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Useful Tropical Plants

Diospyros ebenum

J.König

Ebenaceae

+ Synonyms

Diospyros assimilis Bedd.

Diospyros ebenaster Retz.

Diospyros glaberrrima Rottb.

Diospyros laurifolia A.Rich.

Diospyros melanoxylon Willd.

Diospyros membranacea A.DC.

Diospyros reticulata timoriana A.DC.

Diospyros timoriana (A.DC.) Miq.

Common Name: Ebony

Diospyros ebenum
Diospyros ebenum Diospyros ebenum Diospyros ebenum Diospyros ebenum Diospyros ebenum

General Information

Ebony is a slow-growing, medium-sized, evergreen tree with a dense, gloomy crown; it can grow up to 30 metres tall. The straight bole can be 90cm in diameter, with buttresses that are up to 2 metres high[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
,
307
Title
Tropical and Subtropical Trees - A Worldwide Encyclopaedic Guide.
Publication
 
Author
Barwick. M.
Publisher
Thames & Hudson, London
Year
2004
ISBN
0-500-51181-0
Description
A superb book, very concise and well written, giving a wealth of information on 400 or more species including descriptions, habitat, cultivation details and plant uses. A wealth of colour photographs bring each plant vividly to life.
].
A famous timber tree, valued for its black wood for thousands of years[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
]. This species is said to produce the best commercial black ebony[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
]. It is mainly exported to China for furniture and to Europe as fancy wood[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
]. The tree is cultivated in plantations as a timber crop and is also grown as a shade tree[
317
Title
Mansfeld's Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Plants
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://mansfeld.ipk-gatersleben.de/pls/htmldb_pgrc/f?p=185:3:4292127278597336
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details of a huge range of useful plants.
].
The tree is heavily exploited in the wild. It has been renowned since ancient times for its black wood and it is still regarded as the best commercial black ebony. The plant is classified as 'Data Deficient' in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species(2011)[
338
Title
IUCN Red List of Threatened Species
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.iucnredlist.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A list of plants under threat and facing possible extinction, usually with brief details of the threats and information on habitat.
].

Known Hazards

The fruits are used as a fish poison[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
].

Botanical References


Range

E. Asia - India, Sri Lanka.

Habitat

Humid, coastal and lowland forests[
307
Title
Tropical and Subtropical Trees - A Worldwide Encyclopaedic Guide.
Publication
 
Author
Barwick. M.
Publisher
Thames & Hudson, London
Year
2004
ISBN
0-500-51181-0
Description
A superb book, very concise and well written, giving a wealth of information on 400 or more species including descriptions, habitat, cultivation details and plant uses. A wealth of colour photographs bring each plant vividly to life.
]. An understorey tree of dry evergreen forests[
338
Title
IUCN Red List of Threatened Species
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.iucnredlist.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A list of plants under threat and facing possible extinction, usually with brief details of the threats and information on habitat.
].

Properties

Conservation StatusData Deficient
Edibility Rating *
Medicinal Rating *  *
Other Uses Rating *  *  *  *
HabitEvergreen Tree
Height20.00 m
Growth RateSlow
Cultivation StatusCultivated, Wild

Cultivation Details

A plant of comparatively dry areas in the tropics[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
].
Prefers a well-drained soil containing clay[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
].
A slow-growing tree[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
,
307
Title
Tropical and Subtropical Trees - A Worldwide Encyclopaedic Guide.
Publication
 
Author
Barwick. M.
Publisher
Thames & Hudson, London
Year
2004
ISBN
0-500-51181-0
Description
A superb book, very concise and well written, giving a wealth of information on 400 or more species including descriptions, habitat, cultivation details and plant uses. A wealth of colour photographs bring each plant vividly to life.
].
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[
899
Title
Tree Flora of Sabah and Sarawak Vols 1 - 6
Publication
 
Author
Soepadmo E.; Saw L.G.; Chung R.C.K. (Editors)
Publisher
Forest Research Institute Malaysia; Kuala Lumpur.
Year
2002
ISBN
983-2181-27-5
Description
A flora of the woody plants of Sabah and Sarawak on the island of Borneo, often giving details of plant uses.
].

Edible Uses

Fruit - raw. Gummy and astringent]303]. The edible fruits are eaten only in times of famine[
317
Title
Mansfeld's Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Plants
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://mansfeld.ipk-gatersleben.de/pls/htmldb_pgrc/f?p=185:3:4292127278597336
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details of a huge range of useful plants.
].

Medicinal

The edible fruits have medicinal properties as attenuant and lithontripic[
317
Title
Mansfeld's Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Plants
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://mansfeld.ipk-gatersleben.de/pls/htmldb_pgrc/f?p=185:3:4292127278597336
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details of a huge range of useful plants.
].

The pounded bark and leaves are employed as a blistering plaster[
345
Title
Minor Products of Philippine Forests
Publication
 
Author
Brown. W. H.
Publisher
Bureau of Forestry, Manilla.
Year
1920
ISBN
 
Description
A useful guide to some of the plants of the area, though terse on details. The book is out of copyright and can be legally downloaded from the Internet.
].

Agroforestry Uses:

Very promising as shade tree in cardamom (Elettaria cardamomum) plantations[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
].

Other Uses

The heartwood is very black; it is clearly demarcated from the light yellowish grey sapwood that is often streaked with black. The texture is very fine, close and even; the grain straight. The wood is very hard, heavy, very durable, being resistant to insect attack and fungi. The wood is difficult to season and work by hand, it takes a high glossy finish. It is mainly exported to China for furniture and to Europe as fancy wood. It finds use in sports goods, musical and mathematical instruments, ornamental carvings, piano keys, chess pieces, rulers, the backs of brushes, stands for ornaments and turnery[
46
Title
Dictionary of Economic Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Uphof. J. C. Th.
Publisher
Weinheim
Year
1959
ISBN
-
Description
An excellent and very comprehensive guide but it only gives very short descriptions of the uses without any details of how to utilize the plants. Not for the casual reader.
,
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
,
307
Title
Tropical and Subtropical Trees - A Worldwide Encyclopaedic Guide.
Publication
 
Author
Barwick. M.
Publisher
Thames & Hudson, London
Year
2004
ISBN
0-500-51181-0
Description
A superb book, very concise and well written, giving a wealth of information on 400 or more species including descriptions, habitat, cultivation details and plant uses. A wealth of colour photographs bring each plant vividly to life.
].

We do not have any more specific information for this species. However, though varying widely in the relative proportion and the colouring of sapwood and heartwood, all the woods of the genus Diospyros are practically indistinguishable as regards their structure, as described below:-[
721
Title
Commercial Woods of the Philippines; Their Preparation and Uses
Publication
Philippines Bureau of Forestry Bulletin No. 14
Author
Schneider E.E.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Bureau of Forestry; Manilla.
Year
1916
ISBN
 
Description
A series of booklets dealing with various aspects of the Philippine forests. This volume looks at the preparation and uses of the commercial woods of the Philippines. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
]
Whether or not a given species produces heartwood depends largely on the size the tree has attained, but evidently also on other conditions, as there is a wide variation in the relative amounts of sapwood and heartwood even in individuals of the same species. When produced, the heartwood can be black with rosy, yellowish, brownish, or ashy streaks, sometimes it is nearly or totally black; it is generally sharply demarcated from the thin to very wide band of whitish, yellowish, or red sapwood. The texture is fine, smooth and (especially in the heartwood) very dense; the grain is generally very straight. The wood is hard to very hard; heavy to very heavy; the sapwood is tough and flexible whilst the heartwood is brittle; the heartwood is very durable, the sapwood moderately so. It is difficult to season well, logs almost invariably checking in several directions from the heart outward, while sawn lumber must be stacked carefully and weighted to prevent warping; once thoroughly dried, however, it becomes very stable. Its density makes it difficult to work, but it takes a beautiful surface under sharp tools[
721
Title
Commercial Woods of the Philippines; Their Preparation and Uses
Publication
Philippines Bureau of Forestry Bulletin No. 14
Author
Schneider E.E.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Bureau of Forestry; Manilla.
Year
1916
ISBN
 
Description
A series of booklets dealing with various aspects of the Philippine forests. This volume looks at the preparation and uses of the commercial woods of the Philippines. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].
Small trees containing little or no heartwood are used locally for posts, beams, joists, rafters, window sills, parts of agricultural implements, etc.; also, in lumbering, small poles are used for skids on account of their hardness, toughness and smooth wearing qualities. The heartwood (or sometimes sap and heart together) is used for scabbards, canes, hilts, tool handles, gunstocks, saw frames, etc.; it is a favorite for musical instruments, especially finger boards and keys of guitars; furniture, cabinetwork, inlaying; paper weights, inkstands and similar desk supplies; the sapwood, which is almost as hard as the heartwood and very much tougher, is an excellent material for T-squares and other drawing instruments, for shuttles, bobbins, spindles, golf-club heads and shafts, axe, pick, and hammer handles, etc[
721
Title
Commercial Woods of the Philippines; Their Preparation and Uses
Publication
Philippines Bureau of Forestry Bulletin No. 14
Author
Schneider E.E.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Bureau of Forestry; Manilla.
Year
1916
ISBN
 
Description
A series of booklets dealing with various aspects of the Philippine forests. This volume looks at the preparation and uses of the commercial woods of the Philippines. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].

Propagation

Seed - it has a very short viability and so should be sown as soon as possible[
325
Title
Seed Leaflets
Publication
 
Author
Various
Website
http://en.sl.life.ku.dk/Publikationer/Udgivelser/PopulaerPublikationer.aspx?katid={D28373CC-6EF3-4EF8-B097-6D83FABF209E}&serieid={9F1C3DB1-6E7B-4CF1-AF53-F480B0CB40EF}&sort=title
Publisher
Forest & Landscape. Denmark
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A series of leaflets, jointly produced by the University of Copenhagen and the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, focussing on seed information for a number species, but also giving a lot of other information about each plant.
]. The flesh should be removed since this contains germination inhibitors[
325
Title
Seed Leaflets
Publication
 
Author
Various
Website
http://en.sl.life.ku.dk/Publikationer/Udgivelser/PopulaerPublikationer.aspx?katid={D28373CC-6EF3-4EF8-B097-6D83FABF209E}&serieid={9F1C3DB1-6E7B-4CF1-AF53-F480B0CB40EF}&sort=title
Publisher
Forest & Landscape. Denmark
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A series of leaflets, jointly produced by the University of Copenhagen and the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, focussing on seed information for a number species, but also giving a lot of other information about each plant.
]. 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[
325
Title
Seed Leaflets
Publication
 
Author
Various
Website
http://en.sl.life.ku.dk/Publikationer/Udgivelser/PopulaerPublikationer.aspx?katid={D28373CC-6EF3-4EF8-B097-6D83FABF209E}&serieid={9F1C3DB1-6E7B-4CF1-AF53-F480B0CB40EF}&sort=title
Publisher
Forest & Landscape. Denmark
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A series of leaflets, jointly produced by the University of Copenhagen and the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, focussing on seed information for a number species, but also giving a lot of other information about each plant.
]. Normally the seed will germinate after one week. In one trial, fresh seed, sown one day after collection, showed 85% germination rate within 17 - 65 days[
325
Title
Seed Leaflets
Publication
 
Author
Various
Website
http://en.sl.life.ku.dk/Publikationer/Udgivelser/PopulaerPublikationer.aspx?katid={D28373CC-6EF3-4EF8-B097-6D83FABF209E}&serieid={9F1C3DB1-6E7B-4CF1-AF53-F480B0CB40EF}&sort=title
Publisher
Forest & Landscape. Denmark
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A series of leaflets, jointly produced by the University of Copenhagen and the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, focussing on seed information for a number species, but also giving a lot of other information about each plant.
].
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 [
652
Title
The Silviculture of Indian Trees
Publication
 
Author
Troup. R.S.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Oxford, at the Clarendon Press
Year
1921
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent treatment.
].

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