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Diospyros.

Related entry: Maba

Major entries:
Diospyros discolor Willd. Mangosteen.
Diospyros kaki Linn. Date Plum. Japanese Persimmon. Kaki. Keg-Fig.
Diospyros virginiana Linn. Persimmon.

Diospyros chloroxylon Roxb. Ebenaceae.

East Indies. This Indian tree has a cherry-like fruit which is very palatable. The fruit is sweetish, clammy and subastringent but edible.

Diospyros decandra Lour.

Cochin China. The berry is large, nearly globular, pulpy, yellowish when ripe; its taste is sweet and austere, combined with a disagreeable smell. It is, however, sold in the markets and eaten.

Diospyros discolor Willd. Mangosteen.

Philippine Islands. This species is commonly cultivated in many islands of the East and has also been introduced into the West Indies. The fruit is like a large quince and in some places is called mangosteen. Its flavor is agreeable. The fruit of this tree is brown, with a pink-colored, fleshy rind, the pulp firm and white and the flavor agreeable. It is cultivated in the Isle of France for its fruit.

Diospyros dodecandra Lour.

Cochin China. The berry is pale, with a sweetish, astringent, edible and pleasant pulp.

Diospyros ebenum Koen. East Indian Ebony.

This plant bears an edible fruit.

Diospyros embryopteris Pers.

East Indies. The fruit of this tree of India is not unlike a russet apple, pulpy, of unattractive yellow color and covered with a rust-colored farina. It is occasionally eaten but is not palatable. It is eaten by the natives.

Diospyros kaki Linn. Date Plum. Japanese Persimmon. Kaki. Keg-Fig.

Japan. This plant has been cultivated in Japan for a long period and has produced many varieties, some of which are seedless. The fruit, in general, is as large as an ordinary apple, of a bright color, and contains a semi-transparent pulp. The tree is cultivated in India and in China and was seen in Japan by Thunberg, 1776. It was introduced into the United States from Japan by the Perry expedition and one of these trees is still growing at Washington. About 1864, others were imported; in 1877, 5000 plants in ten varieties were brought to America. This persimmon is now grown in California, Georgia and elsewhere. The fruit is described as delicious by all who have eaten the best varieties.

Diospyros lanceaefolia Roxb.

East India. This is an eastern fruit, said by Kotschy to have a taste similar to chocolate.

Diospyros lotus Linn. False Lote-Tree.

Temperate Asia. The fruit is the size of a cherry, yellow when ripe, sweet with astringency. The sweetish fruit is much prized by the Afghan tribes, who eat it fresh or dried and use it in sherbets.

Diospyros melanoxylon Roxb. Coromandel Ebony.

East Indies and Ceylon. The yellow fruit is about one to one and one-half inches through, with soft, sweet, slightly astringent flesh, which is eaten and is refreshing.

Diospyros obtusifolia Willd.

South America. This is the sapota negro, with small, black, edible fruit.

Diospyros pentamera Woods & F. Muell. Gray Plum.

Eastern tropical Australia. The fruits, which are produced in great abundance, are eaten by the aborigines.

Diospyros pilosanthera Blanco.

Philippines. The fruit of this tree is eaten.

Diospyros tetrasperma Sw. Wattle Tree.

Jamaica. The fruit is eaten by negroes.

Diospyros texana Scheele. Black Persimmon.

Mexico. This is the black persimmon of the Americans and the sapote-pieto of the Mexicans of western Texas. The black, cherry-like fruit is melting and very sweet.

Diospyros tomentosa Roxb. Ebony.

East Indies. The sweetish, clammy and subastringent fruit of this plant is eaten.

Diospyros toposia Buch.-Ham.

East Indies. The fruit of this species is sweetish, clammy, and subastringent but edible.

Diospyros virginiana Linn. Persimmon.

North America, found wild from the 42nd parallel to Texas, often attaining the size of a large tree. This plant is the persimmon, piakmine, or pessimmon of America, called by the Louisiana natives ougoufle. Loaves made of the substance of prunes "like unto brickes, also plummes of the making and bigness of nuts and have three or four stones in them" were seen by DeSoto on the Mississippi. It is called mespilorum by LeMoyne in Florida; "mespila unfit to eat until soft and tender" by Hariot on the Roanoke; pes-simmens by Strachey on the James River; and medlars on the Hudson by the remonstrants against the policy of Stuyvesant. The fruit is plum-like, about an inch in diameter, exceedingly astringent when green, yellow when ripe, and sweet and edible after exposure to frost. Porcher says the fruit, when matured, is very sweet and pleasant to the taste and yields on distillation, after fermentation, a quantity of spirits. A beer is made of it. Mixed with flour, a pleasant bread may be prepared. Occasional varieties are found with fruit double the size of the ordinary kind. The best persimmons ripen soft and sweet, having a clear, thin, transparent skin without any roughness. Flint, in his Western States, says when the small, blue persimmon is thoroughly ripened, it is even sweeter than the fig and is a delicious fruit. It is sometimes cultivated in America and is also to be found in some gardens in Europe.


Sturtevant's Edible Plants of the World, 1919, was edited by U. P. Hedrick.



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