A small to medium sized tree of 50 feet with a round-topped crown of crooked branches. A short and slender trunk is typical. It often sprouts from its roots and can be standing among thickets of smaller trees. The wood is used for weaving shuttles, billiard cues, flooring and veneer. A member of the Ebony Family, also known as Possumwood, Eastern Persimmon and Date Plum.Fruit provides food for wildlife.  Eaten by wild turkey, bobwhite, raccoon, opossum, skunk, fox and deer. Mature fruit has the flavor and texture of dates.


Oblong to oval, 3 – 5” long, lustrous green above, pale underleaf.

When young, gray-brown with orange in fissures, darkening with maturity, and breaking into square scaly plates, similar to charcoal briquettes.


Slender, light brown to gray and slightly fuzzy. Buds dark red, triangular, close to stem. Leaf scar has one crescent shape scar.


A plum like berry , 1 to 2”, green before ripening that turns orange to black when ripe.


Males and females on separate trees. White to green-white, ½” long. Male flowers group in threes; while females  are in single urn shape. Appear in late spring, early summer.