1. Family: Ebenaceae Gürke
    1. Genus: Diospyros L.
      1. Diospyros mespiliformis Hochst. ex A.DC.

        This species is accepted, and its native range is Tropical & S. Africa, Arabian Peninsula.

    [FTEA]

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

    Habit
    Evergreen tree 5-27(-35) (exceptionally 45) m. tall, with spreading densely rounded crown, but occasionally flowering as a shrub only 1-3 m. tall; has been described as mango-like with leaves near the ground.
    Stem
    Bole 1.5 m. and crown 7.5 m.; d.b.h. 38-60 cm. and presumably more; bark blackish or dark brown, very rough, longitudinally channelled, flaking in irregular scales; slash pinkish brown or black outside, pink inside ( fide F.W.T.A.); branchlets knobby, tomentellous with pinkish adpressed hairs when young, glabrescent.
    Leaves
    Leaves drying pale reddish brown when young, dull grey-green above and yellowish green beneath when old, mostly narrowly elliptic to narrowly oblong-elliptic or oblong to oblanceolate-elliptic, 3.5-19 cm. long, 1.5-7.5 cm. wide, mostly acute to subacuminate, less often obtuse or rounded at the apex, cuneate to rounded at the base, subcoriaceous, minutely strigulose puberulous with adpressed and spreading flexuose hairs beneath; lateral nerves 15-20 pairs, ascending at 45°, indistinct, together with the tertiary nerves and venation forming a reticulum ± prominent on both sides; petiole 7-10 mm. long, the margins ± revolute.
    Flowers
    Male flowers subsessile in 3’ s on peduncles 4-6 mm. long arising from the axils of deciduous reduced leaves at the base of the current year’ s growth or of the first-formed normal leaves; flower-buds adpressed silvery-silky velvety; calyx 3 mm. long; calyx-lobes 4-5, triangular, 1.5 mm. long; corolla white or greenish yellow, sweetly scented, narrowly urceolate, 6 mm. long, sericeous-tomentose outside; corolla-tube 5 mm. long, glabrous inside and thickened at the throat; corolla-lobes 4-5, triangular, 1 mm. long; stamens ± 14, 4 mm. long, included; filaments 1 mm. long, glabrous, inserted on the receptacle; anthers narrowly lanceolate, apiculate, glabrous except for a few hairs on the connective; rudimentary ovary minute, tomentose. Female flowers subsessile, solitary or rarely 2-3 together, in the axils of reduced leaves at the base of the current year’ s shoot; calyx and corolla similar to the male but calyx 8 mm. long and lobes triangular-cordate with undulate-plicate reflexed margins; corolla 1-1.2 cm. long; staminodes 6-12, filiform, 4 mm. long, glabrous, inserted at the base of the corolla; ovary 3 mm. in diameter with style scarcely differentiated; locules 4 or 6; stigma sessile.
    Male
    Male flowers subsessile in 3’ s on peduncles 4-6 mm. long arising from the axils of deciduous reduced leaves at the base of the current year’ s growth or of the first-formed normal leaves; flower-buds adpressed silvery-silky velvety; calyx 3 mm. long; calyx-lobes 4-5, triangular, 1.5 mm. long; corolla white or greenish yellow, sweetly scented, narrowly urceolate, 6 mm. long, sericeous-tomentose outside; corolla-tube 5 mm. long, glabrous inside and thickened at the throat; corolla-lobes 4-5, triangular, 1 mm. long; stamens ± 14, 4 mm. long, included; filaments 1 mm. long, glabrous, inserted on the receptacle; anthers narrowly lanceolate, apiculate, glabrous except for a few hairs on the connective; rudimentary ovary minute, tomentose.
    Female
    Female flowers subsessile, solitary or rarely 2-3 together, in the axils of reduced leaves at the base of the current year’ s shoot; calyx and corolla similar to the male but calyx 8 mm. long and lobes triangular-cordate with undulate-plicate reflexed margins; corolla 1-1.2 cm. long; staminodes 6-12, filiform, 4 mm. long, glabrous, inserted at the base of the corolla; ovary 3 mm. in diameter with style scarcely differentiated; locules 4 or 6; stigma sessile.
    Fruits
    Fruit yellow, globose, 1.5-2.5 cm. diameter, shiny, verruculose, at first adpressed ferruginous hairy, at length glabrous save for a few hairs near the base of the persistent style, soft, edible with ± dry sweet flesh; calyx patelliform or slightly cyathiform, the lobes with recurved strongly undulate margins.
    Seeds
    Seeds 3-6, reddish brown or dark, compressed oblong-ellipsoid, ± 10 × 6.5 × 4.5 mm., rugulose when dry; the endosperm deeply ruminate.
    Figures
    Fig. 3/27.
    Habitat
    Moist semideciduous forest, riverine forest, scattered tree grassland and interfaces with fringing forest or woodland also dryer Combretum woodland, woodland in rocky places, semi-evergreen thicket on lava and dry scrub; 0-1500 m.
    Distribution
    K2 K4 K7 T2 T3 T4 T5 T6 T7 T8 U1 U2 U3 Z widespread in tropical Africa from Senegal to Angola and across to Sudan, Ethiopia, Eritrea and the Yemen, south to S. Mozambique, South Africa (Transvaal) and Namibia but absent from all but the northern fringes of the Guineo-Congolian Regionalso in U 4 but almost certainly introducedhas been cultivated in W. Australia
    [FWTA]

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

    Habit
    Forest and savanna tree up to 90 ft. high
    Bark
    Bark rough, dark brown or black, muricate
    Slash
    Slash black outside, pink inside
    Flowers
    Flowers white, sweet-scented
    Fruits
    Fruit yellowish.
    [FZ]

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

    Habit
    Evergreen tree up to 25 m. high or more, rarely flowering as a shrub c. 3 m. high.
    Crown
    Crown dense, rounded.
    Bole
    Bole sometimes fluted at the base.
    Bark
    Bark dark brown or black, rough, longitudinally fissured, exfoliating in square scales.
    Branches
    Young branchlets tomentellous with pinkish appressed hairs, glabrescent.
    Leaves
    Leaves subcoriaceous, old leaves drying dull grey–green above and yellowish–green beneath, young leaves drying pale reddish–brown; lamina 6 x 2·2–14 x 4·5 cm., mostly oblong–elliptic or oblanceolate–elliptic; apex usually acute to subacuminate, rarely obtuse or rounded; base cuneate or rounded; lower surface minutely puberulous with appressed strigulose hairs or spreading flexuose hairs; lateral nerves in 15–20 pairs, ascending at 45°, indistinct, together with the tertiary nerves and veins forming a reticulum which is slightly prominent on both surfaces.
    Stamens
    Stamens c. 14, included, 0·4 cm. long; filaments 0·1 cm. long, glabrous, inserted on the receptacle; anthers narrowly lanceolate, apiculate, glabrous, except for a few short hairs on the connective.
    Pistillodes
    Pistillode minute, tomentose.
    Male
    Pistillode minute, tomentose. Male flowers sub–sessile in 3s at the end of 0·4–0·6 cm. long peduncles arising from the axils of caducous reduced leaves at the base of the current year’s growth or of the first–formed normal leaves. Calyx 0–3 cm. long, lobes 4–5, deltate, 0·15 cm. long. Corolla 0–6 cm. long, narrowly urceolate, sericeous–tomentose outside; tube 0·5 cm. long, glabrous inside and thickened at the throat; lobes 4–5, deltate, 0·1 cm. long. Stamens c. 14, included, 0·4 cm. long; filaments 0·1 cm. long, glabrous, inserted on the receptacle; anthers narrowly lanceolate, apiculate, glabrous, except for a few short hairs on the connective.
    Flowers
    Female flowers subsessile, solitary, or rarely 2–3 together, in the axils of reduced leaves at the base of the current year’s shoot. Male flowers sub–sessile in 3s at the end of 0·4–0·6 cm. long peduncles arising from the axils of caducous reduced leaves at the base of the current year’s growth or of the first–formed normal leaves.
    Calyx
    Calyx and corolla similar to the male but calyx 0–8 cm. long and lobes cordate–deltate with undulate–plicate reflexed margins. Calyx 0–3 cm. long, lobes 4–5, deltate, 0·15 cm. long.
    Corolla
    Corolla 1–1·2 cm. long. Corolla 0–6 cm. long, narrowly urceolate, sericeous–tomentose outside; tube 0·5 cm. long, glabrous inside and thickened at the throat; lobes 4–5, deltate, 0·1 cm. long.
    Staminodes
    Staminodes 6–12, filiform, 0·4 cm. long, glabrous, inserted at base of corolla.
    Pistil
    Ovary 0·3 cm. in diameter; style scarcely differentiated from the ovary; stigma sessile; locules 4 or 6.
    Female
    Ovary 0·3 cm. in diameter; style scarcely differentiated from the ovary; stigma sessile; locules 4 or 6. Corolla 1–1·2 cm. long. Staminodes 6–12, filiform, 0·4 cm. long, glabrous, inserted at base of corolla. Female flowers subsessile, solitary, or rarely 2–3 together, in the axils of reduced leaves at the base of the current year’s shoot. Calyx and corolla similar to the male but calyx 0–8 cm. long and lobes cordate–deltate with undulate–plicate reflexed margins.
    Seeds
    Seeds 3–6, reddish–brown; endosperm deeply ruminate.
    Fruits
    Fruiting calyx patelliform or shallowly cyathiform, lobes with recurved, strongly undulate margins. Fruit up to 2·5 cm. in diameter, yellow, globose, verruculose, glabrescent, but a few hairs persisting near the base of the persistent style.
    Cytology
    Chromosome number: 2n = 30.
    [FTEA]

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

    Habit
    A tree of the second order of growth.
    Leaves
    Leaves lanceolate-spathulate, 10-15 cm. long, 3-5 cm. wide, obtuse at the apex, attenuated at the base, very coriaceous, glabrous on both sides; petiole 3-5 mm. long.
    Fruits
    Fruits in the form of a hazel nut, solitary or paired, clear brown, ovoid, 1.5 cm. long, 1.2 cm. wide, glabrous; fruiting calyx 6-8 mm. long, with 5 broadly triangular obtuse teeth; pedicels 5-10 mm. long.
    Habitat
    ?Lowland forest; ± 400 m.

    Images

    Distribution

    Native to:

    Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina, Burundi, Cameroon, Caprivi Strip, Central African Repu, Chad, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Northern Provinces, Senegal, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe

    Introduced into:

    Trinidad-Tobago

    Common Names

    English
    African ebony, Ebony, Ebony diospyros, Jackal-berry, Medlar, Monkey guava, Persimmon, Transvaal ebony

    Diospyros mespiliformis Hochst. ex A.DC. appears in other Kew resources:

    Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
    Dec 1, 1960 Erens, J. [255], Botswana K000511133
    Dec 1, 1960 Erens, J. [274], Botswana K000511135
    Dec 1, 1960 Erens, J. [243], Botswana K000511136
    Dec 1, 1960 Swynnerton, C.F.M. [1209], Zimbabwe K000350786 syntype
    Feb 18, 1957 Roberty, G. [17037], Mali K000391847
    Jan 1, 1957 Davey, J.T. [578], Burkina Faso K000391842
    Brenan, J.P.M. [7730], Zambia 11777.000
    Meikle, R.D. [1373], Nigeria 988.000
    Pope, G.V. [877], Botswana K000511132
    Schimper [655], Ethiopia K000350725
    Schimper [1243], Ethiopia K000350726
    Hagerup, O. [18], Mali K000391840
    Hagerup, O. [89], Mali K000391841
    Hagerup, O. [84], Mali K000391843
    Long, D.G. [223], Botswana K000511134
    Biegel, H. [3861], Botswana K000511131
    Chevalier, A.J.B. [2819], Mali K000391846
    s.coll. [s.n.], Burkina Faso K000391839
    Wailly, M. de [5358], Mali K000391844
    Wailly, M. de [5], Mali K000391845

    First published in A.P.de Candolle, Prodr. 8: 672 (1844)

    Accepted by

    • Baksh-Comeau, Y., Maharaj, S.S., Adams, C.D., Harris, S.A., Filer, D.L. & Hawthorne, W.D. (2016). An annotated checklist of the vascular plants of Trinidad and Tobago with analysis of vegetation types and botanical 'hotspots' Phytotaxa 250: 1-431.
    • Darbyshire, I., Kordofani, M., Farag, I., Candiga, R. & Pickering, H. (eds.) (2015). The Plants of Sudan and South Sudan: 1-400. Kew publishing, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
    • Mannheimer, C.A. & Curtis, B.A. (eds.) (2009). Le Roux and Müller's field guide to the trees and shrubs of Namibia, rev. ed.: 1-525. Macmillan Education Namibia, Windhoek.
    • Figueiredo, E. & Smith, G.F. (2008). Plants of Angola Strelitzia 22: 1-279. National Botanical Institute, Pretoria.
    • Akoègninou, A., van der Burg, W.J. & van der Maesen, L.J.G. (eds.) (2006). Flore Analytique du Bénin: 1-1034. Backhuys Publishers.
    • Govaerts, R. (2000). World Checklist of Seed Plants Database in ACCESS D: 1-30141.
    • Barry, J. P. & Celles, J.S. (1991). Flore de Mauritanie 1: 1-359. Centre Regional de Documentation Pedagogique, Nice.
    • Lebrun, J.P., Toutain, B., Gaston, A. & Boudet, G. (1991). Catalogue des Plantes Vasculaires du Burkina Faso: 1-341. Institut d' Elevage et de Médecine Vétérinaire des Pays Tropicaux, Maisons Alfort.
    • Boudet, G., Lebrun, J.P. & Demange, R. (1986). Catalogue des plantes vasculaires du Mali: 1-465. Etudes d'Elevage et de Médecine Vétérinaire des Pays Tropicaux.
    • Lebrun, J.-P., Audru, J., Gaston, A. & Mosnier, M. (1972). Catalogue des Plantes Vasculaires du Tchad Méridional: 1-289. Institut d' Elevage et de Médecine Vétérinaire des Pays Tropicaux, Maisons Alfort.

    Literature

    Flora of West Tropical Africa
    • Fl. For. C. Iv., ed. 2, 3: 164, t. 313, 3-4.
    • Aubrév. Fl. For. Soud.-Guin. 422-424, t. 92, 1-3
    • Kennedy For. Fl. S. Nig. 190
    • Chev. Bot. 397
    • F.T.A. 3: 518
    • Hiern in Trans. Camb. Phil. Soc. l2: 165 (1873)
    • Prod. 8: 672 (1844)
    Kew Backbone Distributions
    • Baksh-Comeau, Y., Maharaj, S.S., Adams, C.D., Harris, S.A., Filer, D.L. & Hawthorne, W.D. (2016). An annotated checklist of the vascular plants of Trinidad and Tobago with analysis of vegetation types and botanical 'hotspots' Phytotaxa 250: 1-431.
    • Lebrun, J.P., Toutain, B., Gaston, A. & Boudet, G. (1991). Catalogue des Plantes Vasculaires du Burkina Faso: 1-341. Institut d' Elevage et de Médecine Vétérinaire des Pays Tropicaux, Maisons Alfort.
    • Boulvert, Y. (1977). Catalogue de la Flore de Centrafrique 1: 1-114. ORSTOM, Bangui.
    • Lebrun, J.-P., Audru, J., Gaston, A. & Mosnier, M. (1972). Catalogue des Plantes Vasculaires du Tchad Méridional: 1-289. Institut d' Elevage et de Médecine Vétérinaire des Pays Tropicaux, Maisons Alfort.
    Flora of Tropical East Africa
    • Beentje, Kenya Trees, Shrubs and Lianas p. 447 (1994).
    • K. Coates Palgrave, Trees Southern Afr., ed. 3, revised: 748, t. 245 (1990).
    • F. White in Bulletin du Jardin Botanique National de Belgique 58: 414, fig. 19, 20 & 21/2-12 (1988).
    • F. White, Flore d'Afrique Centrale, Ebenaceae: 87, t. 17M-Q (1987)
    • F. White in Flora Zambesiaca 7(1): 286, t. 65C (1983)
    • Vollesen in Opera Bot. 59: 31 (1980).
    • F. White in Bulletin du Jardin Botanique National de Belgique 48: 352 (1978).
    • Palmer & Pitman, Trees Southern Afr. 3: 1793, t. & photo (1973).
    • F. White & Letouzey, Fl. Cameroun 11 & Fl. Gabon 18: 110, t. 16/1-12 (1970).
    • Gomes e Sousa, Dendrol. Moçamb., Estudo Geral 2: 629, photo. on 590, t. 194 (1966).
    • F. White in Flora of West Tropical Africa, ed. 2, 2: 12 (1963).
    • F. White in Syst. Assoc. Publ. 4: 88-96, t. 8, 10, 11 (1962)
    • F. White, Forest Flora of Northern Rhodesia p. 328, t. 58G-H (1962)
    • Dale & Greenway, Kenya Trees and Shrubs p. 173 (1961).
    • Williamson, Useful Pl. Nyasaland: 49 (1955).
    • F. W. Andr., The Flowering Plants of the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan 2: 367, fig. 136 (1952).
    • Gomes & Sousa, Dendrol. Mozamb., Commerc. Timbers: 154, t. on 155 (1951).
    • J.P.M. Brenan, Check-lists of the Forest Trees and Shrubs of the British Empire no. 5, part II, Tanganyika Territory p. 186 (1949).
    • Steedman, Trees Shrubs Lianes S. Rhod.: 63 (1933).
    • R.E. Fr., Wiss. Ergebn. Schwed. Rhod.-Kongo-Exped. 1: 257 (1916).
    • Gürke in A. Engler, Botanische Jahrbücher für Systematik, Pflanzengeschichte und Pflanzengeographie 43: 200, t. 1 (1909).
    • Sim, For. Fl. Port. E. Afr.: 82 (1909).
    • Gürke in Die Pflanzenwelt Ost-Afrikas und der Nachbargebiete, Theile C: 305 (1895).
    • Hiern in Flora of Tropical Africa 3: 518 (1877).
    • Hiern in Trans. Camb. Phil. Soc. 12: 165 (1873)
    • A. DC. in DC., Prodr. 8: 672 (1844).

    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.
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    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

    Plants and People Africa
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    Wood Anatomy Microscope Slides
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