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Useful Tropical Plants

Diospyros philippinensis

A.DC.

Ebenaceae

+ Synonyms

Diospyros cumingii Gürke

Diospyros cunalon A.DC.

Common Name:

Diospyros philippinensis
Flowers (male?)
Photograph by: jayeshpatil912
Creative Commons License

General Information

Diospyros philippinensis is an evergreen tree that can grow from 18 - 33 metres tall. The straight, cylindrical bole can be up to 80cm in diameter[
372
Title
Flowers of India
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.flowersofindia.net/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A wed site of native Indian plants, plus cultivated and naturalized species. It has good quality photos and terse details on more than 3,000 species and cultivars.
].
The tree has been a commercial source of black ebony and has been overexploited to the point that the tree has become rare in the wild.
Exploitation of the tree has caused the species to become rare; very little lowland forest remains. Records of Philippine ebony are often from forest fragments smaller than 50 km². Despite a ban on log exports which came into force in 1989, there have been reports of an illegal trade. The plant is classified as 'Endangered' in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species(2013)[
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

None known

Botanical References


Range

Southeast Asia - Indonesia, Philippines.

Habitat

Primary lowlnd forest, at elevations up to 200 metres[
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 StatusEndangered
Edibility Rating *
Other Uses Rating *  *  *
HabitTree
Height0.00 m
Growth RateSlow
Cultivation StatusWild

Cultivation Details



A slow-growing tree[
372
Title
Flowers of India
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.flowersofindia.net/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A wed site of native Indian plants, plus cultivated and naturalized species. It has good quality photos and terse details on more than 3,000 species and cultivars.
].
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

The fruits are often borne in pairs, very close together on opposite sides of a branch. A strong, unpleasant, cheese-like odour is given off by the whole fruit. It is moist but not very juicy, more or less sweet flavored. There may be 4 - 8 brown, smooth, wedge-shaped seeds, about 40mm long and 25mm wide, standing in a circle around the central core, though the fruits are often completely seedless[
372
Title
Flowers of India
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.flowersofindia.net/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A wed site of native Indian plants, plus cultivated and naturalized species. It has good quality photos and terse details on more than 3,000 species and cultivars.
].
The above report does not specifically say that the fruit is edible, though the fruits of many species can be eaten (and some are delicious) as long as they are fully ripe; prior to that they are very rich in tannins and strongly astringent[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
].

Medicinal

None known

Other Uses

The heartwood is black with light streaks of yellowish brown; it is clearly demarcated from the sapwood, which has a distinct yellowish tint, becoming light yellowish brown in drying. The heartwood is a good commercial variegated ebony[
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.
].

We do not have any more specific information for the wood of 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 nearly or quite 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 - 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[
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.
].
Cite as: Tropical Plants Database, Ken Fern. tropical.theferns.info. 2019-10-14. <tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Diospyros+philippinensis>

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