Diospyros hebecarpa – Scrub Ebony (plant)
Diospyros hebecarpa is a tree with a dark, compact crown; it can vary considerable in height, from 7 – 25 metres tall. The straight, cylindrical bole can be free of branches for up to 15 metres in the largest specimens and up to 40cm in diameter. The tree is harvested from the wild for local use as a food and source of wood. The wood is sometimes traded and shouild be of good quality, for fine wood uses such as musical instruments. Native to Southeast Asia; Indonesia, Philippines, New Guinea, northern Australia, Solomon Islands and New Caledonia. Useful tropical Plants.
The edibility of the fruit is questioned; some texts say that it can blister the lips and tongue while others say it is edible. Perhaps it just needs to be fully ripe and soft. I tasted these ones and the flavour was ok. Collected on Hamilton Island, QLD.
Care and Cultivation of Diospyros hebecarpa
Diospyros hebecarpa grows best in a well-drained, acid soil. A slow-growing plant, especially when young. A dioecious species, both male and female forms need to be grown if fruit and seed are required. Prefers a part shade position.