Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. Although persimmons have consistently beautiful and early fall foliage, they aren’t often highly valued by homeowners, but people who plant them as a food source for wildlife and soil stabilization know their importance. The ripe fruits are relished by deer, possums, foxes, and raccoons and people – although you have to wait until they’re so soft you can only eat them with a spoon or they’ll turn your mouth inside out. Although Asian persimmons have male and female flowers on the same plant, our American species are dioecious and only female trees have fruits. With good fall color, disease and insect resistance, and a striking blocky bark on mature specimens, this tree deserves to be used more in naturalized settings. To find sources for named cultivars of persimmon and other native trees for wildlife, check out the North American Fruit Explorers in St. Louis Missouri.