||This genus of some 475 species of evergreen and deciduous, tender and hardy, tropical and temperate shrubs and trees is a very diverse group of plants. Some have considerable economic importance, either for their timber or their fruit, while others are attractive ornamentals. Their foliage is usually quite simple and that of the deciduous species can be very colorful in autumn. The flowers are unisexual and for better fruit production it helps to have several trees for cross-pollination. The fruits range from small fleshy berries to the pear-like persimmons.
||CULTIVATION: With such a large and diverse genus it is difficult to generalize about cultivation requirements. What can be said is that only a few will tolerate prolonged drought and most prefer moist, well-drained soil that is reasonably fertile. Propagation is from seed or by root cuttings or grafting.