MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - There is an old folklore saying that you can predict the weather with a persimmon seed just by cutting a seed open and looking for a certain shape on the inside of the seed.
The big question is, how accurate is this folklore in predicting the weather? Let’s break it down in this episode of the Breakdown.
Persimmons have been used for decades to predict snow for the winter. Female persimmon trees normally produce ripened fruit after the first frost of the year, which for Memphis usually doesn’t happen until around November 12 on average.
As the folklore goes, if the kernel on the inside of the seed is shaped like a knife then a very cold and frigid wind is expected that winter, because they will “cut” like a blade.
If you open a persimmon seed and it looks like a fork, then we are looking at a mild winter with powdery white snow
Finally, if the inside of the seed is shaped like a spoon, then you should be ready to shovel snow this winter.
A fibrous material from the persimmon’s root is what causes the different structure on the inside of the seed. That root is what is used to predict the winter season and what weather it might hold.
While the origin of this folklore is unknown, the persimmon tree predicting the winter does have some rather accurate results to back up the folklore.
In fact, the University of Missouri Jefferson City Extension Office has conducted the experiment by collecting persimmon seeds across the country for the past 19 years. 15 of the years have been shown to be accurate at predicting the future winter outlook.
It will be interesting to see what the winter holds for the Mid-South. We will just have to cut open a persimmon and check out the shape of the root on the inside, as it may hold the key to our future winter outlook.