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This species is accepted, and its native range is Tropical Africa.
A specimen from Kew's Herbarium

[FWTA]

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

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

[FTEA]

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

Morphology General 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.
Morphology 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.
Morphology Reproductive morphology 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.
sex 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.
sex 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.
Morphology Reproductive morphology 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.
Morphology Reproductive morphology 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

Morphology General Habit
Tree (6) 10–20 m. high.
Morphology Bole
Bole slender.
Morphology General Bark
Bark black, hard and brittle, usually smooth.
Morphology Branches
Young branchlets tomentellous with black or dark brown, spreading hairs; older branchlets smooth and black.
Morphology 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.
Morphology Reproductive morphology 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.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers 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.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers 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.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Androecium 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.
sex 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.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Gynoecium Pistillodes
Pistillode 0·1 x 0·2 cm., depressed–globose, glabrous or bearing a tuft of hairs.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Androecium Staminodes
Staminodes 5–10, as long as the corolla–tube, similar to the stamens but more slender.
sex 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.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Gynoecium 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.
Morphology Reproductive morphology 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.

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. [3467], Cameroon K000350697 syntype
Jan 1, 1970 Zenker, G.A. [3467], Cameroon K000350698 syntype
Jan 1, 1970 Zenker, G.A. [2528], Cameroon K000350696 syntype
Jan 1, 1970 Zenker, G.A. [3688], Cameroon K000350695 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
Soyanx, H. [36], Gabon K000350694
Brenan, J.P.M. [9408], Cameroon K000051596
Brenan, J.P.M. [9408], Cameroon K000051595
Staudt, A. [958], Cameroon K000051598
Thomas, D.W. [548], Cameroon K000051597

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

Accepted by

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

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

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

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
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 2021. 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 2021. 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/