Xplor More: Ask a Persimmon

By Matt Seek | August 1, 2011
From Xplor: August/September 2011

Will Winter be cold and snowy? Ask a Persimmon.

Toward the end of September, in forests and fencerows throughout Missouri, plum-sized orange persimmons begin to ripen and drop from the branches of their knobby-barked trees. Animals love to eat persimmons. You probably will, too— if the persimmons are ripe. If they aren’t, one bite will make your mouth pucker like you drank a whole jar of pickle juice. When a persimmon feels squishy, it’s ready to eat.

Squishy Orange Weather Forecasters

Some people claim you can forecast winter’s weather by splitting a persimmon seed into two thin halves. The white embryo inside— that’s the part that would grow into a new tree—will be shaped like a spoon, knife or fork.

Slice a Seed, Not Your Finger

Persimmon seeds fresh out of the fruit are as slippery as buttered bullfrogs. Trying to cut one with a knife is a good way to slice your finger. To keep your digits intact, let your persimmon seeds dry in the sun for a few days. Then, use a pair of pliers to squeeze each seed. They should split right open.

  • A spoon—like a mini snow shovel— indicates there will be lots of snow.
  • A fork forecasts a pleasant, mild winter. Sorry, no snow days.
  • A knife predicts frigid winds that will cut through your coat like a blade.

Write your persimmon prediction down and check back to see if your seeds were right.

And More...

This Issue's Staff

David Besenger
Bonnie Chasteen
Chris Cloyd
Peg Craft
Brett Dufur
Les Fortenberry
Chris Haefke
Karen Hudson
Regina Knauer
Kevin Lanahan
Kevin Muenks
Noppadol Paothong
Marci Porter
Mark Raithel
Laura Scheuler
Matt Seek
Tim Smith
David Stonner
Nichole LeClair Terrill
Stephanie Thurber
Cliff White
Kipp Woods