Diospyros malabarica (Desr.) Kostel.

Last updated: 18 May 2015

Scientific Name

Diospyros malabarica (Desr.) Kostel.


Diospyros biflora Blanco, Diospyros citrifolia Wall. ex A.DC., Diospyros embryopteris Pers. [Illegitimate], Diospyros glutinifera (Roxb.) Wall., Diospyros glutinosa J.Koenig ex Roxb., Diospyros peregrina (Gaertn.) Gürke, Diospyros siamensis Hochr., Embryopteris gelatinifera G.Don, Embryopteris glutinifera Roxb., Embryopteris glutinifolia Link, Embryopteris peregrina Gaertn. [1]

Vernacular Name

Malaysia Komoi, kumun [2]
English Malabar ebony [2]
Indonesia Culiket (Sundanese); kledung (Javanese) [2]
Thailand Tako thai (General); tako suan (Northern); phlap (Peninsular) [2]
Laos Küa namz, hnang hèèwx, lang dam [2]
Myanmar Plab, tako suam [2]
Cambodia Dângkaô khmaôch [2]
Vietnam Thi dâù heo, cu'ò'm thi [2]

Geographical Distributions

Diospyros malabarica has a fairly large area of distribution which is extending from eastern India and Sri Lanka, Burma, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam, to Thailand (mostly cultivated) and Indonesia (Java, Sulawesi). [2]

The varieties of D. malabarica are often found in shady and wet sites near streams in the forest, up to 500 m altitude. They occur naturally in places with up to 3000 mm annual precipitation. [2]

Botanical Description

D. malabarica comes from the family of Ebenaceae. It is a dioecious or polygamous, small to medium sized tree that can reach up to 15 m (rarely up to 35 m) tall. [2]

The trunk measuring up to 70 cm in diametre and often fluted while the crown conical is with spreading branches. The bark is dark grey, more or less rough and scaly. [2]

The leaves are leathery, elliptic-oblong, measuring 7-32 cm x 2-10 cm, obtuse to acute, hairless, yellowish when dry and with a short petiolate. [2]

The male flowers are in 3-9-flowered cymes in the leaf axils and with numerous stamens while the female flowers are in 1-5-flowered cymes, with a spherical and 4-styled ovary. The petal is with short lobes. [2]

The fruit is spherical, measuring 5-7.5 cm in diametre and turns yellow or orange when ripen. The persistent sepal is with patent-reflexed lobes. [2]

There are 4-8 seeds, albuminous and with a ruminate endosperm. [2]


In cultivation, D. malabarica thrives on many types of soil, provided it is not too dry. [2]

Chemical Constituent

No documentation

Plant Part Used

No documentation

Traditional Use

No documentation

Preclinical Data

No documentation

Clinical Data

No documentation


No documentation

Poisonous Management

No documentation

Line drawing


Figure 1: The line drawing of D. malabarica (Desr.) Kostel. [2]


  1. The Plant List. Ver1.1. Diospyros malabarica (Desr.) Kostel.[homepage on the Internet]. c2013 [updated 2012 Mar 23; cited 2015 May 19]. Available from: http://www.theplantlist.org/tpl1.1/record/kew-2770098
  2. Diospyros malabarica (Desr.) Kostel.var. malabarica In: Lemmens RHMJ, Wulijarni-Soetjipto N, editors. Plant Resources of South-East Asia No. 3: Dye and tannin-producing plants. Wageningen, Netherlands: Pudoc Scientific Publishers; 1991.