Diospyros mespiliformis Hochst. ex A. DC.

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Diospyros mespiliformis

Drawing: Suzanne Carter

Diospyros mespiliformis

Drawing: Suzanne Carter

Diospyros mespiliformis

Drawing: Suzanne Carter

Diospyros mespiliformis

Drawing: Suzanne Carter

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Species details: Click on each item to see an explanation of that item (Note: opens a new window)

Synonyms: Diospyros sabiensis Hiern
Common names:
Status: Native
Medium-sized to large tree. Bark dark grey to black, very rough with long vertical fissures. Leaves alternate, oblong-elliptic, dark green above, paler below, hairless. Flowers axillary, solitary, cream to pale yellow with greyish hairs on the calyx and pedicel. Fruit fleshy, ovoid to round, yellow to purple when ripe, embedded in the persistent calyx lobes.
Type location:
Derivation of specific name: mespiliformis: resembling Mespilus a genus in the Rosaceae, now sunk under Crataegus.
Habitat: In riverine fringes or on termite hills in open woodland.
Altitude range: Up to 1370 m
Flowering time:Oct - Nov
Worldwide distribution: Widespread in tropical Africa from Senegal to Eritrea and Yemen, southwards to Namibia, South Africa and southern Mozambique.
Zambian distribution (Flora Zambesiaca): N,W,C,E,S
Zambian distribution (Provinces):
Growth form(s): Tree.
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species
Content last updated: Tuesday 28 October 2014

Burrows, J.E., Burrows, S.M., Lötter, M.C. & Schmidt, E. (2018). Trees and Shrubs Mozambique Publishing Print Matters (Pty), Cape Town. Page 749. (Includes a picture).

Chapano, C. & Mamuto, M. (2003). Plants of the Chimanimani District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 21.

Chapano, C. & Mugarisanwa, N.H. (2003). Plants of the Matobo District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 14.

Curtis, B.A. & Mannheimer, C.A. (2005). Tree Atlas of Namibia National Botanic Research Institute, Windhoek Pages 522 - 523. (Includes a picture).

Drummond, R.B. (1975). A list of trees, shrubs and woody climbers indigenous or naturalised in Rhodesia. Kirkia 10(1) Page 267.

Heath, A. & Heath, R. (2009). Field Guide to the Plants of Northern Botswana including the Okavango Delta Kew Publishing Page 84. (Includes a picture).

Kamumvuri, G. (ed.) (2004). Plants of Zimbabwe Report No. 1 National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 37.

Mapaura, A. & Timberlake, J. (eds) (2004). A checklist of Zimbabwean vascular plants Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 33 Sabonet, Pretoria and Harare Page 39.

Roodt, V. (1998). Trees and Shrubs of the Okavango Delta Shell Field Guide Series: Part I Shell Oil Botswana, Gaberone. Pages 38 - 41. (Includes a picture).

Setshogo, M.P. (2005). Preliminary checklist of the plants of Botswana. Sabonet Report no. 37. Sabonet, Pretoria and Gaborone Page 54.

Siebert, S. & Mössmer, M. (Editors) (2002). SABONET Southern Mozambique Expedition 2001; Provisional Plant Checklist of the Maputo Elephant Reserve (MER) and Licuati Forest Reserve (LFR) SABONET News 7(1) Page 25.

Steedman, E.C. (1933). Some Trees, Shrubs and Lianes of Southern Rhodesia. Page 63.

Strugnell, A.M. (2006). A Checklist of the Spermatophytes of Mount Mulanje, Malawi Scripta Botanica Belgica 34 National Botanic Garden of Belgium Page 81.

Timberlake, J.R. & Childes, S.L. (2004). Biodiversity of the Four Corners Area: Technical Reviews Volume Two (Chapter 5-15) Appendix 5-1: Plant Checklist Occasional Publications in Biodiversity 15 Page 206.

White, F. (1983). Ebenaceae Flora Zambesiaca 7(1) Pages 285 - 288. (Includes a picture).

Other sources of information about Diospyros mespiliformis:

Our websites:

Flora of Botswana: Diospyros mespiliformis
Flora of Caprivi: Diospyros mespiliformis
Flora of Caprivi: cultivated Diospyros mespiliformis
Flora of Malawi: Diospyros mespiliformis
Flora of Mozambique: Diospyros mespiliformis
Flora of Zimbabwe: Diospyros mespiliformis

External websites:

African Plants: A Photo Guide (Senckenberg): Diospyros mespiliformis
African Plant Database: Diospyros mespiliformis
BHL (Biodiversity Heritage Library): Diospyros mespiliformis
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Diospyros mespiliformis
GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility): Diospyros mespiliformis
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
iNaturalist: Diospyros mespiliformis
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Diospyros mespiliformis
JSTOR Plant Science: Diospyros mespiliformis
Mansfeld World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops: Diospyros mespiliformis
Plants of the World Online: Diospyros mespiliformis
Tropicos: Diospyros mespiliformis
Wikipedia: Diospyros mespiliformis

Copyright: Mike Bingham, Annette Willemen, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Mark Hyde, 2011-24

Bingham, M.G., Willemen, A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. and Hyde, M.A. (2024). Flora of Zambia: Species information: Diospyros mespiliformis.
https://www.zambiaflora.com/speciesdata/species.php?species_id=144030, retrieved 20 June 2024

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