Forest Ebony
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Forest Ebony
E Native Photo: Jatin Vaity
Common name: Forest Ebony • Kannada: ಅಕ್ಕಸರಳಿ Akkasarali, ಬಾಳಿಸರಳಿ Baali sarali, ಕಾಕಿಸರಳಿ Kaaki sarali, ಬೀಡಿಎಲೆಮರ Beedi ele mara • Malayalam: Manjathuvara, Karimaram • Telugu: Gaada, Gaadaluti, Gaatha, Gada, Gadaluti
Botanical name: Diospyros sylvatica    Family: Ebenaceae (Ebony family)

Forest Ebony is a tree up to 35 m tall. Bark is greyish brown, smooth; blaze reddish. Branchlets are slender, round, hairless except the flush with adpressed hairs. Leaves are simple, alternate, leaf-stalk 0.3-1.2 cm long, hairless, flat above. Leaf blade is 6-15 x 3-6 cm, elliptic to narrow elliptic, tip tapering and twisted, base pointed or slightly narrowed, margin curled when dry, papery or somewhat leathery, hairless, drying black; secondary nerves 7-9 pairs. Flowers are dioecious or polygamous; male flowers greenish, in dichasial cyme; female flowers solitary or 3 flowered cyme. Male flowers: 6-10 in in leaf-axils cymes, 6 mm across; flower-cluster-stalk 5 mm long, finely velvet-hairy; calyx 3 mm long, bell-shaped; sepals 4, ovate, flower 6 mm long, bell-shaped, petals 4, triangular, blunt; stamens about 24. Female flowers; solitary or 3 together, 8-10 mm across; calyx much longer than in male, sepals ovate-oblong, pointed. Flower are bell-shaped; petals triangular, blunt; staminodes 4. Berry is spherical, to 2 cm across, hairless; fruiting calyx reflexed; seeds 2-8. Forest Ebony is found in Indo-Malesia, peninsular India. Flowering: March-April.

Identification credit: Jyoti Desai, Janhavi Jadhav Photographed in Matheran, Maharashtra.

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