Date Plum

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

  • About

date plum Diospyros lotus, a fruit which is related to neither the date nor the plum, but is closely akin to the American persimmon, D. virginiana. It grows from the Mediterranean as far east as Japan and Korea. It is not eaten in Japan and is grown there only for its ornamental value.

Besides growing wild, it has served as an introduced and cultivated plant since ancient times, and it is no longer possible to establish its original distribution. It has been present in the Mediterranean region for a long time, and is one of the several fruits reputed to have been the ‘lotus’ of the so-called lotus-eaters of Homer; but see jujube.