Diospyros L.

Diospyros nigra (J.F.Gmel.) Perr.

This species is accepted, and its native range is Mexico to Colombia. It is used as a poison and a medicine, has environmental uses and for food.


Bernal, R., G. Galeano, A. Rodríguez, H. Sarmiento y M. Gutiérrez. 2017. Nombres Comunes de las Plantas de Colombia.

zapote negro

Biogeografic region: Andean. Elevation range: 20–1600 m a.s.l. Cultivated in Colombia. Native to Colombia. Colombian departments: Antioquia, Cundinamarca.
IUCN Red List Assessment (2021): LC.
Habitat according IUCN Habitats Classification: forest and woodland, savanna, wetlands (inland), artificial - terrestrial.


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

A native of the West Indies
Morphology General Habit
Is a much branched bushy evergreen tree 7-9 m. tall
Morphology Leaves
With oblong or elliptic leaves ± 13(-30) x 5 cm., subacute or obtuse at the apex, narrowed to the base, glabrous or with sparse adpressed hairs when young, shining above
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Calyx
Calyx thinly pubescent outside, with 4-6 deep lobes rounded at the apex
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Corolla
Corolla white
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Gynoecium Ovary
Ovary silky
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Fruit depressed-globose, 5-12.5 cm. diameter, with thin green skin and dark chocolate-brown soft pulp
Morphology Reproductive morphology Seeds
Seeds 1-10 or absent, compressed-ovoid, ± 1.9 cm. long.
Has been grown at Amani, Sigi Chini Plantation ( Greenway 1604, 3289 & 6825, Ruffo & Mmari 2107).


Bernal, R., Gradstein, S.R. & Celis, M. (eds.). 2015. Catálogo de plantas y líquenes de Colombia. Instituto de Ciencias Naturales, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Bogotá.

Cultivada en Colombia; Alt. 20 - 1600 m.; Andes.
Morphology General Habit

Use Environmental
Environmental uses.
Use Gene Sources
Used as gene sources.
Use Food
Used for food.
Use Materials
Used as material.
Use Medicines
Medical uses.
Use Poisons

Native to:

Belize, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico Central, Mexico Gulf, Mexico Northeast, Mexico Southeast, Mexico Southwest, Nicaragua, Panamá

Introduced into:

Florida, India, Jawa, Madagascar, Texas

Diospyros nigra (J.F.Gmel.) Perr. appears in other Kew resources:

Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
Pennington, T.D. [11356], Costa Rica Diospyros digyna 54173.000
s.coll. [Cat. no. 6350] Diospyros sapota K001123640

First published in Mém. Soc. Linn. Paris 3: 113 (1825)

Accepted by

  • Govaerts, R. (2000). World Checklist of Seed Plants Database in ACCESS D: 1-30141.


Useful Plants and Fungi of Colombia

  • Bernal, R., Gradstein, S.R., & Celis, M. (eds.). (2020). Catálogo de Plantas y Líquenes de Colombia. v1.1. Universidad Nacional de Colombia. Dataset/Checklist.
  • Castañeda, R.R. (1991). Frutas silvestres de Colombia. Instituto Colombiano de Cultura Hispánica.
  • Diazgranados et al. (2021). Catalogue of plants of Colombia. Useful Plants and Fungi of Colombia project. In prep.
  • Diazgranados, M., Allkin, B., Black N., Cámara-Leret, R., Canteiro C., Carretero J., Eastwood R., Hargreaves S., Hudson A., Milliken W., Nesbitt, M., Ondo, I., Patmore, K., Pironon, S., Turner, R., Ulian, T. (2020). World Checklist of Useful Plant Species. Produced by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Knowledge Network for Biocomplexity.
  • FPI (2021). Food Plants International.
  • (2021). GBIF species matching tool.
  • GRIN (2021). Germplasm Resources Information Network from the United States Department of Agriculture.
  • IUCN (2021). The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2021-2.
  • Medicinal Plant Names Services (MPNS) v.10 (2021);
  • PROTA (2021). Plants Resources of Tropical Africa.
  • Plants for malaria, plants for fever: Medicinal species in Latin America, a bibliographic survey: Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
  • RBG, Kew (2021). Kew Economic Botany Collection.
  • RBG, Kew (ed.) (1999). Survey of Economic Plants for Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (SEPASAL) database. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, London.
  • Ulian, T., Sacandé, M., Hudson, A., & Mattana, E. (2017). Conservation of indigenous plants to support community livelihoods: the MGU–Useful Plants Project. Journal of Environmental Planning and Management 60:668-683.
  • Willis, K.J. (ed.) (2017). State of the World’s Plants 2017. Report. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

  • Catálogo de Plantas y Líquenes de Colombia

  • Flora of Tropical East Africa

    Flora of Tropical East Africa

  • Herbarium Catalogue Specimens

    Digital Image © Board of Trustees, RBG Kew

  • Kew Backbone Distributions

    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2022. Published on the Internet at and
    © Copyright 2017 World Checklist of Selected Plant Families.

  • Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone

    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2022. Published on the Internet at and
    © Copyright 2017 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families.

  • Kew Science Photographs

    Digital Image © Board of Trustees, RBG Kew

  • Universidad Nacional de Colombia

    ColPlantA database

  • Useful Plants and Fungi of Colombia

  • Wood Anatomy Microscope Slides

    Digital Image © Board of Trustees, RBG Kew