Diospyros hoyleana is an evergreen shrub or a tree that can grow up to 15 metres tall. The bole can be 30cm in diameter[
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a medicine.
Tropical Africa - Nigeria, Cameroon, DR Congo, south to Angola and Zambia.
An understorey plant in dense evergreen rain-forest[
We have seen no individual confirmation for this species, but in general Diospyros species are dioecious and require both male and female forms to be grown if fruit and seed are required[
A leaf-decoction is given to women during pregnancy who have a history of miscarriage[
The powdered dry leaves, or the leaf-sap, are sniffed up the nostrils as a treatment for persistent headache. The pulped leaves are applied topically in the treatment of wounds and sores[
Very small traces of alkaloid have been detected in the leaves[
Saponins and tannins are present in the leaves, bark and roots[
Quinones are present in small amount in the bark, in appreciable amount in the bark and absent from the leaves[
Steroids and terpenes are present in the bark and roots, and not in the leaves[
Seed - in general the seed of Diospyros species has a very short viability and so should be sown as soon as possible. The flesh should be removed since this contains germination inhibitors. Sow the seed in a shady position in a nursery seedbed. The sowing media for ebony uses soil and fine sand at the ratio 3:1. The seed is planted horizontally or vertically with the radicle end down, with a sowing depth of 1 - 1½ times the thickness of seed. Distance between the seeds is 3 - 5cm. Seeds are very sensitive to desiccation during germination and early growth, so must be regularly watered at this time. Normally the seed will germinate after one week[
As a rule fresh seeds have a high percentage of fertility. The seedlings develop long taproots at an early stage, often before any appreciable elongation of the shoot takes place. The growth of the seedling is decidedly slow [
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