Diospyros buxifolia (PROSEA)

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Plant Resources of South-East Asia
List of species

Diospyros buxifolia (Blume) Hiern

Protologue: Trans. Cambr. Phil. Soc. 12: 218 (1873).


Diospyros microphylla Bedd. (1871), Diospyros munda Hiern (1911), Diospyros sphenophylla Hiern (1925).

Vernacular names

  • Indonesia: ki merak (Sundanese), rangkemi (Malay, Sumatra), meribu (Malay, Kalimantan)
  • Malaysia: meribut, delai putih. mempunai (Peninsular)
  • Thailand: riphao, sangtham (peninsular)
  • Vietnam: cây vây oc.


From India and Indo-China, throughout the Malesian area towards New Guinea.


The wood is used as black ebony, e.g. for posts and poles.


A medium-sized to fairly large tree up to 37 m tall, bole up to 70 cm in diameter, bark surface finely fissured, greenish-grey to black; leaves almost sessile, ovate, subrhomboid to elliptical, 1.2-5(-7) cm × 0.5-2.5(-3) cm, base acute to rounded, apex bluntlypointed to slightly acuminate, sparsely appressed hairy below, tertiary venation invisible; male flowers in 1-5-flowered cymes, 4-merous, stamens 8-20; female flowers solitary, 4-5-merous, calyx lobes overlapping, densely pubescent outside, corolla divided from halfway to three-fifths, staminodes absent, ovary with 2 styles and 4 uni-ovulate locules; fruit oblong-ellipsoid, 1-2.5 cm × 0.4-1.1 cm, hairy at the tip. D. buxifolia is widespread but scattered in wet to dry evergreen forest, up to 700(-1000) m altitude. The density of the wood is 780-1070 kg/m3at 15% moisture content. The wood is non-durable.

Selected sources

42, 77, 78, 140, 234, 495, 575, 595, 705.