1. Family: Ebenaceae Gürke
    1. Genus: Diospyros L.
      1. Diospyros gabunensis Gürke

        This species is accepted, and its native range is Tropical Africa.

    [FWTA]

    Ebenaceae, F. White. Flora of West Tropical Africa 2. 1963

    Habit
    Small or medium-sizedForest tree 20-65 ft. high
    Bole
    Bole long, straight, slender, without buttresses
    Bark
    Bark black, smooth, hard and brittle like glass
    Slash
    Slash black outside, pale biscuit-brown inside, yellow towards inner edge, not darkening
    Wood
    Sapwood pale yellow Heartwood sometimes with black veins
    Flowers
    Flowers fragrant
    Calyx
    Calyx blackish-brown
    Corolla
    Corolla white
    Fruits
    Fruits sometimes borne on stem.
    [FTEA]

    Ebenaceae, F. White & B. Verdcourt. Flora of Tropical East Africa. 1996

    Habit
    Tree 6-20 m. tall, slender; bark black, smooth, hard and brittle as glass; sapwood yellow; young branches pubescent with black or dark brown spreading hairs; older branches black and smooth.
    Leaves
    Leaves usually greenish brown and shining above and beneath, very variable, oblong, lanceolate, elliptic, elliptic-oblanceolate or oblanceolate, (8-)20-30(-48) cm. long, (2-)6-10(-15) cm. wide, acuminate at the apex, the acumen 1.8-2.5 cm. long, 5-8 mm. wide at the base, rounded or cuneate at the base, slightly decurrent, subcoriaceous, often revolute at the margin, densely pubescent-strigulose on the venation beneath but very sparsely elsewhere; lateral nerves 8-10 pairs, prominent beneath, anastomosing in arcs near the edge; reticulation dense and prominent above and beneath; petiole 0.7-1.5 cm. long.
    Flowers
    Male flowers subsessile, 1-12 in axillary fascicles and on old branches but not on the trunk; calyx cup-shaped, 7-8 mm. long, pubescent outside with chocolate-brown hairs; calyx-tube 5-6 mm. long and lobes triangular; corolla sweet-scented, white, hypocrateriform, 1.8-2.2 cm. long, brownish tomentose outside; corolla-tube cylindrical, 1.2 cm. long, 5 mm. wide, not constricted at the throat; corolla-lobes (4-)5(-6), elliptic-oblong, obtuse; stamens 20-30, ± 1 cm. long, included, the filaments 2-3 mm. long, completely joined at the base of the corolla-tube; anthers linear, slightly apiculate, densely setulose; rudimentary ovary depressed-globose, 1 mm. long, 2 mm. wide, glabrous or with a tuft of hairs. Female flowers solitary or 2-5 in leaf-axils or on the old branches, subsessile, surrounded at the base by several bracts up to 1 cm. long, similar to the male but larger and the calyx more deeply divided; staminodes 5-10, as long as the corolla, resembling the stamens but more slender; ovary ovoid-conic, 5-6 mm. long, 3-4 mm. wide, brown-tomentose with 8-10 1-ovuled locules but incompletely separated near the apex; styles 4-5, 2 mm. long, joined at the base, each terminated by a fleshy bilobed stigma.
    Male
    Male flowers subsessile, 1-12 in axillary fascicles and on old branches but not on the trunk; calyx cup-shaped, 7-8 mm. long, pubescent outside with chocolate-brown hairs; calyx-tube 5-6 mm. long and lobes triangular; corolla sweet-scented, white, hypocrateriform, 1.8-2.2 cm. long, brownish tomentose outside; corolla-tube cylindrical, 1.2 cm. long, 5 mm. wide, not constricted at the throat; corolla-lobes (4-)5(-6), elliptic-oblong, obtuse; stamens 20-30, ± 1 cm. long, included, the filaments 2-3 mm. long, completely joined at the base of the corolla-tube; anthers linear, slightly apiculate, densely setulose; rudimentary ovary depressed-globose, 1 mm. long, 2 mm. wide, glabrous or with a tuft of hairs.
    Female
    Female flowers solitary or 2-5 in leaf-axils or on the old branches, subsessile, surrounded at the base by several bracts up to 1 cm. long, similar to the male but larger and the calyx more deeply divided; staminodes 5-10, as long as the corolla, resembling the stamens but more slender; ovary ovoid-conic, 5-6 mm. long, 3-4 mm. wide, brown-tomentose with 8-10 1-ovuled locules but incompletely separated near the apex; styles 4-5, 2 mm. long, joined at the base, each terminated by a fleshy bilobed stigma.
    Fruits
    Fruits blackish or purplish, subglobose or broadly ellipsoid, 2.5-3 cm. in diameter, with here and there soft velvety brown or black tomentum, and persistent styles; calyx accrescent, cupular, hiding 1/2 - 2/3 of the fruit, with tube ± 1 cm. long and 5 lobes 0.4-2.2 cm. long, 1.3 cm. wide, persistently softly velvety brown or black tomentose.
    Seeds
    Seeds 8 or 10.
    Figures
    Fig. 3/18.
    Habitat
    Evergreen forest on valley slopes and by river with Baikiaea, Julbernardia unijugata, Monopetalanthus richardsiae, Parkia, Maesopsis, Pycnanthus, etc.; ± 900 m.
    Distribution
    T4
    [FZ]

    Ebenaceae, F. White. Flora Zambesiaca 7:1. 1983

    Habit
    Tree (6) 10–20 m. high.
    Bole
    Bole slender.
    Bark
    Bark black, hard and brittle, usually smooth.
    Branches
    Young branchlets tomentellous with black or dark brown, spreading hairs; older branchlets smooth and black.
    Leaves
    Leaves subcoriaceous, usually drying greenish–brown, shining on both surfaces; lamina c. 18 x 6·5 cm., very variable in shape and size, lanceolate, elliptic, oblanceolate–elliptic or oblanceolate, apex acuminate, base rounded or cuneate, slightly decurrent, margin often revolute, especially at the base; acumen 1·8–2·5 x c. 0·5–0·8 cm. at the base, deltate, apex rounded; lower surface strigulose–puberulous on the nerves, sparsely so on the lamina; lateral nerves in 8–10 pairs, prominent beneath, anastomosing in loops near the margin; intermediate nerves, tertiary nerves and veins forming a close reticulum prominent on both surfaces.
    Flowers
    Male flowers subsessile in 1–12–flowered fascicles in the leaf–axils and on the older branchlets but not on trunk. Female flowers subsessile, solitary or 2–5 together in leaf–axils or on older branchlets, surrounded at the base by several bracts up to 1 cm. long, similar to the male, but larger and calyx sometimes more deeply divided.
    Calyx
    Calyx 0·7–0·8 cm. long, cyathiform, tomentose outside with chocolate–brown hairs, tube 0·5–0·6 cm. long, lobes 5(6), deltate.
    Corolla
    Corolla 1·8–2·2 cm. long, fulvous–tomentellous outside; tube up to 1·2 x 0·5 cm., cylindric, not constricted at the throat; lobes (4) 5 (6), ovate–oblong, obtuse.
    Stamens
    Stamens 20–30, c. 1 cm. long, filaments 0·2–0·3 cm. long, completely fused to base of corolla–tube; anthers linear, slightly apiculate, densely setulose for whole length.
    Male
    Stamens 20–30, c. 1 cm. long, filaments 0·2–0·3 cm. long, completely fused to base of corolla–tube; anthers linear, slightly apiculate, densely setulose for whole length. Pistillode 0·1 x 0·2 cm., depressed–globose, glabrous or bearing a tuft of hairs. Calyx 0·7–0·8 cm. long, cyathiform, tomentose outside with chocolate–brown hairs, tube 0·5–0·6 cm. long, lobes 5(6), deltate. Corolla 1·8–2·2 cm. long, fulvous–tomentellous outside; tube up to 1·2 x 0·5 cm., cylindric, not constricted at the throat; lobes (4) 5 (6), ovate–oblong, obtuse. Male flowers subsessile in 1–12–flowered fascicles in the leaf–axils and on the older branchlets but not on trunk.
    Pistillodes
    Pistillode 0·1 x 0·2 cm., depressed–globose, glabrous or bearing a tuft of hairs.
    Staminodes
    Staminodes 5–10, as long as the corolla–tube, similar to the stamens but more slender.
    Female
    Staminodes 5–10, as long as the corolla–tube, similar to the stamens but more slender. Ovary 0·5–0·6 x 0·3–0·4 cm., ovoid–conic, brown–tomentose; styles 4–5, 0·2 cm. long, united at the base, each ending in a bilobed, fleshy stigma; locules 8 or 10, uniovulate, but sometimes imperfectly separated near apex of ovary. Female flowers subsessile, solitary or 2–5 together in leaf–axils or on older branchlets, surrounded at the base by several bracts up to 1 cm. long, similar to the male, but larger and calyx sometimes more deeply divided.
    Ovary
    Ovary 0·5–0·6 x 0·3–0·4 cm., ovoid–conic, brown–tomentose; styles 4–5, 0·2 cm. long, united at the base, each ending in a bilobed, fleshy stigma; locules 8 or 10, uniovulate, but sometimes imperfectly separated near apex of ovary.
    Fruits
    Fruit c. 2·5(3) cm. in diameter, subglobose or broadly ellipsoid, with persistent styles, brown– or black–tomentose in patches; seeds 8 or 10. Fruiting calyx accrescent, persistently fulvous–brown– or black–tomentose, cup–shaped and concealing the lower half to two thirds of the fruit; lobes 5, 0·4–2·2 cm. long.

    Images

    Distribution

    Native to:

    Burundi, Cameroon, Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Zambia, Zaïre

    Diospyros gabunensis Gürke appears in other Kew resources:

    Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
    Jan 1, 1985 Thomas, D.W. [4702], Cameroon K000051664
    Jan 1, 1970 Zenker, G.A. [3688], Cameroon K000350695 syntype
    Jan 1, 1970 Zenker, G.A. [2528], Cameroon K000350696 syntype
    Jan 1, 1970 Zenker, G.A. [3467], Cameroon K000350697 syntype
    Jan 1, 1970 Zenker, G.A. [3467], Cameroon K000350698 syntype
    Dec 1, 1960 Zenker, G.A. [2954], Cameroon K000350701 syntype
    Dec 1, 1960 Zenker, G.A. [3791], Cameroon K000350702 syntype
    Dec 1, 1960 Zenker, G.A. [1718], Cameroon K000350703 syntype
    Dec 1, 1960 Zenker, G.A. [1718], Cameroon K000350704 syntype
    Jan 1, 1955 Olorunfemi, J. [30752], Cameroon K000051599
    Brenan, J.P.M. [9408], Cameroon 11774.000
    Olorunfemi [30752], Cameroon 11776.000
    Thomas, D.W. [548], Cameroon 43435.000
    Thomas, D.W. [548], Cameroon 43440.000
    Thomas, D.W. [548], Cameroon K000051597
    Brenan, J.P.M. [9408], Cameroon K000051595
    Brenan, J.P.M. [9408], Cameroon K000051596
    Staudt, A. [958], Cameroon K000051598
    Soyanx, H. [36], Gabon K000350694

    First published in Bot. Jahrb. Syst. 26: 72 (1898)

    Accepted by

    • Sita, P. & Moutsambote, J.-M. (2005). Catalogue des plantes vasculaires du Congo, ed. sept. 2005: 1-158. ORSTOM, Centre de Brazzaville.
    • Govaerts, R. (2000). World Checklist of Seed Plants Database in ACCESS D: 1-30141.

    Literature

    Flora of West Tropical Africa
    • Aubrév. Fl. For. C. Iv., ed. 2, 3: 166, t. 311.
    • in Engl. Bot. Jahrb. 26: 72 (1899)
    Flora of Tropical East Africa
    • White, Flore d'Afrique Centrale Ebenaceae: 60, t. 11E-G, 12 (1987).
    • Troupin, Fl. Rwanda 3: 32, fig.10/1 (1985).
    • White in Flora Zambesiaca 7(1): 276, fig. 62C (1983).
    • White in Bulletin du Jardin Botanique National de Belgique 48: 317 (1978) (synonymy)
    • White in Distr. Fl. Afr. 14, carte 457 (1978)
    • Letouzey & White, Fl. Cameroun 11 & Fl. Gabon 18: 77, t. 9 (1970).
    • F. White in Nigerian Trees 2: 334 (1964).
    • F. White in Flora of West Tropical Africa, ed. 2, 2: 12 (1963)
    • Gürke in A. Engler, Botanische Jahrbücher für Systematik, Pflanzengeschichte und Pflanzengeographie 26: 72 (1898).

    Sources

    Flora Zambesiaca
    Flora Zambesiaca
    http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0

    Flora of Tropical East Africa
    Flora of Tropical East Africa
    http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0

    Flora of West Tropical Africa
    Flora of West Tropical Africa
    http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0

    Herbarium Catalogue Specimens
    'The Herbarium Catalogue, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the Internet http://www.kew.org/herbcat [accessed on Day Month Year]'. Please enter the date on which you consulted the system.
    Digital Image © Board of Trustees, RBG Kew http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

    Kew Backbone Distributions
    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2019. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
    © Copyright 2017 World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0

    Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone
    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2019. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
    © Copyright 2017 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0

    Wood Anatomy Microscope Slides
    Digital Image © Board of Trustees, RBG Kew http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/