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Trees 0 General Info This potentially large, evergreen Tree has a straight trunk with a thin bark. RSA Tree No. Family: Ebenaceae persimmon and ebony family. The genus Ebony is known for its useful wood.
There are more than species, in 4 genera, worldwide. The 2 genera that occur in South Africa are Euclea and Diospyros. The simple, coriaceous and entire Leaves are usually alternate and lack stipules.
The usually unisexual and regular Flowers have a persistent calyx that is often divided to near the base and the corolla usually has a short tube. The basifixed Anthers are longer than the Filaments. The superior Ovary has up to 2 ovules in each locule.
The Styles may have branches. Fruit is a berry, which may slowly dehisce. Young fruit contains tannins and thus are initially avoided by animals.
Name derivation: Euclea — Greek: good fame: referring to the high quality of the wood in some species. Conservation Status: L C. Least concern. Assessment Date: Foden and L. The usually straight Trunk has a diameter up to 46cm and has spreading branches. It may also be a multi-stemmed shrub. Young branches are thin, crooked and initially have rusty coloured hairs. The spreading crown is dark and up to 10m wide.
The thin Bark is grey to dark grey or black. It may be smooth to cracking and rough. Milky sap is not present. Photo: David Becking. The leaves are simple have a single blade which may have incisions that are not deep enough to divide the leaf into leaflets.
Leaves are stiffly coriaceous of a leathery nature and usually broader in the upper half. Leaves may be hairy even red — especially on the lower side in young leaves. The leaf Blade is stiff but when viewed against a strong light the Veins are visible on the translucent leaves.
Here veins are white and hairs are visible on the margin and petiole photo 92M. The Upper surface is usually dark olive green and shiny. It may also be matt olive-green and may be hairy. On this side, the Midrib and lateral veins are visible. The hairy Lower surface is a lighter green — particularly when young and the veins appear more reticulate net like. Here a hand lens will help. The yellowish-white Midrib and the lateral veins are raised on both sides but more visible above.
The broadly tapering to rounded Apex may have a pointed tip. The thickened Margins are entire with a continuous margin, not in any way indented , often wavy and may be rolled under. Petiole leaf stalk is up to 1cm long. Stipules basal appendages of the petiole are absent. Against the sun. Flowers The small, bell-shaped and sweet-scented Flowers are greenish white, cream or yellow and are dioecious male and female flowers on separate trees.
Flowers are actinomorphic regular, symmetrical. Apart from the petals, all flower parts are covered with dense rusty woolly hairs. The Perianth, the calyx and corolla, is divisible into 3 or more identical sectors. Flowers are borne in leaf axils and in Panicles indeterminate, branched inflorescence with stalked flowers up to 4cm wide.
The Calyx is hairy and has 4 or 5 lobes which are persistent but do not enlarge. The hairy Corolla is gamopetalous has united joined petals — at least at the base and has from lobes.
Male flowers have 16 Stamens and the Anthers are longer than the Filaments. Also present is a small sterile ovary. The Female flowers lack both stamens and staminodes. They have a single Pistil a unit of the Gynoecium, the female element of the flower, composed of the Ovary, Style and Stigma. The superior Ovary rests on a fimbriate having a border of hair-like or finger-like projections , somewhat fleshy Disc a more or less fleshy or elevated development of the receptacle.
The fruit occurs in branched sprays. It is usually single seeded. Clanwilliam — about km north of Cape Town. The tree thrives under conditions varying from dune bush, where it is common to arid and rocky areas where it grows to less than 1m high. The tree also occurs in riverine areas and swamps, but it is in the forests, where it can reach its maximum height. This tree hybridises with other Euclea species. Ethnobotany The white Wood is tinged with brown.
It is hard, relatively dense and may have dark patches. A black Dye is extractable from boiled Roots. Fruit is edible.
The plant is frost sensitive when young and plants can be grown from cuttings or seeds. Research shows that plant extracts used traditionally for the prevention and treatment of oral problems are valid.
These extracts can be used to reduce dentin hypersensitivity. Twigs 1-year-old current branch segments are used as toothbrushes. Tests have shown that extracts from this plant are significantly effective against Phytophthora sp.
This fungus can damage crops. References Boon, R. Flora and Fauna Publications Trust, Durban. Burrows, J. Trees and Shrubs Mozambique. Publishing Print Matters Pty Ltd. Noordhoek, Cape Town. Coates Palgrave, M. Struik, Cape Town. Lawrence, G. M, Tenth Printing Palmer, E. Schmidt, S. Lotter, M.