A common persimmon, or Diospyros virginiana, is a fruit-bearing tree that grows wild throughout the American southeast. Historically, persimmons were gathered and used for everything from sweetening foods to making beer.
These hardy trees blossom from March through June, bearing fruit as early as September. Persimmon berries grow densely on healthy trees and fall off easily when ripe. Before ripening and in climates too cold for the plant, the fruit is bitter, but when ripened in good conditions, it is somewhat tart and sweet. The heartwood that forms in trees over a century old is tough, dense and very dark, almost like ebony, and is used to make pool cues and golf clubs.