Diospyros ferrea (Willd.) Bakh., Gard. Bull. Straits Settlem. 7: 162 (1933). (Syn: Diospyros angustifolia (Miq.) Kosterm.Diospyros egbert-walkeri Kosterm., Diospyros ferrea var. angustifolia (Miq.) Bakh. …………..; Diospyros nigrescens (Dalzell) C.J.Saldanha in C.J.Saldanha & D.H. Nicolson, Diospyros salomonensis (Bakh.) Kosterm., Diospyros vera (Lour.) A.Chev.,  Ebenoxylum verum Lour., Ebenus lamponga (Miq.) Kuntze, Ebenus nigrescens (Dalzell) Kuntze, Ferreola buxifolia (Rottb.) Roxb., Ferreola ebenus Stokes, Ferreola guineensis Schumach. & Thonn., Maba angustifolia Miq.Maba buxifolia (Rottb.) Pers., Maba cumingiana A.DC. in A.P.de Candolle, Maba ebenoxylon G.Don, Maba ebenus Wight, Maba guineensis A.DC. in A.P.de Candolle, Maba lamponga Miq.,Maba madagascariensis A.DC. in A.P.de Candolle, Maba nigrescens Dalzell in N.A.Dalzell & A.Gibson, Maba papuana Hiern, Maba secundiflora Hutch., Maba smeathmannii A.DC. in A.P.de Candolle, Maba vacciniifolia Benth. in W.J.Hooker, as per WCSP;
Diospyros ferrea (Willdenow) Bakhuizen, Gard. Bull. Straits Settlem., ser. 3. 7: 162. 1933. (Ehretia ferrea Willdenow, Phytographia 1: 4. 1794; Diospyros ferrea (Willdenow) Bakhuizen var. buxifolia (Rottboell) Bakhuizen; Maba buxifolia (Rottboell) A. L. Jussieu; Pisonia buxifolia Rottboell.) as per Flora of China;

Small trees to 4 m tall; bark dark grey, fissured, rough. Leaves alternate, 1-2.5 x 1-1.8 cm, obovate-oblong or spathulate, base cuneate to attenuate, apex obtuse to emarginate, coriaceous; petiole to 2 mm long. Flowers 1-3, in axillary fascicles, white. Male flower: calyx pale yellowish, c. 2 mm long, cup-shaped, lobes 3, 1-1.5 mm long, triangular-ovate, acute; corolla tube 5 -6 mm long, tubular, lobes 3, 1 -1.5 mm long, oblong-ovate, acute ; stamens 6, c. 2 mm long. Female flower: similar to male one; ovary c. 2 mm long, globose, silky-pubescent, stigmas 3. Berry 5-7 mm long, subglobose, yellow to brownish red. Seeds 1-3, c. 4 mm long, wedge-shaped.
Flowering and fruiting: February-May
Dry deciduous forests
India, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Japan, North Australia and Africa
(From India Biodiversity Portal
Attributions- Dr. N Sasidharan (Dr. B P Pal Fellow), Kerala Forest Research Institute, Peechi)

02082017BHAR1 : 8 posts by 4 authors. Attachments (2)
Found in Vandalur forest. Chennai.

Diospyros ferrea (Willd.) Bakh. (Syn.: Maba buxifolia)

Looks like Ehretia microphylla

No, its Diospyros ferrea.
Irumbili in Tamil and its edible.
Unripened fruit tastes astringent as whole.
Ripened fruit tastes sweet, bit fleshy.


Orange Coloured Fruits : 1 image. 3 posts by 3 authors.

I recently had a chance to visit a reserve forest (Nanmangalam) in Chennai. I was amazed to see a good number of interesting insects fluttering around. It is a dry shrub jungle, with few interesting wildlife. 
We found these bright yellowish orange coloured fruits growing small thorny shrubs during the trail. 
Would be grateful for any info shared on this. Would love to learn the id.

The shrub is Diospyros ferrea (Willd.) Bakh. common and it is abundant in distribution at Nanmangalam RF and other Reserve Forests around Chennai.

Diospyros ferrea (Willd.) Bakh SN Feb- 17 :   1 post by 1 author. Attachments (1).
Diospyros ferrea (Willd.) Bakh, (= Maba buxifolia Rottb.) Juss.); Fam: Ebenaceae
shrub small tree, wood hard, leaves coriaceous.
scrub jungle, South Chennai

Diospyros vera : 2 posts by 2 authors. Attachments (1)
Found in Maagaaniam RF Kanchipuram district.

MS/ID/2020/AUGUST/1 – Please ID the plant. : 9 posts by 3 authors. Attachments (2). 
Please ID the plant photographs received from Chennai with a tag Diospyros sps. Photographed recently.

Image not so clear !

Yes …  I will request the person who sent photos to send clear pictures. 

I am enclosing few closeup photographs of the foliage.
Attachments (3)

Does not match the images of C.japonica.
Possibly D.ferrea. Check this link.

Yes. Possible.
Are the fruits edible?

Anmod Ghat :: Diospyros angustifolia :: DVFEB58/91 : 3 posts by 3 authors. 3 images.
Anmod Ghat NH4A descending from Anmod, Karnataka to Mollem, Goa
Date: 23 APR 2011 … Altitude: descends from about 640 m asl to 90 m asl
Diospyros angustifolia (Miq.) Kosterm. (family: Ebenaceae)

Thanks, …, for the wonderful posts.
Diospyros angustifolia (Miq.) Kosterm., Ceylon J. Sci., Biol. Sci. 12: 106 (1977), nom. illeg. is a syn. of Diospyros ferrea (Willd.) Bakh., Gard. Bull. Straits Settlem. 7: 162 (1933). as per WCSP.



Plant for ID 2 SMP 09062010 : 20 posts by 8 authors. Attachments (2)
For ID

Apart from tha data in box. I can’t say anything more about this


28May 2010

Location- Place, Altitude, GPS-

Amboli western ghats. Hill station.

Habitat- Garden/ Urban/ Wild/ Type-


Plant Habit- Tree/ Shrub/ Climber/ Herb-




Leaves Type/ Shape/ Size-

Clustered near the end of branches Alternate

Inflorescence Type/ Size-

Axillary. Under the leafs. Somewhat like Phylanthus species?

Flowers Size/ Colour/ Calyx/ Bracts-

Less than 1cm White to Yellow

Fruits Type/ Shape/ Size Seeds-

As in picture

It looks likes some Diospyros. Do you have close up fruits and upper surface of leaf?

Attaching two more pictures.
The upper surface of the plants was more glabrous and shiny but not dark green like the Diospyros peregrina. Some leaves with upper surface can be observed in the following unedited picture. The second picture is of a different plant, I think belonging to the same species.
Attachments (3)

To me it does not look like D. peregrina (now D. malabarica)  in which fruits are almost globose, rust coloured when young, yellow when ripe. This one may be D. kaki, but not very sure.

In one of the studies following species of Diospyros have been reported at Amboli.
D.candolleana Wight
D.montana Roxb.
D.negrescens (Dalzell) C.J.Saldanha
D.oocarpa Thwaites
Can it be one of them?

…  to me it looks closest to D. candolleana according to  Dr. Almeida’s flora.

Pl.check for Xantolis tomentosa
Hairy Xantolis
Local name: Katekombhal

Sorry …. it doesn’t appear to be from Sapotaceae family.

This plant is certainly a species of Diospyros for sure. My
suggestions are Diospyros pruriens or D.saldanhae. These are the few species of Diospyros in the Western Ghats with fulvous tomentose leaves and branches. D.ovalifolia also do have fulvous tomentose but not on the leaves and leaf margins.
One thing that you may note down and tell us is that whether the
fruits (mature) also has fulvous tomentose.
It cant be any of the following species as mentioned in an earlier
mail. I think it is by … as all these species do have
glabrous leaves and branchlets.

It cant be any of the following species as mentioned in an earlier
mail. I thihnk it is by Sathishji as all these species do have
glabrous leaves and branchlets.
D.candolleana Wight
D.montana Roxb.
D.negrescens (Dalzell) C.J.Saldanha

Thanks for the information.
I don’t think the fruits are tomentose. I think they are glabrous as seen in this picture. (Of course they are not mature)
Attachments (1)

This is Diospyros ebenum Koen. ex Retz. syn Maba nigrescens.

This is not D. ebenum for sure because D. ebenum leaves and branches are glabrous! Further, the leaves are thicker and larger!
If fruits are not fulvous tomentose please check any reference for
D.saldanhae. You may find a line drawing of the same in the field key to the trees and lianas of the WG by Pascal and Ramesh.

just referred to the biotik western ghats flora on the net. All the Diospyros species are trees ranging from upto 8 m to 25 m and so on. You have mentioned shrub are you sure it was not a small tree? Please check. After referring I still feel it comes close to D. candolleana and also D. augutifolia. It is not D. saldanhae which is mentioned as having leaves densely hirsute, and berry, conical or ellisoid ovate with dense rufous bristles. Both characteristics not matching your pics.

Yes … I am also in favour of the opinion that it is not D.saldhanae. It is close to D.angustifolia.
Regarding habitat……..it may be considered as small tree or a shrub as I might have encountered some less grown trees at places. Anyway this plant is abundant in the region.

Yes I agree, closest to D. augustifolia (Miq) Kostern.

Sorry, I meant to say D. nigrescens syn Maba nigrescens when I wrongly quoted D. ebenum. This plant is common at Amboli.

I agree with …, this plant could most probably be Diospyros
syn Maba nigrescens of Ebenaceae family.

Thanks … We can conclude that it is Diospyros nigrescens(Syn. Moba nigrescens) from Ebenaceae.
Thanks all others for thought provoking discussions.

Info from Dr. Almeida’s flora Vol III pg 178: Maba angustifolia Miq.,  other names:  Diospyros angustifolia (Miq.) Kosterman , Maba nigrescens Dalz., D. nigrescens (Dalz. ) Saldanha, Maba buxifolia (Bl.) Pers. var. angustifolia Twaites.

Diospyros ferrea (Willd.) Bakh. submission AS12 July21: 5 images.

Diospyros ferrea (Willd.) Bakh.
Family – Ebenaceae
Photographed in cultivation at FRLHT TDU Garden, Bengaluru, Karnataka
In July 2021

Are the flowering images OK at Diospyros ferrea ?

I have over-viewed images on the page and it looks like some images under D. ferrea page are misidentified and they perhaps represents D. buxifolia as both species are often confused. I will need to check in detail and will reply to them individually by this weekend. Pardon me for delayed reply as i was/am stuck with some of my course assignments deadlines however i am expecting some relief around weekend…


Diospyros vera: 2 high res. images.

Found in Allikuli Thiruvallur district.TN.
Sweet and edible fruits.

It’s edible sir, my self also tasted,

Amboli, MH :: Tree with small fruits for ID :: ARK2021-093: 5 images- 2 high res.
This was seen at Amboli hill station, MH in Aug 2021.
This was a very common tree seen at many places in Amboli.
Requested to please provide ID.

It look like Diospyros species.

Could it be some Diospyros ? I may be totally wrong.

Diospyros ferrea (Willd.) Bakh. [Ebenaceae]. This is the latest accepted name of this plant as per POWO. Synonym: Diospyros angustifolia (Miq.) Kosterm.
In the old floras of the Bombay Presidency, this plant was described as Maba nigrescens Dalzell.

It matches with … post from Amboli.



WCSP  Flora of China  Biotik  India Biodiversity Portal  Wikipedia  Phytoimages  Useful tropical Plants  POWO

The Plant List 1 (Diospyros ferrea (Willd.) Bakh. as a syn. of Diospyros vera (Lour.) A.Chev.)

The Plant List 2 (Ehretia ferrea Willd.- unresolved)  Asian Plant

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