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FNA | Family List | FNA Vol. 8 | Ebenaceae | Diospyros

1. Diospyros texana Scheele, Linnaea. 22: 145. 1849.

Black persimmon, chapote

Brayodendron texanum (Scheele) Small

Shrubs or trees, to 15 m. Bark light reddish gray, smooth and flaking. Leaves tardily deciduous; petiole 0.1-0.5 cm; blade dark green and glossy adaxially, obovate, 2-5 × 1-3 cm, thick, apex rounded to emarginate, abaxial surface tomentose, without basilaminar glands. Inflorescences solitary flowers or 2-3-flowered cymes, borne on twigs of previous season. Flowers 0.8-1.6 cm; sepals 5; petals 5; stamens usually 16; anthers dehiscent by subapical slits; pistillate flowers without staminodes; styles usually 4, connate for most of their lengths; ovary pubescent. Berries black, not glaucous, subglobose, 1.5-2.5 cm diam., pubescent. Seeds light red, trianguloid, ca. 0.8 cm. 2n = 30.

Flowering Feb-Mar; fruiting Aug. Open woodlands of bottomlands, prairie margins, rocky hillsides; 0-1800 m; Tex.; Mexico (Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo León, Tamaulipas).

Brayodendron, based on Diospyros texana and segregated because of its apically dehiscent anthers, lack of staminodes, and coherent styles, can hardly stand up within a worldwide view of the Ebenaceae. As well as being eaten by people and wildlife, the fruits also are used in dying. The heartwood turns dark sooner than in D. virginiana; the small size of the stems limits its use.


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