As a wildlife photographer here in Arkansas, I always look forward to our peculiar regional tradition of using persimmon seeds to predict the coming winter weather. This folklore method has been passed down for generations and continues to be a fun way for locals to prognosticate the conditions ahead.
Yesterday, I collected some ripe persimmons from a tree. Carefully slicing them open, I examined the seeds inside. After seeing photos on social media of others finding spoon shapes in their seeds, it was not a surprise when I discovered that both of my seeds also resembled spoons, which indicates we’re in for higher than average snowfall this winter.
According to the lore, different seed shapes predict different conditions:
Fork – A mild winter is ahead
Spoon – Get ready for heavy snow
Knife – Frigid, icy temperatures will cut through the season
In the past, I’ve seen seeds take on all kinds of interesting forms. Some look like actual utensils, while others resemble random patterns and shapes. Regardless of the appearance, it’s always fascinating to peek inside these seeds and imagine what weather they portend.
While not scientific, these traditional methods add to the anticipation and excitement of the coming winter. Part of the fun is comparing the seeds’ predictions to what the season actually brings. Will we be digging out of drifts of snow this year? I’ll be keeping an eye to the skies to see if the persimmon seeds called this one correctly!
There have been no scientific studies that have conclusively proven or disproven the accuracy of predicting weather with persimmon seeds. The practice is based on folklore and tradition, and there is no clear scientific explanation for why the shape of a persimmon seed would be related to the severity of winter weather.
Some people believe that the shape of the persimmon seed is related to the amount of sunlight and rainfall that the persimmon tree received during its growing season. For example, a fork-shaped seed may indicate that the tree received a lot of sunlight, which could lead to a mild winter. A spoon-shaped seed may indicate that the tree received a lot of rainfall, which could lead to a snowy winter. And a knife-shaped seed may indicate that the tree received very little sunlight and rainfall, which could lead to a cold winter.