Texas ebony Fabaceae Ebenopsis
ebano (Berl.) Barneby & Grimes symbol: EBEB
Leaf: Alternate, evergreen, bipinnately compound, 2 to 3 inches long, with 2 to 3 pairs of major leaflets and 3 to 6 pairs of minor leaflets, each leaflet 1/4 inch long, leathery, oval to elliptical, very dark green (nearly black) above, paler below.
Flower: Small, yellowish white, fluffy heads in spikes 1/2 to 2 inches long, fragrant, spikes appearing in small groups in late spring and early summer.
Fruit: A 4 to 8 inch legume, very thick, woody and heavy, containing round black seeds (1/2 inch across), dark brown when ripe in the fall, splits open but remain on the tree for a long time.
Twig: Moderately stout, gray, zigzag, with a pair of slender spines (up to 1/2 inch long) at the base of each leaf.
Bark: Gray-brown to reddish brown, initially smooth but becoming quite scaly.
Form: Multi-stemmed large shrub to small tree (up to 30 feet) with a spreading crown, becoming more tree-like and larger in the southern parts of its range.
Looks like: catclaw acacia - guajillo - sweet acacia
Additional Range Information: Ebenopsis ebano is native to North America. Range may be expanded by planting. See states reporting Texas ebony.
External Links: USDA Plants Database - Horticulture Information
All material © 2017 Virginia Tech Dept. of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation; Photos and text by: John Seiler, Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera, and John Peterson