Genus DIOSPYROS, Linn.
Round-headed trees, with zigzag branchlets and no terminal buds; wood hard and close grained. Leaves leathery, entire, simple, alternate, deciduous. Flowers dioecious, axillary; staminate in cymes, pistillate solitary or paired. Fruit a large, juicy berry, 1 to 10-seeded.
The ebony family has five genera, the most important of which is Diospyros. This genus contains 180 species, including among them the two temperate zone trees in America, and others of horticultural importance in Japan and China.
The ebony of commerce comes from different tropical species. D. Ebenum, native of Ceylon and the East Indies, produces the most valuable wood. Beside lumber, ebonies furnish fruit trees and ornamentals planted for their lustrous foliage and decorative fruits. Some of the tropical species are grown in Northern greenhouses.
Black Persimmon or Chapote Tree