Diospyros malabarica (Desr.) Kostel. var. malabarica

Diospyros malabarica (Desr.) Kostel. var. malabarica




Diospyros embryopteris Pers., Diospyros peregrina Guerke.

Vernacular Names

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

Geographical Distributions

Diospyros malabarica var. 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).


D. malabarica is a dioecious or polygamous, small to medium sized tree that can reach up to 15 m (rarely up to 35 m) tall. 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.

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.

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.

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

Ecology / Cultivation

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

Line Drawing / Photograph



  1. Plant Resources of South-East Asia No. 3: Dye and tannin-producing plants.