Diospyros lotus Linn., Sp. Pl. 1057. 1753. Boiss., l.c. 33; Aitch., J. Linn. Soc. 18:78. 1880; Clarke, l.c. 555; Bamber, Pl. Punj. 33. 1916; Parker, Pl. Punj. 308. 1918; Grobov, l.c. 481; Kitam., Fl. Afghan. 300. 1960; Rech. f., l.c. 1; Stewart in Pak. J. For. 17, 4:510. 1967; Tutin, l.c. 52; Stewart, Ann. Cat. Vase. Pl. W. Pak. & Kashm. 547. 1972.
Tree, 2-10 (-20) m tall. Stems pubescent or glabrous. Leaves petiolate, 45-110x 19-66 mm, elliptic or broadly lanceolate, acuminate, base sometimes rounded, margin usually undulate; pubescent on both sides or on the lower, pubescent on the veins. Petiole 4-10 mm, pubescent. Flowers sessile to very shortly pedicellate. Pedicels densely pubescent. Male flowers in 2-3-flowered cymes, female solitary and larger than the male. Male flowers: calyx c. 2.5 mm long, 4(-5) lobed; lobes triangular, obtuse to subacute, pubescent and ciliate, hairy inside. Corolla yellowish-brown red, c. 7 mm long, lobes rounded., ciliate, reflexed. Stamens 16, in 2 opposite rows; filaments very short; anthers 3 mm long, connective pilose; ovary rudimentary. Female flower: Calyx persistent; staminodes 8, in 1 row. Ovary glabrous below, apically hairy; styles 4(-6), persistent. Berry globose to ovoid, 13-22 mm in diameter, mealy-white when unripe, dark purple to black when ripe, glaucous. Seed c. 11 mm long, brown-black, laterally compressed.
Fl. Per.: May June. Fr. Per.: Oct.-Nov.
Type: In “Gallia Narbonenai, Italia, Mauritania” (LINN 1231/102).
Distribution: Mediterranean region, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, China and Japan.
Native of NE China, cultivated and naturalised elsewhere. Cultivated in the Hazara region, in Swat, Murree and Kurram at ±1500 m. Found as an escape in Hazara. Also recorded from Chitral and Baluchistan (Rech. f.,l.c.). Apparently wild in Poonch, Azad Kashmir (Stewart, l.c.). The ripe fruit is dried and eaten; it contains a high percentage of tannin.