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This species is accepted, and its native range is Tropical & S. Africa, Arabian Peninsula.
Diospyros mespiliformis Hochst. ex A.DC.

[FTEA]

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

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

Morphology General Habit
Forest and savanna tree up to 90 ft. high
Morphology General Bark
Bark rough, dark brown or black, muricate
Morphology Trunk Slash
Slash black outside, pink inside
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers
Flowers white, sweet-scented
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Fruit yellowish.

[FZ]

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

Morphology General Habit
Evergreen tree up to 25 m. high or more, rarely flowering as a shrub c. 3 m. high.
Morphology General Crown
Crown dense, rounded.
Morphology Bole
Bole sometimes fluted at the base.
Morphology General Bark
Bark dark brown or black, rough, longitudinally fissured, exfoliating in square scales.
Morphology Branches
Young branchlets tomentellous with pinkish appressed hairs, glabrescent.
Morphology 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.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Androecium 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.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Gynoecium Pistillodes
Pistillode minute, tomentose.
sex 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.
Morphology Reproductive morphology 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.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers 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.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers 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.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Androecium Staminodes
Staminodes 6–12, filiform, 0·4 cm. long, glabrous, inserted at base of corolla.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Gynoecium Pistil
Ovary 0·3 cm. in diameter; style scarcely differentiated from the ovary; stigma sessile; locules 4 or 6.
sex 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.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Seeds
Seeds 3–6, reddish–brown; endosperm deeply ruminate.
Morphology Reproductive morphology 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

Morphology General Habit
A tree of the second order of growth.
Morphology 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.
Morphology Reproductive morphology 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.

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

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. [274], Botswana K000511135
Dec 1, 1960 Swynnerton, C.F.M. [1209], Zimbabwe K000350786 syntype
Dec 1, 1960 Erens, J. [255], Botswana K000511133
Dec 1, 1960 Erens, J. [243], Botswana K000511136
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
Schimper [655], Ethiopia K000350725
Long, D.G. [223], Botswana K000511134
Wailly, M. de [5358], Mali K000391844
Pope, G.V. [877], Botswana K000511132
Wailly, M. de [5], Mali K000391845
Biegel, H. [3861], Botswana K000511131
Hagerup, O. [18], Mali K000391840
s.coll. [s.n.], Burkina Faso K000391839
Schimper [1243], Ethiopia K000350726
Hagerup, O. [84], Mali K000391843
Chevalier, A.J.B. [2819], Mali K000391846
Hagerup, O. [89], Mali K000391841

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

Accepted by

  • Akoègninou, A., van der Burg, W.J. & van der Maesen, L.J.G. (eds.) (2006). Flore Analytique du Bénin: 1-1034. Backhuys Publishers.
  • 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.
  • Barry, J. P. & Celles, J.S. (1991). Flore de Mauritanie 1: 1-359. Centre Regional de Documentation Pedagogique, Nice.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Figueiredo, E. & Smith, G.F. (2008). Plants of Angola Strelitzia 22: 1-279. National Botanical Institute, Pretoria.
  • Govaerts, R. (2000). World Checklist of Seed Plants Database in ACCESS D: 1-30141.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Literature

Flora of West Tropical Africa

  • Aubrév. Fl. For. Soud.-Guin. 422-424, t. 92, 1-3
  • Chev. Bot. 397
  • F.T.A. 3: 518
  • Fl. For. C. Iv., ed. 2, 3: 164, t. 313, 3-4.
  • Hiern in Trans. Camb. Phil. Soc. l2: 165 (1873)
  • Kennedy For. Fl. S. Nig. 190
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Flora of Tropical East Africa

  • A. DC. in DC., Prodr. 8: 672 (1844).
  • Beentje, Kenya Trees, Shrubs and Lianas p. 447 (1994).
  • Dale & Greenway, Kenya Trees and Shrubs p. 173 (1961).
  • F. W. Andr., The Flowering Plants of the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan 2: 367, fig. 136 (1952).
  • F. White & Letouzey, Fl. Cameroun 11 & Fl. Gabon 18: 110, t. 16/1-12 (1970).
  • F. White in Bulletin du Jardin Botanique National de Belgique 48: 352 (1978).
  • F. White in Bulletin du Jardin Botanique National de Belgique 58: 414, fig. 19, 20 & 21/2-12 (1988).
  • F. White in Flora Zambesiaca 7(1): 286, t. 65C (1983)
  • 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, Flore d'Afrique Centrale, Ebenaceae: 87, t. 17M-Q (1987)
  • F. White, Forest Flora of Northern Rhodesia p. 328, t. 58G-H (1962)
  • Gomes & Sousa, Dendrol. Mozamb., Commerc. Timbers: 154, t. on 155 (1951).
  • Gomes e Sousa, Dendrol. Moçamb., Estudo Geral 2: 629, photo. on 590, t. 194 (1966).
  • Gürke in A. Engler, Botanische Jahrbücher für Systematik, Pflanzengeschichte und Pflanzengeographie 43: 200, t. 1 (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)
  • 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).
  • K. Coates Palgrave, Trees Southern Afr., ed. 3, revised: 748, t. 245 (1990).
  • Palmer & Pitman, Trees Southern Afr. 3: 1793, t. & photo (1973).
  • R.E. Fr., Wiss. Ergebn. Schwed. Rhod.-Kongo-Exped. 1: 257 (1916).
  • Sim, For. Fl. Port. E. Afr.: 82 (1909).
  • Steedman, Trees Shrubs Lianes S. Rhod.: 63 (1933).
  • Vollesen in Opera Bot. 59: 31 (1980).
  • Williamson, Useful Pl. Nyasaland: 49 (1955).

Flora Zambesiaca
Flora Zambesiaca
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Flora of Tropical East Africa
Flora of Tropical East Africa
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Flora of West Tropical Africa
Flora of West Tropical Africa
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Herbarium Catalogue Specimens
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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

Plants and People Africa
Common Names from Plants and People Africa http://www.plantsandpeopleafrica.com/
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Wood Anatomy Microscope Slides
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