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Archive for September 14th, 2013

Texas persimmon

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Texas Persimmon with Peeling Bark 4406

Several trees native to Texas are known for their distinctive peeling bark. One is the madrone. Another, as common in central Texas as the madrone is scarce, is the mighty sycamore. A third tree with peeling bark, the one you see here, is the Texas persimmon, Diospyros texana. Notice how, near the top of the photograph, the most prominent of the separating pieces of bark curls so tightly as to close on itself and form a rough cylinder. At least one smaller patch of bark lower down does the same thing.

Like other species of Diospyros, the Texas persimmon produces edible fruits, and I saw several smushed ones along the trail close to this sun-dappled tree at the Hamilton Pool Preserve on August 19th. By the way, although the word persimmon might suggest some reference to Persia (as peach in fact does), English borrowed the name of this tree from Virginia Algonquian, an aboriginal language of eastern North America.

© 2013 Steven Schwartzman

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Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 14, 2013 at 5:59 AM

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