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Useful Tropical Plants

Diospyros ferrea

(Willd.) Bakh.

Ebenaceae


A very variable species, as can be gathered from the great number of synonyms ascribed to it[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
].

+ Synonyms

Diospyros angustifolia (Miq.) Kosterm.

Diospyros compacta (R.Br.) Kosterm.

Diospyros egbert-walkeri Kosterm.

Diospyros geminata (R.Br.) F.Muell.

Diospyros humilis (R.Br.) F.Muell.

Diospyros littorea (R.Br.) Kosterm.

Diospyros nigrescens (Dalzell) C.J.Saldanha

Diospyros salomonensis (Bakh.) Kosterm.

Diospyros vera (Lour.) A.Chev.

Ebenoxylum verum Lour.

Ebenus compacta (R.Br.) Kuntze

Ebenus geminata (R.Br.) Kuntze

Ebenus hemicyclodes (F.Muell. ex Benth.) Kuntze

Ebenus humilis (R.Br.) Kuntze

Ebenus lamponga (Miq.) Kuntze

Ebenus laurina (R.Br.) Kuntze

Ebenus nigrescens (Dalzell) Kuntze

Ebenus obovata (R.Br.) Kuntze

Ebenus reticulata (R.Br.) Kuntze

Ehretia ferrea Willd.

Ferreola buxifolia (Rottb.) Roxb.

Ferreola ebenus Stokes

Ferreola guineensis Schumach. & Thonn.

Maba angustifolia Miq.

Maba buxifolia (Rottb.) Pers.

Maba compacta R.Br.

Maba cumingiana A.DC.

Maba ebenoxylon G.Don

Maba ebenus Wight

Maba geminata R.Br.

Maba guineensis A.DC.

Maba hemicycloides F.Muell. ex Benth.

Maba humilis R.Br.

Maba interstans F.Muell.

Maba lamponga Miq.

Maba laurina R.Br.

Maba littorea R.Br.

Maba madagascariensis A.DC.

Maba nigrescens Dalzell

Maba obovata R.Br.

Maba papuana Hiern

Maba reticulata R.Br.

Maba secundiflora Hutch.

Maba smeathmannii A.DC.

Maba vacciniifolia Benth.

Common Name:

Diospyros ferrea
Cultivated tree
Photograph by: mutolisp
Creative Commons License
Diospyros ferrea Diospyros ferrea Diospyros ferrea Diospyros ferrea Diospyros ferrea Diospyros ferrea

General Information

Diospyros ferrea is an evergreen tree that can grow 10 - 15 metres tall. The straight, slender bole can be 20 - 40cm in diameter[
332
Title
The Useful Plants of West Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
Burkil. H. M.
Publisher
Royal Botanic Gardens; Kew.
Year
1985 - 2004
ISBN
 
Description
Brief descriptions and details of the uses of over 4,000 plants. A superb, if terse, resource, it is also available electronically on the Web - see http://www.aluka.org/
,
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.
]. The plant is sometimes procumbent[
266
Title
Flora of China
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/china/
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden Press; St. Louis.
Year
1994
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent, comprehensive resource in 25 volumes. In addition to the botanical information the flora also gives basic information on habitat and some uses. An on-line version is also available.
].
The tree is harvested from the wild for local use as a food and source of fibre and good quality wood. The wood is also traded. The tree is sometimes cultivated for its wood in China[
266
Title
Flora of China
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/china/
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden Press; St. Louis.
Year
1994
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent, comprehensive resource in 25 volumes. In addition to the botanical information the flora also gives basic information on habitat and some uses. An on-line version is also available.
].

Known Hazards

None known

Botanical References

266
Title
Flora of China
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/china/
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden Press; St. Louis.
Year
1994
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent, comprehensive resource in 25 volumes. In addition to the botanical information the flora also gives basic information on habitat and some uses. An on-line version is also available.

Range

Widespread in the tropics through Africa and Asia to New Guinea, northern Australia and the western Pacifoc.

Habitat

Drier sites in closed-forest, forest margins, rocky savannah and coastal thickets in west Africa[
332
Title
The Useful Plants of West Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
Burkil. H. M.
Publisher
Royal Botanic Gardens; Kew.
Year
1985 - 2004
ISBN
 
Description
Brief descriptions and details of the uses of over 4,000 plants. A superb, if terse, resource, it is also available electronically on the Web - see http://www.aluka.org/
]. Evergreen broad-leaved forests along coast and to elevations of 500 metres[
266
Title
Flora of China
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/china/
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden Press; St. Louis.
Year
1994
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent, comprehensive resource in 25 volumes. In addition to the botanical information the flora also gives basic information on habitat and some uses. An on-line version is also available.
].

Properties

Edibility Rating *  *
Other Uses Rating *  *  *
HabitEvergreen Tree
Height10.00 m
Self-fertileNo
Cultivation StatusCultivated, Wild

Cultivation Details



A dioecious species, both male and female forms need to be grown if fruit and seed are required[
443
Title
Biotik, Laos
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://biotik.org/species_list_laos.html
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Information on more than 100 species of Laotian trees.
].

Edible Uses

The fruit-pulp is edible when ripe. It is said to be a famine food in southern India[
332
Title
The Useful Plants of West Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
Burkil. H. M.
Publisher
Royal Botanic Gardens; Kew.
Year
1985 - 2004
ISBN
 
Description
Brief descriptions and details of the uses of over 4,000 plants. A superb, if terse, resource, it is also available electronically on the Web - see http://www.aluka.org/
]. The fruit is a woody-shelled, globose berry up to 15mm in diameter containing a fleshy pulp surrounding 1 - 3 seeds[
443
Title
Biotik, Laos
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://biotik.org/species_list_laos.html
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Information on more than 100 species of Laotian trees.
].

Medicinal

None known

Other Uses

The fibrous bark is used to make cordage[
443
Title
Biotik, Laos
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://biotik.org/species_list_laos.html
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Information on more than 100 species of Laotian trees.
].

The heartwood is jet black, if streaky, the streaks are always whitish or grayish, never yellow, red, or brown; it is clearly demarcated from the wide band of grey white sapwood. The wood is close-grained, very hard, heavy, very dense and durable, but liable to split. A high quality wood, but trees are often too small to give much yield. Where size permits, the wood is used for cabinet work, walking sticks, ornamental carvings, boat-anchors, tool-handles, sheaths of weapons and for rafters[
266
Title
Flora of China
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/china/
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden Press; St. Louis.
Year
1994
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent, comprehensive resource in 25 volumes. In addition to the botanical information the flora also gives basic information on habitat and some uses. An on-line version is also available.
,
332
Title
The Useful Plants of West Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
Burkil. H. M.
Publisher
Royal Botanic Gardens; Kew.
Year
1985 - 2004
ISBN
 
Description
Brief descriptions and details of the uses of over 4,000 plants. A superb, if terse, resource, it is also available electronically on the Web - see http://www.aluka.org/
,
443
Title
Biotik, Laos
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://biotik.org/species_list_laos.html
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Information on more than 100 species of Laotian trees.
,
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 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 - 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. 2024-06-14. <tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Diospyros%20ferrea>

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