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Fall Color from Persimmon Trees

Making It Grow! Minute logo

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. The area around the Dixiana exit off 1-26 is one of those deep sand spots with stunted pines and black jack and turkey oaks. Right now, there are surprising spots of color from persimmon trees that have colonized certain parts of the roadside. Diospyros virginiana has lustrous green leaves that early in the fall begin to show purple and orange color. A few of the trees, the females, have beautiful orange fruits hanging from them. If you look at the leaves closely you’ll see black spots – a trick use I to ID them as persimmon is in the ebony family – purportedly the cap wood for black piano keys. This is a good tree for fall color for the south – Dr. Michael Dirr says that persimmons growing in the south have consistently more beautiful coloration than their northern brothers and sisters. 

Amanda McNulty is a Clemson University Extension Horticulture agent and the host of South Carolina ETV’s Making It Grow! gardening program. She studied horticulture at Clemson University as a non-traditional student. “I’m so fortunate that my early attempts at getting a degree got side tracked as I’m a lot better at getting dirty in the garden than practicing diplomacy!” McNulty also studied at South Carolina State University and earned a graduate degree in teaching there.