Common Name: Yoruba Ebony
Yoruba ebony is a tree growing up to 10 metres tall, with a short slender bole that is often fluted, rarely straight, up to 60 cm girth[
The tree is harvested from the wild for local use as timber, medicine and food.
Tropical Africa - Cote D'Ivoire to S Nigeria, and extending to northern Zaire.
Drier semi-deciduous rain-forest[
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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[
The buds (? Flower-buds) are put into soups[
A decoction of the bark and twigs, combined with the leaves of Senna occidentalis and Lippia adoensis, is taken in draught and put into baths as a treatment for leprosy[
]. This is also considered to be good for treating fever-pains, stomach-ache and oedemas[
The leaves are used treat chicken-pox[
The branches, particularly on the younger plants, are armed with short thick spines. These are made into an infusion which is given, probably on the premise of sympathetic magic, to alleviate teething pains in children[
The sap-wood is white, turning slightly yellow on exposure, whilst the heart-wood is pale yellow[
]. The wood is hard, dense and durable[
]. It is used to make clubs, walking-sticks, tool-handles and scantlings[
The branches are flexible and are used to make traps[
Seed - it 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 - 1Â½ 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. In one trial, fresh seed, sown one day after collection, showed 85% germination rate within 17 - 65 days[
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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