Texas Ebony (Pithecellobium flexicaule)
Category: Deciduous Trees
Texas ebony is a small evergreen tree native to the coastal plain of southern Texas in the US. The tree grows to a height of 7.6-9.1m and a crown width of 1.8-4.6m. This tree has a trunk that is 2 feet in diameter, thick branches that form dense dark green foliage.
It has a slow to medium growth rate. The soils should be either acidic, alkaline, loamy, moist sandy or clay and well drained. It requires full sun to grow and has ebony rounded spreading or horizontal vase shape.
The leaves have 2 to 4 pairs of pinnae and no terminal leaves or leaflets. They are 2” long 3” wide. Each pinna has 3 or 5 pairs of dark green, leathery, evergreen leaflets that are shiny on top and paler beneath. These leaflets are about 0.25” to 0.33” long.
Flowers are dense and cylindrical with spikes. These flowers are around 1” to1.5” long and they are light yellow or creamy white in color. These flowers are fragrant and bloom from around June to August.
The fruits are hairy, large, curved and at a closer look they look like they are flattened. They are 4” to 6” long and about 1” wide. Their color differ, it is either black or dark brown. The fruits appear in the fall and remain on the branches until after flowering season the following year.
The bark of this tree is normally gray when it is young but it turns to dark black and rough when it ages. Its wood is very heavy, hard and dark red-brown in color. It has so many uses like making fence posts, doing cabinet work, used for gardening and landscaping etc.
An interesting fact is that its seeds can be roasted and eaten. They can also be polished and used to make jewelries.
After it grows it can survive even the driest seasons.