Persimmon, Common – Diospyros virginiana

Persimmon fruit
Persimmon Fruit

“Possum up a ‘simmon tree
Raccoon on the ground
Possum says you son of a gun
Lay my ‘simmons down.”

       – Mid to late 1800s, author unknown. 


Persimmons are very astringent until they are fully ripe, they need to be to the point of almost turning bad! They can be used raw, cooked or dried; used in breads, cakes, pies, and puddings. The dried leaves are high in Vitamin C, and make a nice tea reminiscent of sassafrass tea.

In medicinal use the inner bark and unripe fruit are used in the treatment of fevers, and diahrrea.

Poison Ivy Treatment: 

Remove a handful of twigs from a persimmon tree, cover them with water, and boil for 20 minutes. Strain and cool the liquid. Apply this decoction top poison ivy or poison oak rash, it will stop the itch immediately, and after a few applications will cause drying of the rash.  

The persimmon seed is flat, and was at one time used to predict the coming winters weather. Take the flat seed and split it parrallel to the flattened sides, then check out the little white sprout. If the sprout looks like a fork, it means a mild winter. If it is shaped like a spoon, it means a lot of snow coming, needing to be shoveled. And if one sees a knife, it means cold wionter winds are forecast!

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