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Chinese Plant Names | Family List | Ebenaceae | Diospyros

Diospyros longibracteata Lec.


Description from Flora of China

Trees 9--13 m tall. Trunk to 30 cm d.b.h. Branches darkish brown; young branches glabrous. Winter buds sparsely appressed pubescent. Petiole 1--1.2 cm; leaf blade elliptic, obovate, or oblong, 7--16 X 2--4 cm, leathery, glabrous, base cuneate, margin narrowly revolute, apex acuminate to obtusely acuminate, lateral veins 5--8 per side, reticulate veinlets dense and raised on both surfaces. Male flowers in 3--5-flowered pedunculate cymes, 0.8--1.2 cm; calyx campanulate, ca. 4 mm, densely appressed pubescent; calyx lobes 4, erect, flat at anthesis, triangular, shorter than tube; corolla urn-shaped, tube ca. 8 mm and outside densely sericeous; corolla lobes 4, ovate, ca. 3 mm, inside glabrous. Female flowers solitary; calyx lobes 4 or 5, soon crownlike after anthesis, both surfaces minutely pubescent. Fruiting pedicel 2--4 mm. Fruiting calyx strongly undulately plicate, appressed puberulent to strigose; lobes 4, erect, triangular, 6--10 X 7--8 mm, base reflexedly auriculate, margin subrevolute, apex acuminate. Berries subglobose, somewhat depressed, 2--3 cm in diam., densely dark red strigose, glabrescent. Fl. May-Jul, fr. Oct.

Wood of Diospyros longibracteata is suitable for furniture. The wood, generally called blackwood, becomes dark after soaking in water, and is used for chopsticks and musical instruments.

Diospyros longibracteata, D. susarticulata, D. maclurei, and D. metcalfii form a rather distinct group of species restricted to Hainan and Guangxi within China. The vegetative differences between them seem very minor, and the flowers are not known in the two latter species. The fruit of these species show considerable variation in size and shape, but much of the herbarium material is not mature. It is very difficult to assess the significance of this variation.

Scattered in evergreen broadleaved forests, slopes or in valleys; 0-800 m. Hainan [Laos, Vietnam]


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