is dark black and extremely dense.
In wild places it is usually found along slopes or the magical world of edges.