EBENACEAE      
Ebony Family
Diospyrus virginiana
Persimmon, white ebony, date plum, possum wood, bara-bara, boa wood, butter wood

Grand Saline High School campus
August 18, 2004

Description
Diospyros means "fruit of the gods"; virginiana refers to the Virginia colony.
A decidious tree growing to 20m at a medium rate.
Very heavy and dense, hard, tough and strong. Very resistant to impact and wear. Large movement in service.   Somewhat difficult to work due to hardness but turns and sands well. Requires pre-drilling for screwing or nailing. Glues satisfactorily. Finishes to a high polish and retains smoothness under heavy use (similar to dogwood).
Importance

Used for golf-club heads, textile shuttles and bobbins, shoe lasts, handles, turnery, and ornamental veneers/
Fruit - raw, cooked or dried and used in breads, cakes, pies, puddings etc.
Molasses can be made from the fruit pulp.
An oil obtained from the seeds is said to taste like peanut oil.
A tea is made from the dried leaves.
It is high in vitamin C and has a pleasant flavour somewhat like sassafras.
The roasted seed is used as a coffee substitute.
The leaves are rich in vitamin C and are used as an antiscorbutic.
A decoction of the inner-bark is highly astringent.
It has been used as a mouth rinse in the treatment of thrush and sore throats.
Used externally as a wash for warts or cancers.
Habitat
The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and requires well-drained soil. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It requires moist soil.
Distribution
Native to most of the eastern half of the U. S. except for the northern border states.