Wednesday, July 14, 2010

St. Helena Ebony

St. Helena Ebony, Trochetiopsis ebenus, St. Helena, South Atlantic.

This is from Wikipedia : Saint Helena ebony (Trochetiopsis ebenus) is a species of flowering plant that is endemic to the island of Saint Helena in the southern Atlantic Ocean. It is not related to the ebony of commerce (Diospyros spp.), but is instead a member of the mallow family, Malvaceae. Saint Helena ebony is now critically endangered in the wild, being reduced to two wild individuals on a cliff, but old roots are sometimes found washed out of eroding slopes (relicts of its former abundance). These are collected on the island a used for inlay work, an important craft on Saint Helena. A related species, the dwarf ebony (Trochetiopsis melanoxylon) is now completely extinct.

It is quite easy to propagate from cuttings and many island gardens now boast a fine ebony bush. It is related to the Saint Helena redwood (Trochetiopsis erythroxylon) and a hybrid between them (Trochetiopsis x benjamini) is also now often planted.

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