Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants - Online edition

Diospyros hemicycloides (F.Muell. ex Benth.) Jessup

Shrub (woody or herbaceous, 1-6 m tall)
Click/tap on images to enlarge
Fruit, side views and seeds. © W. T. Cooper
M. male flower; N. dissected stamens and pistillode, male flower; O. female flower; P. dissected overy and stamens, possible hermaphrodite flower; Q. fruit. © Queensland Government
Scale bar 10mm. © CSIRO
10th leaf stage. © CSIRO
Cotyledon stage, epigeal germination. © CSIRO

Jessup, L.W. (2014) Austrobaileya 9(2): 178-179.

Common name

Mountain Ebony


Tree to 18 m, often flowering and fruiting as a shrub. Outer dead bark and subrhytidome layer dark, sometimes almost black.


Midrib depressed on the upper surface. Leaf blades about 3.5-10 x 1-3 cm, much paler on the underside. Lateral veins 7-11 pairs. Glands sparse, up to 5 on each side of midvein below. Oil dots visible with a lens. Leafy twigs slender about 1-2 mm diameter.


Outer surface of the calyx sparsely clothed in pale brown hairs, outer surface of the corolla (particularly the lobes) densely clothed in pale straight and tortuous hairs. Male inflorescence axes 2-9 mm long, with 3(-4) flowers. Male flowers: calyx tube 1.5-2 mm long, lobes 3; corolla tube 2.5-3.5 mm long, lobes 3(-4); stamens 7-9 (six in the outer whorl and three in the inner whorl), not adnate to corolla tube; pistillode 1-2 mm long. Female flowers usually solitary, rarely a 3-flowered cyme; calyx tube about 2-2.5 mm long, lobes 3; corolla tube 2.5-3 mm long, lobes of similar length; ovary hairy, about 2.2-2.5 mm long; style about 0.7-1 mm long; stigmas bifid.


Fruits seated on a two or 3-lobed sparsely pubescent persistent calyx. Fruits +/- glabrous, globular-ellipsoid, about 11-14 mm diam.; seeds 8-10 mm long.


Cotyledons almost orbicular, 12-14 mm diam. At the tenth leaf stage: leaf blade glabrous; midrib depressed or in a groove on the upper surface of the leaf blade. Seed germination time 47 days.

Distribution and Ecology

Endemic to NEQ, from Mt Finnigan to the Kirrama Range. Altitudinal range from 840-1100 m. Grows in mountain rain forest.


Maba hemicycloides F.Muell. ex Benth., Flora Australiensis 4: 290 (1868), Type: Rockingham Bay, 13 August 1866, J. Dallachy s.n. Ebenus hemicycloides (F.Muell. ex Benth.) Kuntze, Revisio Generum Plantarum 2: 408 (1891). Diospyros sp. Mt Lewis (L.S.Smith 10107).

RFK Code
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