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Diospyros whyteana

   (Family: Ebenaceae)
   
Afrikaans: Swartbas English: Bladder-nut, Blackbark, Wild coffee Xhosa: umTenatane  EDIT
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Plant Type: EDIT  Tree
Height: 6m
Special properties:
  Has Medicinal Uses
Rarity Status:
Common
   
Preferred position:
Full Sun
Tolerated soil:  
 
pH: neutral
 
Flowering time EDIT
                x x x  
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Flower colours
 
Cream
 
White
 
  Flower scent EDIT
  Fragrant
  Flower info
  Creamy
 
 
 
  Leaf info EDIT
  Evergreen
 
 
 
 
 
Seed colour
Brown
  Seed info EDIT
  but can easily be propagated from seed, which should first be scratched/scarified before planting. The seed typically germinates in several weeks, and the juvenile trees are relatively slow growing.
 
 
Description EDIT
A small African tree of the ebony family. Bearing dark green, strikingly glossy leaves and creamy fragrant flowers.The bladdernut is an evergreen shrub or small multi-stemmed tree with a straight trunk that branches low down to form a dense, round to pyramidal crown. The bark on young branches is yellow-green to pinkish, covered by fine coppery hairs; but smooth and blackish grey on older stems and branches. The shiny leaves, also with a fringe of ginger hairs, are leathery, dark green above and lighter below. An occasional bright red or orange leaf occurs adding to the overall attractiveness of this plant.
Growing EDIT
Diospyros is dioecious (separate male and female trees), but can easily be propagated from seed, which should first be scratched/scarified before planting. The seed typically germinates in several weeks, and the juvenile trees are relatively slow growing.
Distribution EDIT
The Bladdernut has a wide distribution, occurring from Cape Town in the south, to as far north as Ethiopia. It naturally grows in Afro-montane forest and on rocky mountain slopes.
History EDIT
The name is derived from diospyros = divine pear (Greek) and whyteana (Latin) = named after the Scottish plant explorer Alexander Whyte.
Uses EDIT
The fruits are edible but are somewhat bitter and so not very tasty. The roasted seeds have been used as a coffee substitute.
Bark extracts are administered as enemas for treating menstrual pain, impotency and infertility. A leaf and root infusion can be used to treat rashes.
Ecology EDIT
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References

 
  • http://www.plantzafrica.com/plantcd/diospyrwhyt.htm  
 
 

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