This section is from the book "Handbook Of Hardy Trees, Shrubs, And Herbaceous Plants", by W. Botting Hemsley. Also available from Amazon: Handbook of hardy trees, shrubs, and herbaceous plants.
This genus is by far the most numerous in species of any in the family. Ebony and several other valuable and handsome woods are furnished by this genus, and several species produce edible fruit. The name is from Jove's, and grain or food, literally heavenly food.
1. D. Virginiana. Persimmon. - A small tree with somewhat coriaceous persistent leaves and small greenish yellow dioecious flowers succeeded by yellow edible roundish fruits about 1 inch in diameter. This is somewhat tender, but on well-drained soils it will withstand our winters, though it rarely ripens its fruit with us. There is a specimen about 30 feet high in the arboretum at Kew. North America.
D. Kaki, the Date Plum, is a Japanese species which produces a bright red edible fruit as large as a small apple.