Flora of the Nilgiris

Family : Ebenaceae
Flora of Nilgiri Biosphere (Northern Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve)

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Diospyros montana Roxb.

Leaf arrangement


Leaf Type


Leaf Shape

Ovate, Elliptic, Oblong

Leaf Apex


Leaf Base


Leaf Margin


Habit : A small tree.

Habitat and Distribution : Very common in a wide range of habitats and resistant to sun and drought. Found in hills to 1200m. Sri Lanka, India, Nepal, Malesia, tropical Australia.

Indigenous Information : Tender shoots are cooked and eaten. The wood is used for agricultural implements and handles. The bark is used to drive away unwanted persons from the village, achieved by leaving a piece of wood in their house. The wood is not used for fuel wood as it is believed that burning this wood causes feuds in the family, Tender shoots are boiled with salt and tied over aching joints. The bark is an important ingredient of many medicines.

Field Tips : Bark black outside, yellow within. Bright green foliage with a truncate base. Fruits with persistent calyx.


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Irula : Bankini, Jagalkanti
Tamil : Vakkanatthi, Karunthuvalisu


Male flowers in axillary umbels, female flowers solitary, greenish. Flowering from March-April.

Fruit :

A berry, ovoid to ob-conical, green turning orange when mature, crowned with a calyx. Seed 1, oblong. Fruits mature by October.

All from Ebenaceae
Flora of Nilgiri Biosphere (Northern Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve)