Ceylon Ebony Tree, native to southern India and Sri Lanka
Gabon Ebony Tree, native to western Africa
Makassar Ebony Tree, native to Indonesia and prized for its luxuriant, multi-colored wood grain
Malaysian Blackwood Tree
Mun Ebony Tree
Persimmon Ebony Tree
White Ebony Tree
Ebony Tree: Facts On Ebony Trees
Here is some detailed information on ebony trees.
Ebony is a general name for very dense black wood. In the strictest sense it is yielded by several species in the genus Diospyros, but other heavy, black (or dark colored) woods (from completely unrelated trees) are sometimes also called ebony. Some well-known species of ebony include Diospyros ebenum (Ceylon ebony), native to southern India and Sri Lanka, Diospyros crassiflora (Gaboon ebony), native to western Africa, and Diospyros celebica (Makassar ebony), native to Indonesia and prized for its luxuriant, multi-colored wood grain.
Ebony has a long history of use, with carved pieces having been found in Ancient Egyptian tombs. The word "ebony" derives from the Ancient Egyptian hbny, via the Ancient Greek (ebenos), by way of Latin and Middle English.
By the end of the 16th century, fine cabinets for the luxury trade were made of ebony in Antwerp. The dense hardness lent itself to refined moldings framing finely detailed pictorial panels with carving in very low relief (bas-relief), usually of allegorical subjects, or scenes taken from classical or Christian history. Within a short time, such cabinets were also being made in Paris, where their makers became known as ebenistes, which remains the French term for a cabinetmaker.
Modern uses are largely restricted to small sizes, particularly in musical instrument making, including piano and harpsichord keys, violin, viola, guitar, and cello fingerboards, tailpieces, pegs and chinrests. Traditionally, black piano and harpsichord keys were ebony, and the black pieces in chess sets were made from ebony, with rare boxwood or ivory being used for the white pieces. Modern east Midlands-style lace-making bobbins, also being small, are often made of ebony and look particularly decorative when bound with brass or silver wire. Due to its strength, many handgun grips, and rifle fore-end tips, are made of ebony as well. Many plectrums, or guitar picks, are made from this black wood.
As a result of unsustainable harvesting, many species yielding ebony are now considered threatened. Africa in particular has had most of its indigenous ebony cut down illegally and as such it has become common for street traders to color lighter woods black with shoe polish in an effort to make a sale.
Ebony Tree Trivia
Unlike most other types of wood ebony cannot float on the surface of the water. It is so dense that it sinks to the bottom.
The Ebony Tree is an important food source for wild animals. Elephants and rhinocerous eat the leaves, monkeys, baboons and warthogs like to eat the fruit of the ebony tree.
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