Leaves and fruit of common persimmon | Photo credit: Larry Korhnak, University of Florida
Common persimmons are slow-growing trees that produce large edible fruits. The only other native persimmon of North America is called Texas persimmon (Diospyros texana), and it occurs in Texas and northeastern Mexico. Its leaves are smaller and it has black fruits, where Diospyros virginiana has larger leaves and orange to purple fruits.
Common persimmon is a relative of the highly-prized true ebony tree (Diospyros ebenum). The ebony tree has black, hard, heavy wood, which has long been used to make expensive bowls, candlesticks, piano keys, and furniture.