Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition
Diospyros compacta (R.Br.) Kosterm.
Kostermans, A.G.J.H. (1977) Blumea 23: 454.
Australian ebony; Ebony, Australian
Grows into a tree to 15 m tall but also flowers and fruits as a shrub. Bark on trees usually very dark, almost black.
Leaf blades thick, coarse and leathery, about (1.5-)3-8(-12) x (0.8-)2-4(-8.5) cm, emarginate at the apex, margin recurved. Petioles about 0.3-1 cm long. Twig lenticels pale, elongated longitudinally, quite numerous and conspicuous. Midrib depressed or in a valley on the upper surface. Venation difficult to discern. Scattered black glands 1-4, often visible on towards base of the leaf blade underside.
Male inflorescence or 1-5 flowers, usually 3. Male flowers: Outer surface of the calyx glabrous or sparsely clothed in short hairs; outer surface of the corolla densely clothed in much longer, pale, straight, prostrate hairs; stamens (4-)6-9, free or up to 3 singles and 3 fused pairs; pistillode 1.5 mm long, hairy. Female flowers mostly solitary; calyx 3-4-lobed; corolla 3-4-lobed, lobes broadly ovate; staminodes absent.
Cotyledons +/- orbicular, about 15-18 x 11-17 mm. First pair of leaves obovate. At the tenth leaf stage: leaf blades obovate to narrowly spathulate, apex rounded to obtuse to spathulate, base cuneate to attenuate. Midrib depressed on the upper surface. Lateral veins forming very indistinct loops well inside the leaf blade margin. Terminal bud clothed in brown or pale brown prostrate hairs. Roots (hypocotyl) very dark, almost black. Seed germination time 11 to 45 days.