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Family: Ebenaceae

Kingdom: Plantae Rank: Family Parent: Ebenales Status: Valid

Common Names:

  • PERSIMMON - English, United States of America
  • EBONY FAMILY - English, United States of America

Morphological Description

Family Recognition in the Field: Shrubs or small trees with alternate, simple, entire, exstipulate leaves; milky juice absent; flowers small, axillary, usually of a single sex, with connate petals and superior ovaries; fruit a berry with several large seeds.


Notes: The Ebenaceae is a medium-sized (485 species in 2 genera) family of the tropics and warm areas with a few temperate species; most are trees; some have edible fruits (e.g., Diospyros-PERSIMMONS, JAPANESE PERSIMMONS, DATE-PLUMS, VELVET-APPLES), while others are valuable for timber including EBONY, a black, hard, heavy wood obtained from species of Diospyros. Family name conserved from Ebenum, a genus now treated as Diospyros (the name Diospyros was published earlier and thus has priority in terms of nomenclature) (Derivation either from Greek: ebenos, name used by Hippocrates for a leguminous plant or possibly the ebony tree, or from Latin: ebenus, ebony or black; the heartwood of some species is strikingly black in color) (subclass Dilleniidae)