Do male flowers produce fruit in persimmons?

In another thread (linked above), it is asserted that male flowers produce fruit in persimmons. Specifically: << Male flowers easily (will and could) produce fruit in persimmons. . . . It’s totally normal. >>

For me, this seems biologically impossible since the male flower has no ovary. I suspect that the commentator @Barkslip (or his sources) have mis-identified hermaphroditic flowers as male. My understanding is that hermaphroditic flowers may produce fruit but that it is small and inedible. Or possibly the commentator has missed the fact that some female flowers are mixed Amon g the male ones.

This claim contradicts everything I thought I knew about “the birds and the bees.” But even at 70 I’m willing to learn something new about sex.

Can someone with expertise opine?

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It “the commentator” the person in the documents you’re reading thru ought all your time reading? I don’t know what that means. Or am I the commentator. I don’t know what you mean. Thanks

OK, I’ll edit to clarify. Yes, you are the commentator.

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Thanks @jrd51
Edited for saying I’m the commentator. I appreciate it.

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Well by definition if a baby or fruit came out, that was not a male flower :slight_smile:

Having said that some trees can change gender from one season to the next, depending on climate, or through the lifetime of the tree. Apparently persimmons belong to this club and sometimes can be both genders at once. If it needs to be reassigned you can graft into it the desired gender and that branch will hopefully stick to it.


@don1357 – Exactly!

I’d totally agree that a tree with female flowers can also have male flowers or even hermaphrodite flowers. And a tree with exclusively female flowers today can develop male flowers next year.

But the individual flower is female or male or both. As you state, a fruit does not come from a male flower.

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If this truly is the case and you and @KYnuttrees have witnessed it to confirm firsthand that the flowers do in fact appear to be male and not hermaphroditic, then it does seem very unusual…

That said, the world is full of organisms that can change sex to continue their species. If a male clown fish (at birth) can change into a female and lay viable offspring, who’s to say a persimmon flower can’t pull a similar trick. It would seem to be a less sensational one compared to a fish.

With parthenocarpy and all the other mixed bags of funky things persimmons are capable of, maybe they don’t even need the right sex parts to make a fruit? Just talking out loud without any research to back it up over here.

the male fruits are seeded too, lol.

it’s like transposons as I was reading last night on this thread. the blinking and “on and off” of chromosomes in genes. some “movement” occurred and now the male flowers have fruit.

OK, so we go from the ridiculous to the absurd.

@disc4tw – You made a valiant effort to make sense of what @Barkslip reports, but he’s not talking parthenocarpy.

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You said “it’s totally normal”!!! This process, if it happens at all, isn’t happening all over the tree. And it wouldn’t explain seeds.

Read with a bit of empathy jrd51. Barkslip is doing his best to express what he knows about persimmon reproduction. Male flowers don’t produce fruit as we all know, but it is possible for an otherwise male tree to set a few female or hermaphrodite flowers which would produce fruit. For similar reasons, an otherwise female tree can produce male flowers under some conditions. Climate is one Dax mentioned. Another is from high soil fertility, or the opposite, very low soil fertility. Age of the tree keeps showing up as a factor in Taishu producing male blooms.

I’ll re-ask the question that started this thread with a more accurate nuance. For an otherwise normal male persimmon tree, is it possible for that tree to occasionally produce fruit? Before you answer, please do due diligence and post a reference either supporting or negating the question. If you don’t we will all laugh because you are posting hearsay and innuendo.


Yes, because they are known to be one of those species capable of gender bending. For reference look at all the existing literature stating as much, it is a well established fact.

By the way laughter is not going to make me do your homework :wink:



<< Before you answer, please do due diligence and post a reference either supporting or negating the question. If you don’t we will all laugh because you are posting hearsay and innuendo. >>

I agree totally with the first sentence – statements of “fact” should be supported by evidence, preferably scientific research or authoritative opinion based on such research. Inferences based on limited observation should be qualified as such.

But I disagree with the second sentence. We shouldn’t “laugh” at the offender. Challenge, yes. Laugh, no. And consequently I don’t think you can have it both ways – asking me to “read with empathy” while you threaten to laugh at exactly the same behavior.

<< Read with a bit of empathy jrd51. Barkslip is doing his best to express what he knows about persimmon reproduction. >>

I tried. When I moved the issue to this thread, I attempted to depersonalize the discussion. I used the passive voice (“it is asserted”) or used the active voice with a nameless subject (“the commentator”), both trying to focus on the facts not the person. But Dax insisted that I name him. Fine, I can respect him for that. He wants to own his opinion.

I also suggested two ways in which he might have misinterpreted his observations: (1) that he was seeing fruit on hermaphrodite rather than male flowers, and (2) that he was describing the male tree (with some female flowers) rather than the male flower. But he rolled right over those suggestions.

But then, you agree with me that Dax is mistaken. As you state, “Male flowers don’t produce fruit as we all know.” You weren’t gonna tell him yourself publicly, out of empathy? You might just laugh privately? Sorry, I’m more in the camp that promotes radical honesty.

Please understand – I really don’t mind mistakes, mine or somebody else’s. We’re all here to learn, and mistakes are part of that process. HOWEVER, our collective learning will be undermined if people who don’t really know something speak with an air of authority as if they do know. Instead, all of us should approach topics where we are inexpert with a healthy dose of humility.

On the other thread, when Dax challenged my comment that male flowers don’t bear fruit), he could have taken a humbler approach. He might have asked me or other forum members for clarification. “Are we sure that . . . . because my friend has observed . . . ?”

In the end, I just could not let a categorical statement that “we all know” is false stand unchallenged.

And thereby exactly the point I wanted to make was received.

Which certainly includes you and me. The difference between a piece of half-raw castrated bull meat and a sizzling hot juicy rib-eye steak is semantics. They are the same thing, just different words used to describe them. So the words we use on forums often come out in ways and with meanings we did not intend.

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I just called Cliff. His males are hermaphrodites.

I’m glad I didn’t read all this (actually none). I guess I come off wrong to you jrd. All I see to the bottom here is laughing and joking and (I SAID IT HAD TO BE) and I’M SMART and others aren’t. That’s what this thread looks like from above. (skimming). Anyways, I don’ give a shit. I tried.

This thread looks goofier than hell and I didn’t write the above comments about semantics and rib-eye steaks and what is “intended” and what is actually said. What the f are you guys talking?

I look up and see words like “Dax Challenged”. And I need to be humbler.

You are coat tail riding jerk. You won’t take your feet off my neck. Try to be humble.

I am humble. What you read and how you process is not cool. You must be a hell of a jerk.

I hope one day we can sit down face to face and I can ask, “what went wrong, Joe?”

“What did I say or do?”

That’s what I feel.


@Barkslip – Dax, maybe we’ll have a chance to sit down over beers and chat some day. I’d welcome that.

Meanwhile, you’ve done the community a service by clarifying: The fruit-bearing “male” flowers were not male after all but rather hermaphrodite (i.e., both male and female). Birds and bees can go about their business without confusion.

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@Fusion_power I haven’t read any of this thread, but I see you tried to say I was trying. So, thanks…