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  1. Feb_17_hartleys_creek_gps_1497_rf_-_diospyros_compacta_n_5982___17_ Australian Ebony - Hartleys Creek
  2. Feb_17_hartleys_creek_gps_1497_rf_-_diospyros_compacta_n_5982___23_ Australian Ebony - Hartleys Creek

Australian Ebony

Diospyros compacta


Short description: small tree (11m) that also flowers and fruits as a shrub. Very dark, mottled grey to black bark on the trunk/body of the tree

Leaves: thick leathery leaves 7-9cm

Fruits/seeds: produces berries that become red when ripe. Fruiting occurs Jan – May and Oct - Dec

What to Observe

  • Healthy or unhealthy trees

  • Presence of berries (ripe or unripe)

ClimateWatch Science Advisor

We expect to see signs of stress and dieback in relation to climate change warming and drying the environments. The timing and patterns of fruiting are also likely to change.

Help scientists answer the question: "How are our animals, plants and ecosystems responding to climate change?"

When To Look

Flowers during February, October and November. Fruits produced from January to May and October to December. 

Note: ClimateWatch is looking for any changes in the timing of these events so remember to keep a lookout all year!

Where To Look

Found in mangrove habitats, and toward the freshwater of tidal creeks.

Note:ClimateWatch is looking for any changes outside of their known ranges so remember to keep a lookout beyond these regions too!

Australian Ebony distribution map - GBIF


Australian Ebony distribution map - GBIF



  • NT Government 2013, Northern Territory Flora Online
  • Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants, Edition 6, 2010
  • Experts consulted: ClimateWatch Science Advisory Panel


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  1. What Else?

    Black Ebony (Diospyros humilis) is similar in appearance, however can be distinguished by its smaller and more bladed leaves. Dead bark is often quite dark, almost black and layered with brown brittle stripes in the blaze.

  1. Did You Know?

    Anindilyakwa people believe that evil spirits which kill people climb this tree, they also note that birds eat the fruit (Levitt 1981). The fruit are eaten by some Aboriginal people when they are ripe, they have a somewhat floury texture. The Greek "dios" means divine or god-like, and "pyros" means wheat, a reference to the fruit of the gods, as some of the members of the genus have tasty fruit.