Easy way to tell persimmon from pawpaw seedlings?

suppose I KNEW a guy (certainly not me) who didn’t label some pots, certain he’d remember what was in them. Now suppose he has persimmons. Or pawpaws. But he has something, about 12" tall, 2-year growth with large leaves that look a lot like a pawpaw…or a persimmon.

Any simple way to tell which these are without waiting a few years? *scratches head…er, scratches that other guy’s head


Pawpaw has a conduplicate terminal leaf bud.
The terminal leaf bud is folded lengthwise.
Persimmon is not,…


That is helpful…or will be, post-google

Yes, what Dave said. Pawpaw terminal buds are very distinctive, especially on larger trees/stems with larger buds but if you look closely you should be able to see very distinctive buds on smaller trees, too.

Post a picture here. I bet we’d be able to ID it for you.

Here are pics.
Pawpaw on left… Persimmon on right
The curved tip on the pawpaw is the conduplicate leaf "bud " mentioned above

On the other hand,
You can identify a pawpaw with your eyes closed…
By the smell of a crushed leaf, strong kerosene type smell.
Persimmon does not have a strong smell

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If you can see the roots, persimmon roots are black unlike nearly every other tree.


I can see your (friend’s) conundrum. Vigorous specimens of the two look surprisingly similar. I have one of each in the same sized pot and their appearance can be deceiving at times.

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Paw paw leaves have a strong smell when you pinch a bit of leaf. Doesn’t smell at all like something you’d want to eat and deer usually don’t.

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Having been around both, I can’t imagine being confused by the above pictures. Pawpaw on the left.

(But I guess if I was raised in northern Siberia and recently moved to USA…I could easily be confused.)

Wood looks different. Branches/Limbs