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Ceylon Ebony (Kaluwara)

Ceylon Ebony Kaluwara

A popular tree, the ebony tree, referred to as "Ceylon ebony" for the trees found in Sri Lanka, is also found in south India and Indonesia. The scientific name of the plant is Diospyros ebenum and it belongs to the family Ebenaceae. Laws in both Sri Lanka and India prohibit the international trade of this particular wood. Known also as "kaluwara" in Sinhalese, this plant is used in the timber industry and it was a popular type of wood in areas where carpentry is practiced on a large-scale basis. 

The ebony tree reaches 100 feet but a majority of the ebony trees of Sri Lanka are much shorter than this figure. As its name suggests, its wood is black or grey-black in colour. The fruit of this species of plant is 2 cm in diameter and it is regarded as a type of berry. Parts of the tree is also used for medicine in certain areas of Asia. According to BIOTIK, a project that provides information on biodiversity and taxonomy, Ceylon ebony is a type of canopy tree that grows in dry evergreen forests. These trees can be easily seen at Udawalawe National Park, especially along the river bank.