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Shrub or tree to 8 m. Branchlets pubescent, usually tipped with slender spines and often with shorter, stouter lateral spines. Leaves deciduous, 4–8.5 1.8–3.8 cm, rhomboid-obovate, upper surface dark green with yellowish brown hairs on veins, lower surface pale green with scattered appressed hairs, apex acute to acuminate, margin ciliate, lateral veins five to seven per side, reticulate veins prominent; petiole 0.2–0.4 cm. Male flowers in axillary cymes; pedicel c.0.7 cm; calyx four-lobed; corolla urceolate with four lobes, 0.4 cm; stamens 16. Female flowers solitary; pedicel c.1.8 cm; calyx lobes four, lanceolate, deeply divided, c.1 cm, expanding to 1.6–2 cm in fruit; corolla urceolate with four villous ridges; ovary densely villose. Fruit an orange rounded or elongated berry, to 2 cm diameter, glabrous and glossy. Seeds two to four, c.1 cm. Flowering April to May, fruiting September to October (China). Li et al. 1996. Distribution CHINA: Anhui, Fujian, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Zhejiang. Habitat Forests on slopes and by streams, between 300 and 800 m asl. USDA Hardiness Zone 7b. Conservation status Not evaluated. Illustration Li et al. 1996; NT311.
Diospyros rhombifolia is the most widely cultivated of the Diospyros species described here, with several noted in European collections by Jan De Langhe (pers. comm. 2007), including specimens at Arboretum Het Leen, Eeklo, Belgium and at Jardin botanique de la Roche Fauconnière, Cherbourg, France. In North America it is commercially available, and is used as a bonsai subject on account of its small leaves and bright orange fruits. It appears to have acquired there the vernacular name Princess Persimmon, while Diamond Leaf Persimmon is used by Piroche Plants, British Columbia, who claim to have introduced it in 1994. It seems to be usually more shrubby than tree-like, but can probably be pruned into a single-stemmed specimen such that its pale bark can be best appreciated (Piroche Plants 2002–2005).