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Diospyros geminata (EBENACEAE) Queensland Ebony


Scaly ebony
Photo: Robert Whyte

Small tree in dry rainforest and sub tropical rainforest. Bark of mature trees blackish, fissured and scaly. Previously known as Diospyros ferrea var. geminata.

Hairless leathery to stiff leaves, slightly glossy. Distinguishable from the other Diospyros by the faintness of the lateral veins, and leaves larger than the close relative D. humilis.

Ebony sp. are easy to recognise by the particular shade of light green under the leaves. It is a yellow-olive-green. Both surfaces tend to look waxy.

Not a well known tree, an important species in threatened vine thickets.

Geminata from Latin “geminatus” meaning doubled or paired, referring to occasional paired fruit. A useful way to remember this is to think of the astrological sign Gemini, for "the twins".


Scaly Ebony
Photo: Robert Whyte

If you see this tree it is usually a good indication that you are looking at a patch of remnant dry rainforest, because it is not commonly planted and is very slow growing. It is unlikely to compete well with weeds. Its presence is a sign of good diversity. You should find other less common plants there as well. It means the area has not been catastrophically cleared.

A web user reading this reported to us on Thursday, 17 November 2005 that he had found one on King Island off Wellington Point south of Brisbane.


Fruit is an ovoid berry, 8-12mm long, yellow or orange.

Fruit of Diospyros geminata
Photo: Robert Whyte