Tendu leaves, Coromaandel Ebony

Diospyros melanoxylon



General Information :

  • A medium sized tree, up to 25 m , and 1.9m girth, bar pellican, exfoliating in rectangular scales.
  • Leaves are alternate, opposite,coriaceous, upto 35cm long, tomentose on both sides when young, becoming labourious above when fully grown.
  • Fruits are olive green, ovoid or globes 3-4 cm across.

Distribution :

  • Native to India and Srilanka.
  • In India it is distributed mostly in sothern parts.

Habitat : Original habitat is obscure, probably a hybrid involving Citrus medica x Citrus aurantifolia.

Soil : Prefers a moderately heavy loam with a generous amount of compost and sand added and a very sunny position.

Soil pH : 4.8 to 8.3

Altitude :100-700m

Rainfall :500-1200mm

Temperature : 0°c 48°c

Terrain : Grows mostly in lowland areas.

Tree Characteristics : The tree demand light drought and frost hardy and sensitive to waterlogging.

Habit : Dry and sub tropical forest.

Planting Guidelines

Growth : Moderate

Height : 25m

Natural Regeneration :

Natural Regeneration It is propagated by seed. Artificial Regeneration Propagted by cutting. Mostly vegetative method is not prefered. Seed collection Storage

  • Seeds are collected in the month of April-June by shaking the branches.
  • The seeds are collected after removal of the pulp and then dried and stored. Viability is retained upto on year.
  • No. of seeds/kg is 1150.
  • The germiantion and plant percentage is 85-90 and 60% respectively.
  • 24 hours cold water soaking before sowing.
Nursery Technique
  • The pretrated seeds are either put in primary beds and then pricked out to the polybags or pregerminate seeds are sown in polythene bags.
  • These are covered with the layer of hay and watered regularly.
  • Because of very rapid develoopment of the root, bigger sixe polythene bags are prefered.

Plantation technique :

  • The best season of planting is June to August.
  • Pits of the size of 60 cm x 60 cm x 60 cm may be dug for planting seedlings.
  • 10 kg of FYM and 500 g of superphosphate may be applied per pit while planting.
  • With good irrigation system, planting may be done in other months also.
  • Normal spacing is 4.5 m x 4.5 m ;Plant population – 494 / ha.
  • In fertile soils and in high rainfall areas spacing may be 5 m x 5m.

Irrigation :

For proper growth and survival it is necessary to give one or two waterings after planting. This is specifically required in arid regions. Irrigation after planting is not a prerequisite in areas having sufficient soil moisture and precipitation. Higher survival rate and better rate of growth is reported when soil and water conservation measures are also adopted

Recommended Harvest :

2-3 years

Yield :

coppice rotation of about 30 years to give usable products

Agro Forestory :

Plants can be grown as a hedge

Major uses :

  • The leaves are used as the wrapping around tobacco to make bidi cigarettes in India.
  • The leaves possess unrivalled qualities of flavour, colour, flexible and leathery texture, decay resistance and easy workability, which make them admirably suitable for wrapping bidis.                                                                   
Medicinal  :
  • The seeds can be intoxicating, they have been prescribed in India as a cure for mental disorders, nervous breakdowns and palpitations of the heart.
  • The bark is astringent. A decoction is used in the treatment of diarrhoea.

Other uses :

  • The fruits are edible.
  • The yellow pulp is soft and sweet.