Diospyros lotus

1 Dec

Diospyros lotus (16/11/2013, Kew Gardens, London)

Diospyros lotus (16/11/2013, Kew Gardens, London)

Position: Full sun to partial shade

Flowering period: Early summer

Soil: Moist, well drained

Eventual Height: 10m

Eventual Spread: 6m

Hardiness: 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b, 10a

Family: Ebenaceae

Diospyros lotus Fruit (16/11/2013, Kew Gardens, London)

Diospyros lotus Fruit (16/11/2013, Kew Gardens, London)

Diospyros lotus is a deciduous tree with a conical habit. Its shiny dark green leaves are ovate with entire margins, up to 13cm long and 6cm wide. Its brown/ grey bark forms scaly platelets as the tree matures.. Its green dioecious flowers are insignificant, both a male and female tree must be grown for the female to produce fruit. Its yellow/ orange fruit are berries, up to 2cm across and ripen to dark purple in October to November.

Diospyros lotus, commonly known as the Date Plum, Caucasian Persimmon or Lilac Persimmon, is native to south west Asia including the Himalayas and Caucasus mountains. In its native habitat it grows as part of a mixed deciduous forest.

Diospyros lotus Leaf (16/11/2013, Kew Gardens, London)

Diospyros lotus Leaf (16/11/2013, Kew Gardens, London)

The etymological root of the binomial name Diospyros is derived from the Greek dios meaning ‘heavenly’ and purinos meaning ‘wheat’. Lotus is from the Greek, originally applied to leguminous plants.

The landscape architect may find  useful Diospyros lotus as an unusual, edible fruiting tree.

Ecologically, Diospyros lotus fruit are attractive to birds and mammals (including humans).

Diospyros lotus Bark (16/11/2013, Kew Gardens, London)

Diospyros lotus Bark (16/11/2013, Kew Gardens, London)

Diospyros lotus prefers moist, deep loamy, well-drained soils. It tolerates most pH of soil.

Diospyros lotus requires little maintenance.

Davis Landscape Architecture

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