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Ebenopsis ebano (Texas ebony)
Romfh, Peggy

Ebenopsis ebano

Ebenopsis ebano (Berl.) Barneby & Grimes

Texas Ebony, Black-bead Ebony, Ebony Ape's-earring, Ebano

Fabaceae (Pea Family)

Synonym(s): Chloroleucon ebano, Mimosa ebano, Pithecellobium ebano, Pithecellobium flexicaule

USDA Symbol: ebeb

USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

Texas-ebony is a 25-30 ft. shrub or tree with a rounded, dense crown. Dark green, twice-pinnate leaves are borne from spiny branches. White blooms are followed by 4-6 in. seed pods which persist through the winter.


From the Image Gallery

18 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Shrub
Leaf Retention: Evergreen
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
Fruit Type: Legume
Size Notes: Up to about 30 feet tall.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White
Bloom Time: Jun , Jul , Aug


Native Distribution: S. TX south through e. Mex. to Yucatan
Native Habitat: Low woods of the Coastal Plain

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Dry , Moist
Soil Description: Sandy soils.
Conditions Comments: Often multi-trunked, Texas ebony might look brushy until quite old or pruned. Provides heavy shade when full grown; is resistant to root rot; and is extremely drought-tolerant.


Use Wildlife: Larva host for Coyote Coudwings.
Interesting Foliage: yes
Attracts: Butterflies
Larval Host: Host plant for the Coyote Cloudwing, Achalarus toxeus and Sphingicampa blanchardi.


Description: Pre-treat seeds before sowing.
Seed Collection: Although pods are persistent, early collection is recommended before weevil infestation. Dust seeds before storing at room temperature.
Seed Treatment: Scarifiy nicking the seeds, soaking in concentrated sulfuric acid up to 90 minutes, or soaking in boiling water for 30-45 minutes.
Commercially Avail: yes

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Naval Air Station Kingsville - Kingsville, TX
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department - Austin, TX
NPSOT - Austin Chapter - Austin, TX
National Butterfly Center - Mission, TX


Bibref 298 - Field Guide to Texas Trees (1999) Simpson, B.J.
Bibref 318 - Native Texas Plants: Landscaping Region by Region (2002) Wasowski, S. & A. Wasowski

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Additional resources

USDA: Find Ebenopsis ebano in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Ebenopsis ebano in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Ebenopsis ebano


Record Modified: 2015-11-09
Research By: TWC Staff

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