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Brya ebenus

Brya ebenus (L.) DC.

Aspalatus ebenus L.

Jamaican Ebony, Jamaican Rain Tree

KingdomPlantaePlants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae (from Stearn’s Botanical Latin)
SubkingdomTracheobiontaVascular plants—plants with a “circulatory system” for delivering water and nutrients
DivisionMagnoliophytaFlowering plants, also known as angiosperms
ClassMagnoliopsidaDicotyledons—plants with two initial seed leaves
SubclassRosidaeRoses, legumes, proteas, dogwoods, hydrangeas, mistletoes, euphorbias, grapes, many more
OrderFabalesLegumes (pea and bean families)
FamilyFabaceaeLegume family (peas and beans)
GenusBrya
SpeciesebenusEbony

About plant names...

Jamaican rain tree is so named because it produces beautiful yellow flowers almost immediatley after a rain, or during periods of high humidity. It is a rare native of the Caribbean. Plants are drought-tolerant, growing in scrublands. It is cultivated as bonsai, and its dense wood is prized for flute-making. Also called Jamaican ebony, this isn’t “real” ebony at all. Species of ebony include Diospyros ebenum (Ceylon ebony), native to southern India and Sri Lanka; D. crassiflora (Gabon ebony), native to western Africa; and D. celebica (Makassar ebony), native to Indonesia and prized for its luxuriant, multi-colored wood grain. Mauritius ebony, D. tesselaria, was exploited by the Dutch in the 17th century. Some species in the genus Diospyros yield an ebony with similar physical properties, but striped rather than evenly black (Diospyros ebenum). See also Texas ebony, another species popular for bonsai.

Identification: Trees are up to 20-30' (6.1-9.1 m) in height. It has small, waxy evergreen 2-3 parted compound leaves that often appear to be simple. Leaves are alternate, odd-pinnate, arranged densely on spurs from the main stem. Flowers are yellow, and like other members of the pea famiy, have bilateral symmetry.

Medical: Can cause skin and eye allergies.

Online References:

Brya ebenus on en.wikipedia.org

Brya ebenus on www.rareflora.com

Brya ebenus on www.virtualherbarium.org

Brya ebenus description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 19 Dec 2016.

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Brya ebenus (Jamaican Ebony, Jamaican Rain Tree)

Bonsai. · 12/12/2016 · Bonsai West, Littleton, MA
≈ 10 × 15" (26 × 39 cm)

Range: Zones 10-11:

About this map...