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Diospyros chloroxylon
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Ericales
Family: Ebenaceae
Genus: Diospyros

450-500, see text


Cargillia R.Br.
Cavanillea Desr. (non Medik.: preoccupied)
Ebenus Kuntze (non L.: preoccupied)
Embryopteris Gaertn.
Guaiacana Duhamel (nom. illeg., nom. superfl.)
Idesia Scop. (non Idesia Maxim., nom. conserv.)
Maba J.R.Forst. & G.Forst.
Mabola Raf.
Macreightia A.DC.
Noltia Thonn.
Paralea Aubl.
Pimia Seem.
Rhaphidanthe Hiern ex Gürke
Ropourea Aubl.
Royena L.
Tetraclis Hiern

Diospyros is a genus of about 450-500 species of deciduous and evergreen trees. The majority are native to the tropics, with only a few species extending into temperate regions. They are commonly known as ebony or persimmon trees. The generic name is derived from the Greek words διός (dios), meaning "of Zeus" and πυρός (pyros), meaning "grain"[2] and was originally applied to Diospyros lotus species.



Diospyros species are important and conspicuous trees in many of their native ecosystems, such as lowland dry forests of the former Maui Nui in Hawaii,[3] Caspian Hyrcanian mixed forests, Kathiarbar-Gir dry deciduous forests, Louisiade Archipelago rain forests, Madagascar lowland forests, Narmada Valley dry deciduous forests, New Guinea mangroves or South Western Ghats montane rain forests. The fruit are rich in tannins and thus avoided by most herbivores when unripe; when ripe they are eagerly eaten by many animals however, such as the rare Aders' Duiker (Cephalophus adersi).

The foliage is used as food by the larvae of numerous Lepidoptera species:


  • Eupseudosoma aberrans
  • Snowy Eupseudosoma (Eupseudosoma involutum)
  • Hypercompe indecisa



  • Quaker (Neopithecops zalmora)


  • Kihansi Charaxes (Charaxes khasianus), recorded on D. natalensis
  • Redspot Duke (Dophla evelina), recorded on D. candolleana



An economically significant plant pathogen infecting many Diospyros species – D. hispida, Kaki Persimmon (D. kaki), Date-plum (D. lotus), Texas Persimmon (D. texana), Coromandel Ebony (D. melanoxylon) and probably others – is the sac fungus Pseudocercospora kaki, which causes a leaf spot disease.

Use by humans

D. melanoxylon leaves are used to wrap beedi
Betulinic acid can be isolated from Diospyros leucomelas

The genus includes several plants of commercial importance, either for their edible fruit (persimmons) or for their timber. The latter are the two trade groups of ebony: the pure black ebony (notably from D. ebenum, but also several other species), and the striped ebony or Calamander wood (Makassar, Mun and others). Most species in the genus produce little to none of this black ebony-type wood; their timber (e.g. of American Persimmon, D. virginiana) may still be used on a more limited basis. Leaves of the Coromandel Ebony (D. melanoxylon) are used to roll South Asian beedi cigarettes. Several species are used in herbalism, and D. leucomelas yields the versatile medical compound betulinic acid. Though bees do not play a key role as pollinators, in plantations Diospyros may be of some use as honey plant. D. mollis, locally known as mặc nưa, is used in Vietnam to dye the famous black lãnh Mỹ A silk of Tân Châu district.

These trees are well-known in their native range, and consequently much used as floral emblems. In Indonesia, Makassar Ebony (D. celebica, known locally as eboni) is the provincial tree of Central Sulawesi, while ajan kelicung (D. macrophylla) is that of West Nusa Tenggara. The emblem of the Japanese island of Ishigaki is the Yaeyama kokutan (D. ferrea). In Thailand, the Gold Apple (D. decandra) is the provincial tree of Chanthaburi and Nakhon Pathom Provinces, while Black-and-white Ebony (D. malabarica) is that of Ang Thong Province. The name of the Thai district Amphoe Tha Tako literally means "District of the Diospyros pier" after a famous local gathering spot.


Diospyros chloroxylon flowers
Gold Apple (D. decandra) fruit
Diospyros dichrophylla
D. ferrea, known as Yaeyama kokutan in Japan
D. geminata foliage and young fruit
D. rhombifolia is a deciduous species
D. whyteana twig with young fruit
American Persimmon (D. virginiana) flower
  • Diospyros acocksii (De Winter) De Winter
  • Diospyros acris
  • Diospyros affinis Thwaites
  • Diospyros apeibacarpos Raddi
  • Diospyros armata
  • Diospyros attenuata Thwaites
  • Diospyros australis (R.Br.) Hiern (= D. cargillia, D. microcarpa)
  • Diospyros austroafricana De Winter
  • Diospyros barberi
  • Diospyros batocana Hiern
  • Diospyros blancoi A.DC. – Mabolo, Velvet-apple, Kamagong (the Philippines)
  • Diospyros brandisiana Kz.
  • Diospyros canaliculata (= D. cauliflora, D. xanthochlamys)
  • Diospyros candolleana
  • Diospyros caribaea (A.DC.) Standl.
  • Diospyros castanea (Craib) Fletcher
  • Diospyros cathayensis Steward (= D. sinensis)
  • Diospyros cauliflora Blume
  • Diospyros celebica Bakh.f. – Makassar Ebony (island of Sulawesi in Indonesia)
  • Diospyros chamaethamnus – Sand Apple (Namibia)
  • Diospyros chloroxylon
  • Diospyros clavigera C.B.Clarke
  • Diospyros confertifolia
  • Diospyros compacta (R.Br.) Kosterm.
  • Diospyros consolataei
  • Diospyros conzattii Standl.
  • Diospyros crumenata Thwaites
  • Diospyros dendro Hiern – Gaboon Ebony, Black Ebony, African Ebony (= D. atropurpurea, D. crassiflora, D. evila)
  • Diospyros crassinervis (Krug & Urb.) Standl.
  • Diospyros decandra Lour. – Gold Apple, thị (Vietnamese)
  • Diospyros densiflora
  • Diospyros dichrophylla (Gand.) De Winter
  • Diospyros digyna Jacq. – Black Sapote, tzapotl (Nahuatl), zapote prieto (Spanish) (Central America, Colombia)
  • Diospyros ebenum J.Koenig – Ebony, India Ebony, Ceylon Ebony (southern India, Sri Lanka)
  • Diospyros elliptica (J.R.Forst. & G.Forst.) P.S.Green
  • Diospyros eriantha Champ. ex Benth.
  • Diospyros fasciculosa
  • Diospyros ferra
  • Diospyros ferrea (Willd. ) Bakh.f.Yaeyama kokutan (Japanese)
  • Diospyros fischeri
  • Diospyros geminata
  • Diospyros glabra (L.) De Winter
  • Diospyros glandulosa Lace
  • Diospyros glaucifolia F.P.Metcalf
  • Diospyros grisebachii (Hiern) Standl.
  • Diospyros guianensis (Aubl.) Gürke
  • Diospyros halesioides Griseb.
  • Diospyros hillebrandii (Seem.) FosbergElama (Islands of Oʻahu and Kauaʻi, Hawaii)[4]
  • Diospyros hispida DC.
  • Diospyros humilis – Queensland Ebony (Eastern Australia)
  • Diospyros ierensis Britton
  • Diospyros inconstans Jacq. (= D. psidioides)
  • Diospyros inhacaensis F.White
  • Diospyros insignis Thwaites
  • Diospyros insularis Bakh.f – Papua Ebony (Island of New Ireland in Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands)
  • Diospyros japonica Siebold & Zucc.
  • Diospyros juruensis A.C.Sm.
  • Diospyros kaki (=D. chinensis) Thunb. – Kaki persimmon (China)[5]
    • Diospyros kaki var. sylvestris Makino
  • Diospyros kirkii Hiern
  • Diospyros kurzii – Andaman Marblewood
  • Diospyros lanceifolia
  • Diospyros leucomelas
  • Diospyros littorea (R.Br.) Kosterm.
  • Diospyros longibracteata Lecomte
  • Diospyros lotus L. – Date-plum, Caucasian Persimmon (Southwest Asia, southeast Europe)
  • Diospyros lycioides Desf. – Bushveld Bluebush
    • Diospyros lycioides ssp. guerkei (Kuntze) De Winter
    • Diospyros lycioides ssp. lycioides
    • Diospyros lycioides ssp. nitens (Harv. ex Hiern) De Winter
    • Diospyros lycioides ssp. sericea (Bernh.) De Winter
  • Diospyros mabacea (F.Muell.) F.Muell. – Red-fruited Ebony
  • Diospyros macrocalyx (= D. loureiroana)
  • Diospyros macrophylla BlumeAjan kelicung (Indonesia)
  • Diospyros major (G.Forst.) Bakh.f.
    • Diospyros major var. ebenus f. australiensis
  • Diospyros malabarica (Desr.) Kostel. – Black-and-white Ebony, Pale Moon Ebony, Gaub Tree (= D. embryopteris, D. peregrina)
  • Diospyros maritima Blume
  • Diospyros marmorata R.N.Park. – Marblewood
  • Diospyros melanidaEbène marbre
  • Diospyros melanoxylon Roxb. – Coromandel Ebony, East Indian Ebony, tendu (Hindi), temburini (= D. tupru) (southern India, Sri Lanka)
  • Diospyros mespiliformis Hochst. ex A.DC. – Jackalberry, African Ebony, jakkalsbessie (Afrikaans)
  • Diospyros mindanaensis Merr. (= D. rosenbluthii)
  • Diospyros mollis Griff.Mặc nưa (Vietnamese), มะเกลือ (Thai)
  • Diospyros montana Roxb. (= D. cordifolia, D. montana var. cordifolia)
  • Diospyros moonii Thwaites
  • Diospyros morrisiana Hance
  • Diospyros multiflora
  • Diospyros mun – Mun Ebony
  • Diospyros natalensis (Harv.) Brenan
    • Diospyros natalensis ssp. natalensis
    • Diospyros natalensis ssp. nummularia (Brenan) F.White
  • Diospyros nitida Merr.
  • Diospyros oblongifolia (Thwaites) Kosterm.
  • Diospyros oldhamii Maxim. (= D. taitoensis)
  • Diospyros oleifera Cheng
  • Diospyros pallens (Thunb.) F.White
  • Diospyros papuana Valeton ex Bakh.f.
  • Diospyros pavonii
  • Diospyros pentamera – Myrtle Ebony, Black Myrtle, Grey Plum, Grey Persimmon
  • Diospyros philippinensis A.DC.
  • Diospyros phlebodes (A.C.Sm.) A.C.Sm.
  • Diospyros pilosanthera Blanco
  • Diospyros piscatoria Gürke
  • Diospyros poeppigiana
  • Diospyros pyrrhocarpa Miq.
  • Diospyros quaesita Thwaites
  • Diospyros rhombifolia
  • Diospyros ridleyi Bakh.f. (= D. crumenata auct. non Thwaites, D. pyrrhocarpa auct. non Miq., D. pyrrhocarpa var. andamanica, D. pyrrhocarpoides)
  • Diospyros rosei Standl.
  • Diospyros rotundifolia Hiern
  • Diospyros rubra Lecomte
  • Diospyros rumphii Bakh.f. (= D. macassar, D. utilis Koord & Val. (non Hemsl.))
  • Diospyros samoensis A.Gray
  • Diospyros sandwicensis (A.DC.) FosbergLama (Hawaii)[6]
  • Diospyros sapota Roxb.
  • Diospyros sericea DC.
  • Diospyros siamang (= D. elliptifolia)
  • Diospyros simii (Kuntze) De Winter
  • Diospyros sintenisii (Krug & Urb.) Standl.
  • Diospyros sonorae Standl.
  • Diospyros subrotata
  • Diospyros subtruncata Hochr.
  • Diospyros sundaica Bakh.f. (= D. pseudoebenum)
  • Diospyros tessellaria Poir. – Mauritius Ebony
  • Diospyros texana Scheele – Texas Persimmon, Chapote (Texas in the United States, northern Mexico)
  • Diospyros trichophylla (= D. pruriens)
  • Diospyros tutcheri Dunn
  • Diospyros venosa Wall. ex DC. (= D. hermaphroditica)
  • Diospyros villosa (L.) De Winter
  • Diospyros virginiana L. – American Persimmon, Possumwood (Eastern United States)
  • Diospyros vitiensis
    • Diospyros vitiensis var. longisepala (Gillespie) A.C.Sm. (= D. globosa)
  • Diospyros whyteana (Hiern) F.White
  • Diospyros tomentosa
  • Diospyros sp. 'Bamaga'
  • Diospyros sp. 'Mt Lewis'
  • Diospyros sp. 'Mt Spurgeon'

See also




Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From Wikispecies


Classification System: APG II (down to family level)

Main Page
Cladus: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiospermae
Cladus: Eudicots
Cladus: core eudicots
Cladus: Asterids
Ordo: Unassigned Asterids
Ordo: Ericales
Familia: Ebenaceae
Genus: Diospyros
Species: D. affinis - D. apeibacarpos - D. attenuata - D. australis - D. austroafricana - D. blancoi - D. caribaea - D. cathayensis - D. cauliflora - D. celebica - D. clavigera - D. conzattii - D. crassiflora - D. crassinervis - D. decandra - D. digyna - D. ebenum - D. elliptica - D. eriantha - D. glandulosa - D. glaucifolia - D. grisebachii - D. guianensis - D. halesioides - D. ierensis - D. inconstans - D. insignis - D. insularis - D. japonica - D. juruensis - D. kaki - D. kirkii - D. longibracteata - D. lotus - D. lycioides - D. macrophylla - D. malabarica - D. maritima - D. melanoxylon - D. mespiliformis - D. mollis - D. montana - D. moonii - D. morrisiana - D. natalensis - D. nitida - D. oblongifolia - D. oldhamii - D. oleifera - D. pallens - D. papuana - D. philippinensis - D. pilosanthera - D. rosei - D. rubra - D. rumphii - D. sapota - D. sintenisii - D. sonorae - D. subtruncata - D. sundaica - D. tessellaria - D. texana - D. tutcheri - D. virginiana - D. whyteana


Diospyros L., 1753

Type species: D. lotus L., 1753


Wikimedia Commons For more multimedia, look at Diospyros on Wikimedia Commons.

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