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Can you identify this tree?

Posted Sunday, September 27, 2009, at 9:41 PM

My friends and I found this tree growing in the city square in Marquand, Mo. this weekend. It had a fruit about the size of a large marble. I've never seen anything like it.
This weekend some friends and I went up to Madison County, just over the Bollinger County line, to take part in Pioneer Days in the quaint little village of Marquand. (Population 430 or so, except during this time of year, when it must easily double.)

While we were there, my friend Emma and I were very curious about two small trees growing in the square. The rest of our party walked on around on the new brick sidewalk, but she and I stood like a couple of real yokels, trying to figure out the identity of those trees.

I took a photo of the fruit, which was most curious. They weren't exactly what I'd call berries, but they weren't quite crabapples, as we first thought. Emma wondered if it was a paw paw tree.

I admit to living dangerously, because we took a taste of the fruit and found that it had a sweet, tasty golden pulp, which was so full of seeds that I can't imagine it being very practical for much of anything!

Another strange characteristic was the bumps all over the fruit, giving it a sort of pin cushion effect.

Emma even stopped the city police officer, who was driving by in his squad car (further embarrassing our friends), but he didn't know what it was either. Like us, he took a bite. Emma and I are okay tonight, so I assume he survived, as well.

Does anybody know what this tree/bush is??

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We have wild persimmons all over the place, and they aren't the same as this one. They have about six wide, flat seeds; whereas this one has 12 or more little round seeds. Also this fruit is sweeter and of a different texture than a regular persimmon.

I guess it could be a variation.

-- Posted by goat lady on Wed, Nov 4, 2009, at 7:46 AM

Hi there! We have a tree that looks very similar on our farm, except it is much taller. The fruit is the same, and when I asked our neighbor (his uncle owned the property and built the farmhouse way back when)--he said it is a wild persimmon. My tree book and Google confirmed this. I tasted the fruit and had the same experience as you, and I'm still alive too! LOL! So I guess you can add this to your tree research... :)

-- Posted by bigcreekrvpark on Fri, Oct 30, 2009, at 10:25 AM

Do you think the Marquandians could be aliens?

-- Posted by goat lady on Tue, Sep 29, 2009, at 9:02 PM

Common persimmon? Looks like one, except for all the seeds you mentioned.

-- Posted by G. B. on Mon, Sep 28, 2009, at 8:03 PM
Madeline DeJournett's response:
I wish I'd tried to get a close up of the fruit, so you could see the bumps. It's about the size of a persimmon, but it's more round and uniform than a persimmon, and it has those bumps uniformly all over it. On the inside, there must be 10-12 small round seeds, whereas a persimmon has those much larger, distinctive flat seeds.

My dogs race me for the persimmons on my driveway every evening when I get home. I pick up six or so, eat one, feed one to Bucky, eat one, feed one to Sassy....on & on, till they're all gone. They think the persimmons taste better if I give them one, rather than their picking them up off the ground themselves!

Oh, my gosh, FJ! I THOUGHT that fruit looked familiar! That is exactly where I've seen it!

It must have been growing right beside those plants that spit spores in their faces and turned them into zombies!

Ah, we always knew when they beamed down to a planet that looked like PARADISE, they were in for trouble!!

Beam me up, Scotty!

-- Posted by goat lady on Mon, Sep 28, 2009, at 5:57 PM

I guess it's true--some folks would eat anything! haha!

-- Posted by GONENOW on Mon, Sep 28, 2009, at 3:19 PM

Looks kind of like the "plant" in the The Day of the Triffids! Yikes! Did the author of The Day of the Triffids foretell the future? Has Marquand been invaded?

-- Posted by FJGuy on Mon, Sep 28, 2009, at 1:27 PM

It's not a paw paw tree - I looked that up on Wikipedia, and it doesn't look anything like the mystery tree.

-- Posted by goat lady on Sun, Sep 27, 2009, at 9:53 PM

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Madeline (Giles) DeJournett is the Advance writer for the North Stoddard Countian. A retired high school English/history teacher, she spent 32 years teaching in 5 schools in Missouri and Alaska. These days, she lives quietly with a menagerie of wild and domestic animals on 52 secluded acres in the remote Tillman hills south of Advance. She graduated from Dexter High School in 1960 and Southeast Missouri State in 1964. She can be contacted at advancensc@sbcglobal.net.
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