Still catching up on backyard native plants articles, and the latest is this unseasonal look at the American Persimmon (Diospyros virginiana), whose Latin name is often said to mean “Food of the Gods”.
“…Linnaeus called the persimmon tree Diospyros when he was naming plants. With that said lets tackle Diospyros. The disagreement is whether the two Greek words are “dio/spyros” or “thios/piros.” It comes down to Greek spelling. The most common translation is the more unlikely. As mentioned, Diospyros is often translated as “fruit of the gods” or “food of the gods.” That would be very bad Greek. Some translate Diospyros as “the fruit of Zeus” which is just plain silly. There’s also “heavenly plant” “God’s fire” Divine pear” and “Jove’s pear.” Jove’s Pear? That’s expired poetic license. Jove was the Roman equivalent of Zeus, or the Roman name for the top god. Where the pear came from I have no idea though in Texas the persimmon is sometimes called Jove’s Fruit.”
Glad we cleared that up. At any rate, here’s the new page, with lots of links to the history, folklore and culinary uses of this wonderful tree. Enjoy (but not the green ones).